Preventive health

8 preventive health screening tests you should consider

Doctor talking with patient

Cleared out the closet? Check. Organized your photos? Check. Dusted off your lamps? Check. Now that you’ve spring cleaned your house, it’s time to spring clean for your health! Health screenings are medical tests recommended by doctors to help identify health conditions before symptoms develop. Here are a few screenings to consider:

Annual Wellness Visit

If you have a Humana Medicare Advantage plan, an Annual Wellness Visit is covered once a year. According to Medicare.gov, this is an excellent opportunity for you and your primary care provider to create a personalized plan to help prevent disease and disability, based on your current health and risk factors.1

Colorectal cancer screening

The American Cancer Society recommends that adults at average risk for colorectal cancer get screened beginning at age 45 to 75. Even if you don’t show any symptoms, screenings are the best way to prevent colorectal cancer or find it early. 2 Talk with your doctor about which screening options are best for you.

Mammogram

Getting regular mammograms is the number one way for doctors to detect breast cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a mammogram can sometimes detect breast cancer 3 years before it can be felt.3 If you’re 55 or older, the CDC recommends getting mammograms every 2 years.

A1c test

An A1c test is a blood test that measures your average blood sugar levels over the past 3 months. According to the CDC, it’s the most widely used test to diagnose prediabetes and diabetes.4 It may also help you manage your diabetes.

Kidney function test

Especially in the beginning, kidney disease doesn’t show many symptoms.5 That’s why laboratory testing is important. According to the National Kidney Foundation, there are 2 types of tests: a blood test and a urine test.6 The National Kidney Foundation recommends that all adults over 60 start these screenings.7

Diabetic eye exam

If you have diabetes, we hope your endocrinologist has told you how important it is to get yearly eye exams. According to the National Library of Medicine, diabetes can hurt your eyes. That’s because the disease can damage the small blood vessels in your retina. Known as diabetic retinopathy, this can cause decreased vision or blindness. 8

Blood pressure

High blood pressure is sometimes known as the “silent killer” because it doesn’t cause any symptoms you can see or feel, according to the National Institute on Aging.9 The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends getting your blood pressure checked yearly.10 It only takes a minute to get it done, and knowing your blood pressure numbers may help identify issues before they become life threatening.

Heart scan

If you have a low to moderate risk of heart disease, talk to your doctor to see if a heart scan is right for you.11 A heart scan is an X-ray test that shows a picture of your heart. The images from the test will help your doctor see if calcium-containing plaque is clogging up your arteries.12 Seeing this plaque will help your doctor identify possible coronary artery disease before you show signs or symptoms.

Why are health screenings important?

Health screenings can help find health problems early on when they are easier to treat.13 When administered as recommended by your healthcare provider, they may be a powerful way to keep you in your best health. If you’re wondering which screenings may be right for you, speak with your healthcare provider.

 

Sources

  1. “Yearly Wellness Visits,” Medicare.gov, last accessed December 1, 2021, https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/yearly-wellness-visits.
  2. “2018 Colorectal Cancer Screening Guideline for Men and Women at Average Risk,” American Cancer Society, last accessed December 3, 2021, https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer/guideline-infographic.html.
  3. “What Is a Mammogram?” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last accessed December 1, 2021, https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/basic_info/mammograms.htm.
  4. All About Your A1C,” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last accessed December 1, 2021, https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/managing/managing-blood-sugar/a1c.html.
  5. “End Stage Renal Disease,” Mayo Clinic, last accessed December 1, 2021, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/end-stage-renal-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20354532#:~:text=Early%20in%20chronic%20kidney%20disease,Vomiting.
  6. “Know Your Kidney Numbers: Two Simple Tests,” National Kidney Foundation, last accessed December 1, 2021, https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/know-your-kidney-numbers-two-simple-tests.
  7. “Aging and Kidney Disease,” National Kidney Foundation, last accessed December 1, 2021, https://www.kidney.org/news/monthly/wkd_aging#:~:text=%22Unfortunately%2C%20older%20Americans%20may%20not,be%20screened%20for%20kidney%20disease.
  8. “Diabetes Eye Exam,” National Library of Medicine, last accessed December 1, 2021, https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000323.htm.
  9. “High Blood Pressure and Older Adults,” National Institute on Aging, last accessed December 1, 2021, https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/high-blood-pressure-and-older-adults#:~:text=If%20high%20blood%20pressure%20isn,eye%20problems%2C%20and%20kidney%20disease.
  10. “Get Your Blood Pressure Checked,” Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, last accessed December 1, 2021, https://health.gov/myhealthfinder/topics/doctor-visits/screening-tests/get-your-blood-pressure-checked.
  11. “Heart Scan (Coronary Calcium Scan),” Mayo Clinic, last accessed December 1, 2021, https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/heart-scan/about/pac-20384686.
  12. “Heart Scan (Coronary Calcium Scan).”
  13. “Get screened,” Health.gov, last accessed January 12, 2022, https://health.gov/myhealthfinder/topics/doctor-visits/screening-tests/get-screened.