For many people, physicals are an unpleasant annual event. They’re uncomfortable and time-consuming, not to mention the fact that they usually result in a list of things your doctor wants you to change about your lifestyle. But if you want to live long and prosper (physically), it’s essential to make sure you stay on top of all necessary health screenings–especially those for cancer. With some simple changes, your annual physical and tests can be a painless experience instead of a dreaded one!
1. Help Detect Cancer Early
A physical can help your doctor identify cancerous cells early on, which is key to quickly stopping the disease in its tracks. Most people don’t realize that cancer is actually a type of disease and not just one big mass. As such, it’s made up of many individual cells which grow into tumors or masses throughout the body if they’re left untreated for too long. Early detection during physicals can help prevent these cells from becoming “invasive” (forming new colonies within the body).
2. Catch Other Chronic Diseases During Their Infancy
By the time you are experiencing symptoms of most chronic diseases, they have likely been developing for quite some time. For this reason, it’s crucial to stay on top of screenings that can help catch them before they become major issues–which is why annual physicals are so vital! Common chronic diseases include diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.
If caught early enough, many of these ailments can be treated more quickly or even reversed with lifestyle changes–which is something you are much more likely to make when the problem is not too advanced!
3. Update Vaccinations
Vaccinations are not only for kids! People of all ages can potentially benefit from these shots, which is why it’s essential to schedule an annual physical so your doctor can update any necessary vaccinations. The most common vaccinations include HPV vaccine, flu vaccine, Covid-19 vaccine, Tdap vaccine, pneumonia vaccine, hepatitis B vaccine, shingles vaccine, and more. Receiving these shots can help protect you from contracting severe diseases which could otherwise be life-threatening.
4. Update Your Medical Records
There are a lot of health changes that can happen within a year. This is why it is necessary to go for an annual health checkup. Ensure you are open with your doctor on any health developments and update them on medications, supplements, vitamins, and any other treatments you have undergone. You can also update your medical records with any new diagnosis or chronic conditions you may be dealing with. Also, if asked about your social history, keep your doctor in the loop on your lifestyle changes like smoking, drinking, and sexual activity.
5. Save Money
Health insurance providers usually cover most of the costs associated with annual physicals. In fact, some even incentivize you to get checked by providing a discount on your monthly premiums! Not only that but getting regular checkups can help catch problems early before they become costly emergencies down the road.
6. Build a Strong Relationship with Your Doctor
Going to the doctor can be an uncomfortable experience for some. However, if you make it a point to go in regularly (at least annually), your relationship with your physician will likely improve over time. That’s because he or she will get familiar with all aspects of your health history–which makes it easier to pinpoint potential issues!