Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital
What does it mean to get screened? A screening is a test or exam to check for conditions or diseases before there are any signs or symptoms. Screenings can find diseases early, when they may be easier to treat. It is a great way to be proactive about your health and possibly find risk factors for disease or injury.
Should I get screened? Depending on age, sex, health status, or family history of certain diseases, consider talking with your primary care doctor about the pros and cons of getting a recommended screening test.
What types of screenings are available? Examples of common screenings based on age, sex and medical history include certain types of cancers, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, diabetes, osteoporosis (weak bones), sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and hearing or vision loss.
What screenings are recommended?
Men: Screening for high blood pressure is recommended every two years beginning at age 18. Men 35 years of age and older should have their cholesterol checked starting at 35. Testing for HIV starts at 18 years of age. Screening for overweight and obesity starts at age 18 and is checked each year. Men age 50-75 should be screened for colon cancer. For some men, the above screenings could be completed more or less often. Talk with your provider about what is appropriate for you.
Additional guidance specific to men can be found here: http://www.prevention.va.gov/Healthy_Living/Get_Recommended_Screening_Tests_and_Immunizations_for_Men.asp
Women: Screening for cervical cancer is recommended every three years (ages 21-29) and every three or five years between the ages of 30 and 65. Beginning at age 50 and continuing to age 75, screening for colon cancer is suggested. High blood pressure is monitored every two years beginning at age 18. Screening for HIV infection begins at age 18 and might be recommended based on sexual activity. Similar to men, screening for overweight and obesity occurs every year starting at age 18. Talk with your doctor about additional screening for sexually transmitted infections including gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis. At age 65, women should be screened for osteoporosis. For some women, the above screenings could be completed more or less often. Talk with your provider about what is appropriate for you.
Additional guidance specific to women can be found here: http://www.prevention.va.gov/Healthy_Living/Get_Recommended_Screening_Tests_and_Immunizations_for_Women.asp
Regardless of age, gender, health status, and family history, screening for alcohol abuse, depression, high blood pressure, HIV, military sexual trauma, obesity, PTSD, and tobacco use is strongly recommended.