Preventative Medicine Guidelines

Preventive medicine is very important.  Our doctors recommend the following schedule to stay healthy.  Please check with your insurance company for coverage of these services.

For Everyone

Complete Physical Examinations

Physicals are recommended every three years until age 50, then annually thereafter.  This doesn’t mean that patients should only be seen every three years. If you are being treated for diabetes, high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol, please make an appointment every six months.

Vaccinations

  • Tetanus (TdaP) booster every ten years.
  • Prevnar 13 is given at age 65, then Pneumovax (pneumonia) one year later.    In diabetics or asthmatics, the vaccine can be given earlier.
  • Zostavax (shingles vaccine) once from age 50 if the person has not had shingles.
  • Gardasil vaccination is recommended for both males and females from age 9-26. It prevents infection with HPV (human papilloma virus), the virus that causes most cases of cervical cancer.

Read more on our Vaccines page.

Bone Density

Bone Density tests are recommended for women age 65 and up, approximately every 3-5 years.  Younger if risk factors for osteoporosis, such as being on prednisone chronically. and early menopause, smoking

Colon Cancer Screening

Colonoscopy is recommended every ten years from age 50 but will be initiated at an earlier age if there are symptoms of colon disorders such as diarrhea, constipation, rectal bleeding, or if there is a family history of colon cancer.  Alternatively, a fecal immunochemical test for blood in the stool (FIT test) can be done annually.  We prefer colonoscopy as it’s a direct look into the colon.

Lung Cancer Screening (Current or Former Smokers)

Recommenced  for men and women aged 55-80.  Also, current smokers or former smokers, who quit no more than 15 years ago, with at lease a 30-year pack smoking history (Meaning you have smoked the equivalent of at lease one pack of cigarettes per day for 30 years, or tow packs per day for 15 yeas.

 

For Women

Mammograms

We individualize recommendations.  Screening is now recommended starting at age 45 or 50.  The American Cancer Society recommends one every one to two years from age 45: US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation is for every 2 years from age 50.

Clinical Breast Exam

A clinical breast exam (CBE), performed by a health care provider, should be part of a physical, about every 3 years for women in their 20’s and 30’s and every year for women 40 and over.

Pap Tests

Pap tests are started at age 21 and performed every three years. Between the ages of 30-65 pap tests are preformed every five years. HPV screening should be done with the pap test.  They are generally stopped at age 65 with adequate negative results. Screening should occur more frequently in women who have established risk factors for cervical cancer.  If there’s ever any abnormal bleeding at any age, an examination is necessary.

For Men

Aortic aneurysm screening

The USPSTF recommends a one time screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) with ultrasound in men ages 65 to 75 who have ever smoking.

PSA (Prostate specific antigen)

No current guidelines exist to recommend a screening at this time, but we individualize recommendations based on a person’s history, symptoms and personal preferences. This is because of the concern of detecting prostate cancers that never would have made a man ill. Instead, a man should discuss his own prostate risk with his physician to make an informed decision on whether or not he should choose prostate cancer screening.  We recommend checking a PSA blood test if there are any symptoms of prostate disease, such as difficulty in emptying the bladder.  Additionally we check a PSA if there is a history of prostate disease.  A prostate rectal examination is generally started at age 40.