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Stay on top of your care: preventive care to prioritize this year

| Wellness | Healthy You | Aging Well

Person points to clipboard held by healthcare provider

Make a plan to talk with your doctor at your next visit about recommended regular screenings.

The last two years have taught us the importance of prioritizing health and safety and being mindful of healthy decision-making.

As we begin to imagine what healthcare looks like going forward, there’s no better time to empower ourselves with the tools and information needed to live a healthy and happy life.

Now more than ever, it’s critical to prioritize preventive care and make a plan to complete annual health screenings — especially those that were delayed during the pandemic.

Screenings are a critical piece of your healthcare plan, often the first line of defense against some of the most common illnesses you may face. Completing them regularly can help to catch any concerns quickly and allow them to be addressed by your PeaceHealth care team.

With all the information out there about necessary screenings, it can be overwhelming. The US Preventive Services Task Force has compiled a comprehensive list of screenings that will give you a good starting place to prepare to talk with your primary care provider at your next appointment.

Here are some of the most common screenings that you may have missed or skipped last year:

  • Annual bloodwork is recommended for everyone to evaluate important metrics like red blood cell counts, cholesterol, thyroid levels, vitamin D levels and much more.
  • Blood pressure screening is recommended for adults ages 18 and older to identify early warning signs for hypertension and heart disease.
  • Colonoscopy is recommended for adults 45 and older to check for and remove polyps that might become cancerous. 
  • Mammography is recommended for adult women to identify early signs of breast cancer. In general, it's recommended for those 50  to 74 years of age, but women should talk to their doctor about when to begin or stop getting mammograms.  
  • Depression screening is recommended for people of all ages who may be at an increased risk for depression or other mental health challenges.
  • Unhealthy alcohol and drug use screening is recommended for those who may be concerned about heavy consumption or dependence on alcohol or drugs. This is something we all should be especially mindful of in the face of isolation and challenges from the pandemic.
  • Cervical cancer screening is recommended every three years for women ages 21-29 with additional screening for women ages 30 and older to see early signs of cervical cancer and human papilloma virus (HPV).
  • Sexually transmitted infection (STI) screening is recommended for any individuals who are sexually active and may be at an increased risk of contracting an STI.
  • Lung cancer screening is recommended annually for anyone 50 to 80 years of age who has a 20 pack-year smoking history and currently smokes or has quit within the past 15 years. 

Many screenings are designed to catch early signs of different types of cancer. Did you know PeaceHealth offers services supporting cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment? 

Set a reminder to schedule preventative screenings today. If you have questions, concerns, or want to develop a care plan for screenings that are recommended for you, be sure to schedule an appointment with your primary care provider or a PeaceHealth provider to get started.