The Importance of Regular Physical Exams and Screenings

Maintaining good health is essential for leading a happy and productive life. One of the most important aspects of maintaining good health is staying up to date on physical exams and screenings. These tests can help detect and prevent a wide range of health issues, from common illnesses to serious conditions such as cancer. Trust the doctors of internal medicine in New Jersey at the Medical Group of New Jersey.

Physical exams and screenings can detect and prevent health issues such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses in their early stages when they are more treatable. Screening tests can also identify risk factors for these diseases such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, which can be addressed through lifestyle changes or medication. In addition, physical exams also allow doctors to assess a patient’s overall health and provide recommendations for maintaining good health, such as diet and exercise recommendations.

When Should Screenings Take Place?

The age at which certain screenings should take place can vary depending on a patient’s individual risk factors and medical history. However, there are some general guidelines for when certain screenings should be performed:

  • Blood pressure: Starting at age 18, blood pressure should be checked at least once every two years.
  • Cholesterol: Starting at age 20, cholesterol should be checked every four to six years.
  • Pap smear: Starting at age 21, women should have a Pap smear every three years. After age 30, women can switch to a Pap smear every five years if combined with HPV testing.
  • Mammogram: Starting around age 40, women should have a mammogram every one to two years.
  • Colon cancer screening: Starting around age 50, men and women should have a colonoscopy every 10 years, or more frequently if there are risk factors such as a family history of colon cancer.

What to Expect During a Physical Exam

During your physical exam, your doctor will begin by taking your medical history, including any current medications, past surgeries or illnesses, and any family history of medical issues. They may also ask about your lifestyle habits, such as diet, exercise, and smoking or drinking habits.

Your doctor will then perform a physical exam, which may include checking your vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, etc.), examining your head and neck, listening to your heart and lungs, and examining your abdomen and extremities. Your doctor may also order blood work and other tests to screen for specific health issues or to check for risk factors for certain conditions.

Why You Need a Physical Exam

Even if you feel healthy, a physical exam can help detect health issues that may not yet be causing symptoms. Early detection of these issues can help prevent more serious health problems down the road. Additionally, a physical exam allows your doctor to assess your overall health and provide recommendations for maintaining good health.

By following the recommended screening guidelines and scheduling regular physical exams, you can help detect and prevent health issues and maintain optimal health and well-being. Schedule an appointment with the doctors of internal medicine in New Jersey at the Medical Group of New Jersey.