In your 20s
1. Get a complete physical
When you are 21 you should get your first complete physical, including blood work that checks your cholesterol, sugar, thyroid function, liver and kidney function, and vitamin B12 and D levels. Get one every 5 years until you reach the age of 40. Getting these tests will ensure that you can detect any issues as early as possible.
2. Pap test
A Pap test is the best way to detect the earliest signs of cervical cancer. It's best to start getting this test in your early 20s when you have the highest chance of being exposed to the human papillomavirus (HPV).
3. Get tested for sexually transmitted diseases
Of all the STDs that are transmitted each year, nearly half affect 18- to 24-year-olds. Some STDs don't have any symptoms but can lead to complications such as infertility later in life. Be sure to get checked.
4. Check your skin
Melanoma is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in women ages 25-29. Be sure to check your skin for new or oddly shaped moles. If you think something isn't right, don't hesitate. Tell your physician as soon as possible.
In your 30s
1. HPV test
It's important to continue to be tested for HPV because our immune systems become less robust as we age. Get tested for HPV with your Pap test every three years.
2. Blood sugar test
Go in for your first test at age 30, and get one every year until age 50. As we age, the risk of developing diabetes increases.
In Your 40s
1. Cholesterol test
You should begin to get physicals, including a cholesterol test, annually in your 40s. If you smoke, have high blood pressure, diabetes or a family history of heart disease, it is especially important to receive this test.
The American Cancer Society recommends getting screened for breast cancer every year beginning at age 40. Learn more about mammograms.
In Your 50s
Depending on your personal risk, getting a mammogram every year becomes extremely important when you hit age 50.
At age 50, you should have your first colonoscopy. This test should be repeated every 10 years thereafter to check for colorectal cancer — the second leading killer of both men and women in the United States. People who are tested every 10 years have better outcomes if they are diagnosed with the disease.
3. Bone density test
Getting a bone density test in your 50s is a good idea if you are considering hormone replacement therapy or if you are at high risk for osteoporosis.
4. Get a hearing test
Hearing loss affects one in 10 Americans. Protect yourself, and be sure to get tested.
1. Every year you should receive an annual gynecological exam with a breast and blood pressure check.
2. Receive a Pap test every 3 years.
3. Get an eye exam every 5 to 10 years.
4. Check your skin annually for any abnormalities.
5. Get a yearly physical with cholesterol and blood sugar testing.
St. Luke's Hospital is a regional healthcare provider committed to improving the quality of life for patients and the community. It offers care in more than 60 specialty areas and was the only St. Louis hospital named an America's 50 Best Hospital™ by Healthgrades® in 2007 through 2013 based on quality.
See what's happening at St. Luke's Hospital and pick up a few health and wellness tips for you and your family.
"In the Sproutlight" is a sponsored opportunity. For more information on sponsorship, e-mail [email protected] or call 636-544-7233.