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Do You Need an Annual Checkup?

Consider a surprising fact before you get on the phone to schedule your yearly physical: Many medical organizations don’t find this popular practice medically necessary. Instead, they emphasize preventive care.

Benefits of an Annual Exam

Still, the CDC argues that a yearly checkup can help find problems before they start. And some experts feel that annual visits help cement the doctor-patient relationship. These exams may also encourage valuable preventive measures, such as cholesterol screenings and mammographies.

Talk with Your Doctor

You and your doctor can decide whether you need an annual physical. In the meantime, be sure to put these screenings and preventive measures on your calendar:

  • Mammography. The American Cancer Society recommends that women should get a mammography every year starting at age 45. Women ages 55 and older have the option of getting a mammogram every two years, or continuing with the annual screenings.

  • Pap test. The United States Preventive Services Task Force suggests that women ages 21 to 65 should get a Pap test once every three years. Women ages 30 to 65 years can choose to instead have a Pap test once every five years along with a human papillomavirus (HPV) test. Women over 65 who have had normal screenings and do not have a high risk for cervical cancer do not need Pap tests. Talk with your doctor about the schedule that is best for you.

  • Cholesterol. Have your cholesterol checked every four to six years after you turn age 20.

  • Diabetes. Get tested for diabetes if you are overweight or obese and between the ages of 40 and 70.

  • Osteoporosis. Women ages 65 and older, and younger women at high risk, should be screened for osteoporosis.

  • Colorectal cancer screening. Start periodic testing for this disease at age 50, or earlier if the disease runs in your family.


© 2000-2018 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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Our web site is designed to provide general information to educate users about programs and services, which may be available through our hospitals. The web site is not intended to provide medical advice nor should the information be used to attempt to determine the presence, absence or severity of any illness or medical condition which may be perceived or experienced by the user of this site. If you have or suspect you may have an illness or condition which you believe requires medical attention, we recommend you call your primary care physician. If you believe you are experiencing a medical emergency please call "911" (or your local medical emergency number) or seek immediate care from the nearest hospital Emergency Department. The provision of information to users of this web site is not intended as an inducement or to otherwise influence a person's decision to order or receive any item or service from a particular provider, practitioner or supplier that is reimbursable under Medicare, a state healthcare program (e.g., AHCCS) or any other healthcare plan.

Physicians are members of the medical staff at each facility, but are independent contractors who are neither employees nor agents of Carondelet Medical Group; and, as a result, Carondelet Medical Group is not responsible for the actions of any of these physicians in their medical practices.