Meeting with your doctor can help save your life. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that if everyone in the U.S. received the recommended clinical preventive care, more than 100,000 lives could be saved.
Asif Hashmi, MD, who practices internal medicine, says that the purpose of screenings is to catch problems at an early stage, when they are most treatable. “Start with an annual wellness check up and go from there. Your health involves a two-prong approach - screenings and immunizations,” he says. “You should discuss with your doctor what is appropriate for you, according to your age, previous medical history and family medical history.” Your doctor is also a great resource for guidance on interventional healthcare, such as smoking cessation, weight loss, cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Annual Wellness Physical
- Review overall health and any needed immunizations, including a yearly flu shot
- Your doctor may order lab work to check cholesterol, blood sugar or other levels
Annual Skin Exam
- Full body check for moles, lesions or suspicious marks
- Review of family history of skin cancer and preventive measures
Cancer screenings are also important. The Cancer Care Institute of Carolina (CCIC) offers free prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood screening for prostate cancer. Director of CCIC Brent Slack says the test measures the level of PSA, and any man can go to the CCIC and get an order for blood work. “They simply take the order to the first floor laboratory at Aiken Regional to have their blood drawn and a physician will contact them with the results,” says Slack.
Prostate Cancer: Understanding the Risks
This simple true-false quiz can help clarify the facts around prostate cancer - from symptoms to testing.
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Another important cancer screening tool is the colonoscopy. The test allows doctors to examine the lining of the colon and rectum for polyps or cancer. By finding and removing polyps early, colon cancer may be prevented.
Time for a Colonoscopy?
The Endoscopy Center at Aiken Regional Medical Centers conveniently offers this procedure. Check with your doctor for a referral to schedule your colonoscopy today.
- Beginning at age 50, men should get the prostate- specific antigen (PSA) test as well as digital rectal exam
- African-American males and males with a family history of prostate cancer should begin screening at age 45
- Recommended for current smokers; non-smokers with a history of smoking one pack daily for 30 years; or smokers who quit within the last 15 years
- Low-dose CT scan for men and women beginning at age 55
- Screening is recommended every 10 years, starting at age 50 for men and women at average risk, and at age 45 for African Americans
- If you have a family history of colon cancer, your doctor may recommend screening sooner
Cancer screenings source: American Cancer Society