Prevention Guidelines

While there's not one definitive approach to preventive care, medical experts have developed guidelines for testing and screenings in hopes of catching concerns while they are still treatable. Your family history and new research can lead to your doctor adding and subtracting from the recommendations, a fact you should keep in mind before deciding which tests you want to take.

In general, the following testing and screening recommendations from the United States Preventive Services Task Force can keep you on track:

  • Blood pressure check
  • Bone density test (screening for osteoporosis)
  • Breast cancer screening (physical exams and mammograms/ultrasounds)
  • Cervical cancer screening (PAP test)
  • Cholesterol test
  • Chlamydia (if sexually active)
  • Colorectal cancer screening (fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy)
  • Diabetes screening
  • Eye exam/glaucoma testing
  • Gonorrhea testing (if sexually active)
  • HIV testing (if sexually active)
  • Syphilis test (if sexually active)
  • Vitamin D levels

You should also talk honestly with your doctor about alcohol and drug use, signs of depression, weight concerns, and exercise.