Are You Up-To-Date On Your Health Screenings?

Understanding your health can sometimes be a daunting task, especially without guidance on the why or when to screen for chronic diseases. Today we will be discussing when health screenings should take place and why getting regular screenings is important not only for your health, but for your overall well-being.

The importance of health screening:

 

59% of Americans have at least one chronic disease which accounts for around 90% of healthcare costs annually. Early screenings can help increase the chance of reversing damage that may have already been done. Many conditions, including diabetes, can be reversed and is easier to fix when caught early on. Heart disease is the number one leading cause of death in the United States, followed by cancer at number two and diabetes at number seven.

 

Getting regularly screened by a healthcare professional can help aid in providing a better long-term quality of life. Chronic diseases are costly in many ways including:

  • Physically- chronic diseases take a toll on the body, sometimes causing new medical problems. This can lead to a lower quality of life and sometimes even disability.

  • Emotionally- energy, motivation, and mental health can decline.

  • Socially- when dealing with a chronic disease, it can be hard to find the time, energy, or motivation to go out and spend time with friends and family. This can lead to loneliness or feelings of isolation and at times cause strain on those important relationships.

  • Cognitively- attempting to understand the confusing world of healthcare and your chronic disease can be frustrating and time consuming.

  • Financially- both direct and indirect expenses are involved when looking at the overall financial burden that many chronic diseases cause.

    • Indirect costs may include:

      • Lost income due to taking time off for appointments

      • Transportation costs to and from appointments

      • Special dietary food costs 

When to screen for diseases?

  • Diabetes

    • Start screening at 45 years old

    • Repeat screening every 3 years

  • Heart/Cardiovascular Disease

    • Start screening at 45 years old

    • Repeat screening every 4 to 6 years

  • Cancer

    • Breast Cancer

      • Start screening at 45 years old

      • Repeat screening annually at ages 45 to 54

      • Repeat screening every 2 years at age 55 and older

    •  Colorectal Cancer

      • Start screening at 45 years old

      • Repeat screening is dependent on the type of screening conducted, talk with your healthcare provider for more details

    • Cervical Cancer

      • Start screening at 21 years old

      • Repeat screening every 3 years

    • Lung Cancer

      • Start screening at age 55 IF you are a current smoker or quit within the past 15 years AND have a 30 pack per year smoking history

      • Repeat screening annually

    • Prostate Cancer

      • Start screening at age 50

 

 

Ultimately, you are in charge of your health and should take steps to ensure that your quality of life does not decline from the many avoidable diseases. Solutions to help prevent these diseases are a great topic to bring up with your local pharmacist or medical professional to help get you started on a healthier lifestyle by setting long-term goals towards increasing your quality of life.

 

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