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Health First is sponsoring the 2011 Feel Good Challenge in an effort to help people obtain big results from making small changes over time.  I found the following article online, and I thought others might find it useful.


11 Doctor’s Appointments to Make in Your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and Beyond

By Liz Brody in O, The Oprah Magazine  (originally printed in the January 2003 issue)


Highlights are below:

Medical appointments to make for people in their 20s and older:

1. Primary care physician: Once a year – general checkup and also a reading and fecal occult blood test to screen for problems including gastritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and colon cancer. Every two years – fasting blood sugar test to screen for diabetes.

2. Gynecologist: Every six months or once a year depending on if new sexual partner or multiple partners – pap smear, pelvic exam, breast exam, and screenings for sexually transmitted diseases.

3. Dentist: Every six months – teeth cleaning and oral exam.

4. Dermatologist: Every year if you’re fair-skinned or have family history of skin cancer. Otherwise, go if see any suspicious moles or skin problems.

5. Vaccinations: As needed –  tetanus booster (every ten years), chickenpox (if you’ve never had the disease or vaccine), and measles, mumps, or rubella (if born after 1956, you may need vaccines for all three).

In your 30s, add:

6. Cholesterol screening: Every five years if last test was normal. More regularly if there’s risk for heart disease due to smoking, family history, obesity, high blood pressure, or diabetes.

In your 40s, add: 

7. Mammogram: Every year.

8. Stress echocardiogram: Get a baseline analysis of your heart.

9. Ophthalmologist: Depends – every year or every two to four years until age 65, then annually. Include intraocular pressure measurement for glaucoma.

In your 50s and above, add: 

10. Colonoscopy: Every five years.

11. Bone density scan: Start routine tests at menopause, though earlier if you’re small-framed, your weight is very low, you have a mother with osteoporosis, or you’ve had fractures (besides from a freak accident) after 45. Some experts say wait until 65 unless there are risk factors.

For men in particular:

If in 30s, cholesterol screening every five years and annual fecal occult blood test.

If in 40s or older, annual rectal exam and PSA blood test to screen for prostate cancer, and a colonoscopy every five years.


Here’s to your health!



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