New Health: New Year! #NewYearNewYou

You’re in good health. You physically feel fine.

No colds and other medical ailments to date.

So, why should you see a doctor and/or specialist for annual check-up, testings or screenings?

Getting annual check-ups, testings and/or screenings can inform, alert or provide insights of one’s health. Most people only have a test or screening if they have symptoms or risks factors. But in short, some medical issues come with little to no symptoms, while others can lay dormant and quiet for years without any precursors. For example, some common medical conditions including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes come with little to no signs or warnings, but usually made aware out of the result of another compromising factor.

However, other more pressing medical conditions such as HPV, skin & melanoma and cancers can linger for durations of period within the body and without warnings.The key with managing these and many other diseases and conditions is to catch them early so they be managed and kept under control before they become serious threats to your health

Age, Gender & Extracurricular Factors Play Risks:
A lot of what happens during your annual physical will depend on your age, gender, medical history and risk factors. Your doctor will check the condition of your heart, lungs, circulatory system and auditory system. You may need blood tests as follow-up.

Are your immunizations up-to-date? Some vaccinations you had as a child may require boosters, Nothstein said. Depending on your age, your doctor also may recommend you get vaccinated against shingles, hepatitis A and B, human papilloma virus and pneumonia.

If you were born between 1945 and 1965, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you be screened for Hepatitis C.

At your annual physical, your doctor also will check your height and weight and discuss lifestyle habits that can improve your health such as eating a heart-healthy diet and getting regular exercise.

Cancer Screenings are Vital.
In addition to your annual physical, it’s important you adhere to recommended cancer screenings for your age and gender. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has concluded there is not enough evidence to recommend for or against routine screening (total body examination by a doctor) to find skin cancers early for people who do not have a history of skin cancer and who do not have any suspicious moles or other spots. All others, report any unusual moles or changes in your skin to your doctor. Also talk to your doctor if you are at increased risk of skin cancer.

Each year more than a million people in the United States are diagnosed with the most common forms of skin cancer — basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma — which together are known as non-melanoma skin cancers. Fortunately there are ways to detect most non-melanoma skin cancers early, when they are curable.

  • Those at age 50, people should go for a colonoscopy, a screening of the colon for colorectal cancer. A colonoscopy can “find polyps before they become cancerous,”
  • Women over age 21 should have pap smears to detect cervical cancer every three to five years before any abnormal findings “become something more worrisome.”
  • Most women at low to average risk should have annual mammograms starting at age 50; however, this can be performed earlier for women at higher risk.

Genital human papilloma virus (HPV) is a very common virus. Some doctors think it’s almost as common as the cold virus. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that about 14 million people get a new HPV infection every year in the US. HPV vaccines can prevent infection with the types of HPV most likely to cause cancer and genital warts

  • Eighty-eight percent to 94% of anal carcinomas are associated with HPV,13
  • There is currently no widely recognized role for HPV testing in men. Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend anal cytology screening, other organizations such as the New York State Department of Health do recommend annual anal cytology for MSM and any HIV-positive patients with a history of anogenital condyloma.
    • Screening measures, including anal cytology, should be considered for this population in settings where appropriate follow-up is available, including high-resolution anoscopy and treatment of biopsy-proved AIN.
  • In women, the HPV test checks for the virus, not cell changes. The test can be done at the same time as the Pap test, with the same swab or a second swab. You won’t notice a difference in your exam if you have both tests. A Pap test plus an HPV test (called co-testing) is the preferred way to find early cervical cancers or pre-cancers in women 30 and older.
  • The American Cancer Society recommends that women aged 30 to 65 have an HPV test with their Pap test (co-testing) every 5 years to test for cervical cancer. Talk to your healthcare provider about co- testing. It’s also OK to continue just to have Pap tests every 3 years.

Men are encouraged to have a prostate-specific antigen blood test and digital rectal exam to look for early signs of prostate cancer.

Sexual Testing & Screenings.

Young adults under 25 have the highest rates of STIs, but you can get an STI at any point of age. The most common STIs include chlamydia, gonorrhoea, herpes, syphilis and genital, anal, or penile warts

According to a latest studies which states that the number of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among the 50 to 70 age group have soared by 38% in the last three years.

STI is an infection that you get from another person during sexual activity. Often this means that the virus, parasite, or bacteria is living in your sexual partner’s semen or vaginal fluid and gets into your body through your vagina, the urethra of your penis, your anus, or your mouth, but some are transmitted through skin to skin contact.

STIs only show up on the tests a few weeks after a potential incident. This is because these tests often aren’t looking for the virus or bacteria in your body. Instead, they search for the antibodies your immune system has created to fight off the invading infection. It takes your body a few days to create these antibodies, which means it takes time for the test to pick up on them.

Each STI has a different lag time between when you get it and when it will show up on a test. You can test positive for gonorrhea or chlamydia in two weeks. Syphilis can show up in one week or take three months to surface on a test. HIV and Hepatitis B and C can show up as early as one month on a rapid test (the one that takes 20 minutes to get results), but in certain cases it can take six months to show.

Special Testing & Physicals.

Some 30 million women in the United States have hereditary hair loss (compared with 50 million men), according to the American Academy of Dermatology, though that figure does not include the millions more who struggle with thinning hair because of pregnancy, menopause, stress and other health conditions.

Platelet-rich plasma showing promising results treating hair loss. The non-surgical procedure uses platelet-rich plasma known as PRP. PRP is taken directly from the patient’s blood, then placed in a machine where it spins and separates. The platelets contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors which help heal injuries. For years, platelet-rich plasma has been used to treat tendon injuries in famous athletes like Tiger Woods and Victor Cruz. But now, doctors are using the healing properties to help regrow hair.

Studies show PRP works best in thinning hair. PRP Patients can expect 25-25% more growth and increased thickness in existing hair after treatment.

Currently Advanced Dermatology Associates is offering Free PRP Hair Restoration Therapy Consultations at 200 Central Park South, Suite 107. To schedule: prp.advderm@gmail.com

The art of living your optimum health started yesterday. The key with living your best life with many diseases and conditions is to catch them early so they be managed and kept under control before they become serious threats to your health.

#NewYearNewYou - Annual Checkups

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