Preventive care is like tending a garden. As things grow and change, you need to step back, reassess and check in. Does a plant need thinning? Do others need more sunshine? Same thing with your health. It’s critical that you get the screenings and preventive care that’s right for your stage of life.
A primary care doctor is a great way to keep up with regular health maintenance. Take the time to find a doctor who you’re comfortable with. It’s important that they understand you and your life.
Regular health maintenance
Immunizations and screenings are easy to forget, yet they are a vital part of leading a healthy life. Your primary care team should help you track and check off these maintenance items.
Screenings include cholesterol and cervical cancer (starting in your 20s), breast cancer (starting at age 40 or 50), diabetes (starting at age 45), colon cancer (at age 50) and osteoporosis (after age 65).
Special topics for women are family planning and birth control—and possibly rethinking their strategy over age 40. Women should get the care they need if they experience pelvic pain, endometriosis or fibroids.
Screenings include cholesterol (starting in your 20s), diabetes (starting at 45), colon cancer (at age 50) and prostate cancer (at age 55).
Special topics for men include family planning and birth control, including the option of vasectomy. Men may need to screen for cardiovascular disease and urologic problems.
Preventive care for us all:
Regular physical exams and eye exams are important to catch new developments. Immunizations for everyone include tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, which are managed together; shingles (age 60 or up); and pneumococcal (65).
One last thought: Urinary incontinence is very common among adults, especially over age 65. It’s not something you have to put up with; it is treatable and can be controlled or even cured.
Your situation may differ, so talk with your doctor about which health maintenance measures you need.
It’s a lot to keep track of!
Our primary care doctors practice preventive medicine with their patients every day. They make sure patients get the right care at the right time. Take the time to build a long-term relationship with your doctor so that your health can flourish.
—PacMed Primary Care team
Pacific Medical Centers
Primary and specialty care for over 35 years
Clinics in Lynnwood, Northgate, Bothell + 6 more neighborhoods. Learn more at www.PacMed.org