|When is the right time to get important health screenings? For example, should you get a colonoscopy in your 20s? Use the following list as a guide. However, your family health history will influence which screenings you should get when — so be sure to speak with your doctor.|
|20s and 30s
Blood pressure — The only way to detect high blood pressure is by getting it checked. High blood pressure can lead to heart attack, stroke or kidney failure, so it's important to get it tested at least once a year.
Cholesterol — Have your cholesterol checked once every five years. If you have high cholesterol, you should have it checked more often. Staying on top of your cholesterol levels can help prevent heart disease.
Skin check — It's important to have your skin checked regularly for odd-shaped or changing moles. Detecting and treating melanoma early is key for beating the disease.
Pap smear and breast exams — Women should get an annual Pap smear to help detect early stages of cervical cancer. Along with a Pap smear, the doctor should perform a breast exam to check for cancerous lumps.
Dental exam — Don't forget about oral health. Gum disease can start early, but with regular flossing, brushing and dental visits, the signs of gum disease can be reversed.
Obesity screening — Nobody likes stepping on the doctor's scale, but maintaining a healthy weight can prevent many future health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease. People who have a BMI (body mass index) of 30 percent or more are considered obese.
Thyroid test — Your thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate the way your body uses energy. You should get a thyroid check by age 35 to help determine if the gland is functioning properly.
Eye exam — An eye exam is the best way to protect your vision and to prevent future eye problems. It's best to have an eye check at least once a year in your 20s and twice a year in your 30s.
Bone density test — Osteoporosis is common in women ages 65 and older. A bone density test will determine the health of your bones and your risk of bone fractures.