Stay up to Date with Your Health This Year and Schedule Your Annual Physical Exam

annual exam, physical, Danvers Family Doctors, P.C

Many men and women overlook the importance of scheduling an annual physical exam, especially if they are feeling good and have no health complaints or issues. But many health conditions and chronic diseases have no symptoms until they are advanced. An annual physical exam can help you and your health provider detect these conditions early on when they’re easier to treat and manage. That’s why we at Danvers Family Doctors, P.C., urge you to schedule your annual physical today.

About a third of people living with a chronic disease are not aware that they have one. For example, did you know that high blood pressure, which affects about 30% of Americans, is called the “silent killer”?

High blood pressure, or hypertension, earned that nickname because the condition often has no symptoms — until it has already wreaked havoc on your heart and arteries. The only way to know your blood pressure is to have it measured, which is part of an annual physical exam.

Other ways an annual physical exam can help you stay on top of your health include:

Scheduling the right screenings and tests

As you get older, you’re more prone to certain conditions such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure. When you see a health care professional every year for a physical exam, your provider can order the right tests for you based on your age and health. So if you have a family history of certain diseases, your doctor will know which tests to order at the right time.

For example, most adults are encouraged to get a colonoscopy, which is a screening for colorectal cancer, at age 50. But if you have a family history of colon cancer, you should get that particular screening before you turn 50.

Sharing any questions or concerns

While you might feel great today, you may have had a cough that lasted months toward the end of last year. Or maybe you’ve been wondering why you’re sleeping more or gaining or losing weight. Your annual physical is an optimal time to share your health concerns or ask questions so that you and your provider are adequately monitoring your health.

Staying on top of your vaccinations

Are you up on all your vaccinations? Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you don’t need vaccinations to protect you against certain health conditions.

An annual flu shot can help you fight off the flu or shorten a flu episode if you do catch it. Adults over 50 should also get two shingles vaccines, and you need a tetanus booster every 10 years.

Catching health conditions early

If you see your provider for an annual physical exam, they are able to note if there have been any changes to your health since your previous exam that may signal a problem or a disease at its earliest stage. Early diagnosis means early treatment and a higher survival rate for many cancers and other health conditions.

For more information or to schedule your annual physical exam, call us at Danvers Family Doctors, D.C., in Danvers, Massachusetts.

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