Dr. Daveâs Annual Exam Guide
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AND BEYOND

Glucose (Fasting Blood Test): Every 2 years to check for signs of diabetes. If your results are abnormal or you have a family history of diabetes, talk to your doctor about frequency of subsequent tests.

Weight and BMI: At least once a year

Blood pressure: At least once a year

Cholesterol (Fasting Blood Test): Every 3–5 years. If your test results are abnormal, you take cholesterol medication or have a family history of heart disease, ask if you should be checked more frequently.

Skin Exam: At least every 3 years. in addition, your primary doctor should do a general survey of your skin at each annual visit. Point out any new, abnormal or unusual moles, tags or other problems.

Fecal Occult Blood Test: Every year. This is a simple test, usually done in the office, that looks for tiny amounts of blood in the stool that may signal early colon cancer.

Colorectal Cancer Test (aka Colonoscopy): Every 5–10 years or earlier for those with clinical indications, family history or abnormal fecal occult blood results.

Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone Test: Every 3–5 years, starting at age 65, sooner or more frequently for those who have an abnormal exam or a family history of thyroid disease.

Women’s Pelvic Exam: Every year. It is completely separate from a Pap smear.

Women’s Pap Smear Test: Every year to help prevent cervical cancer or catch it early.

Women’s Mammogram: Every year. Family history is the most important risk factor.

Women’s Bone Mineral Density Test: Once to serve as a baseline after the age of 60 to detect signs of osteoporosis early.

Men’s Testicular Exam: Every 1–2 years.

Men’s Digital Rectal Exam: Your doctor will determine how often this will be done.

Men’s Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Blood Test: Every year. If you have 1 first-degree relative (brother, father) with prostate cancer before age 65, your screening should start at age 45. If you have 2 relatives with it, your screening should start at 40.

Dave Montgomery, M.D., Ph.D., is a board-certified physician and EBONY's Special Contributing Health Editor. You can find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter:@DMontgomeryMD. Send your health questions to drdave@ebony.com