The Wellness Corner … by Judith Wallace, RN, FCN
Are you taking care of yourself? We have been very focused on avoiding COVID infection to the point that ongoing health promotion may be shifted to a back burner. But it is important for all of us to remember our general health status and not be distracted by the threat of the pandemic. Heart disease, diabetes, cancer, kidney disease, and other diseases do not take a vacation while COVID captures our attention. Routine care is as important today as it was a year ago.
Although they were closed for a while, most physicians' offices are now open for routine appointments. In this issue of the Wellness Corner I would like to focus on a review of the general health screening and preventive care each of us should be considering.
The following are screening guidelines for adults:
Annual Breast Cancer Screening Mammography For women ages 40 and over
Annual cervical cancer screening for women age 21-65
Cholesterol screening for men and women every 5 years starting at age 20
Colorectal cancer screening for men and women every 10 years for ages 50-65
Diabetes screening men and women every 3 years starting at age 45
Hypertension screening men and women every year
Osteoporosis screening for women age 65, repeated based on results
Annual prostate screening for men starting at age 50
Adult immunization guidelines
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Vaccine (Gardasil-for Cervical Cancer) For all females between ages 11 and 26: Frequency - One series of 3 vaccines
Flu vaccine for all adults ages 50 and over: Frequency - Annually
Pneumococcal Vaccine (for Pneumonia) For adults ages 65 and over who are at average risk; For high-risk adults of any age with diabetes, cancer, or heart, lung or immune disease: Frequency - Initial vaccination, with single revaccination 5 years later
Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis Vaccine For men and women ages 19 to 64: Frequency - One time
Varicella Zoster Vaccine (for Shingles) For adults ages 60 and older
Other vaccines that you may need: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Meningococcal (Meningitis)
The above information should serve as a guideline for you to discuss with your primary care provider. He or she will adapt this to your personal needs. Please don't ignore these important considerations to maintain your health. Don't eliminate your annual checkup. If you are concerned about going to an office for an in-person visit, call your provider to set up a virtual visit to review your current health status and health maintenance.
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