While it’s hard to make time for all of the things you “should” do on top of all the things you must do, it’s important to prioritize a physical exam at least once each year. Even though going to the doctor seems like something only necessary when you’re feeling ill, regular visits can catch serious diseases before they fully develop, provide baselines to compare with later, and build a relationship with your practitioner. Did you know that most insurances do not require any copays for a preventative well woman exam?
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologist still recommends an annual well woman exam. In this visit the provider will perform a breast and detailed pelvic exam, as well as evaluate your BMI and blood pressure. Even though the collection of the Pap smear may not be recommended yearly for everyone, you still have breasts, a bladder, and vagina that require a physician’s attention.
Identifying risk factors for disease and adjusting your lifestyle through discussion with your healthcare provider at an annual exam can be life-changing. Whether for a common diagnosis such as diabetes or a more immediately life-threatening one such as a type of cancer, your doctor can watch carefully for signs. If you go each year, your physician can use previous years to compare your screening results and measurements, ensuring the most accurate findings. Having a good relationship with your doctor,
whether specialist or family doctor, can help you feel comfortable with any proceedings.
Consider these statistics:
- One in three women will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in the U.S. in their lifetime.
- Heart disease and lower respiratory diseases were two of the three leading causes of death in the U.S. in 2010.
- More than 25 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, with an estimated seven million of that number undiagnosed.
- About 40,000 women are estimated to die from breast cancer in 2013.
Knowing your doctor well and visiting annually for a check-up will help you stay ahead of any health developments you might not yet detect, and help you come up with the best plan to continue to live a healthy, hearty life.
Make it your goal for 2014 to get all of the recommended testing done, starting with your annual gynecological exam. Schedule your appointment with us by January 31 and you’ll be entered to win a $25 Amazon gift card.