The holidays are coming to an end and it is time to start over with a happy New Year. Many use this time of new beginnings and resolutions to focus on their health in order to lose weight, start exercising, eat more vegetables and drink more water.
As a starting point, make sure to request these five tests from your health care provider, and then go get them done. It is time to stop procrastinating and make these priorities.
1) Get your mammogram.
Many women are concerned about the radiation exposure or the fear that something might be found. However, stage I breast cancer has a 100 percent 5-year survival rate and stage II has a 93 percent 5-year survival rate, according to the American Cancer Society.
As mammograms are now covered by insurance under preventive services, there is no excuse not to have your breasts checked out. The current recommendation is to do this every two years starting at 40 years old (unless other risk factors dictate yearly) then yearly once a women reaches 50 years old.
2) Get your colonoscopy.
As intimidating and unpleasant as it may sound, this is the primary way to evaluate for colon cancer or polyps and needs to start at 50 years old. Someone who has a personal history of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps, ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, or a family history of colorectal cancer will need to start sooner.
Make the appointment, do the prep and get it over with. A normal result means you do not have to do it for another 10 years.
3) Do a fasting blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c.
These tests evaluate for diabetes or pre-diabetes. Normal blood glucose should be between 75-99mg/dL while pre-diabetes falls between 100-125 mg/dL, and 126 mg/dL and above is considered diabetes.
A pre-diabetic hemoglobin A1c is between 5.7-6.4 percent while 6.5 percent and above, on two separate tests, is considered diabetic. Understand your numbers as diabetes can cause a lot of damage and lead to serious health consequences, but remember that with changes in diet and exercise may be prevented.
4) Get an eye exam.