Annual Medical Exams to Get

It's that time of the year again when you need to pick your insurance benefits... don't forget the top medical exams!

Here’s a list that will help you schedule your healthcare visits, ask for the right health exams and generally take good care of yourself.

General tests:

l Blood pressure annually.

l Cholesterol (males over 35, females over 45, people with other risk factors such as tobacco use, diabetes, high blood pressure or family history of heart disease. Check every five years or annually with risk factors and high cholesterol.

l Diabetes annually. High risk factors include those who: are American Indian, Alaska native, Hispanic or African American; have a family member with diabetes; are overweight; had diabetes during pregnancy.

l Osteoporosis (bone density test). Women 65 and older should be tested annually.

l Tuberculosis annually and if you have been in close contact with someone who has TB; have recently moved from Asia, Africa, Central or South America or the Pacific Islands; have kidney failure, diabetes, HIV or alcoholism; have injected street drugs.

l Colorectal cancer after age 50 annually or if you have had polyps; have a family member with colorectal cancer, breast cancer or cancer of the ovaries or uterus.

l Breast cancer. Mammogram every two years after age 40 or annually if you have a sister or mother with breast cancer.

l Cervical cancer. Pap test every three years or annually if you have had a sexually transmitted disease; have had more than one sex partner; have had previous abnormal Pap tests. Pap tests are no longer needed after hysterectomy.

l Prostate cancer. Test annually after age 50, especially if you’re African American or have a brother or father with prostate cancer.

l Oral cancer.

Immunizations:

l Measles-mumps-rubella if you’ve never had it, or never had measles, mumps, and rubella, you should receive at least one dose of this vaccine if: you are a woman able to become pregnant and/or were born after 1956.

l Tetanus-diphtheria every ten years.

l Flu shots annually over 50 or if: you have lung, heart or kidney disease, diabetes or cancer; are a health-care worker; are infected with HIV or have AIDS.

l Pneumonia shot once around age 65 or if you have lung, heart or kidney disease; HIV; diabetes or cancer.

l Hepatitis B shots if you have had sex with more than one partner or with someone infected with hepatitis B; have had any other sexually transmitted disease within the last six months; have injected street drugs; have a job that involves contact with human blood or blood products; travel to areas where hepatitis B is common.