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Health screening tests can increase your chances of identifying medical problems in their early stages.

Medical screening tests are an important way to catch health problems early. Early detection often means a better prognosis. The tests recommended below are general guidelines. Keep in mind, it is best to follow the recommendations of your physician.

Tests Men and Women Should Undergo in Their 20s and 30s

Young adults may not realize several types of health screening tests are recommended for adults in their twenties and thirties. Your young adult years are often filled with completing your education, building a career and starting a family. Life gets busy, and health tests may take a back seat to everyday responsibilities.

But the health screenings listed below are quick and can detect problems while they are still in their early stages.

Oral Cancer Screening: Oral cancer is on the rise. In addition to smoking, being infected with the HPV virus appears to be a risk factor.

The screening can be performed at an annual physical or a routine dental exam.

 It involves a visual inspection of your mouth, gums and tongue. It is recommended for all adults over the age of 18 annually.

Cholesterol Screening:  Cholesterol is fatty proteins, which can build up in your bloodstream and stick to the walls of your arteries. Cholesterol can be confusing since there is both good and bad cholesterol. Good cholesterol, known as HDL, protects you from heart disease. Bad cholesterol, which is LDL, is what can lead to heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends starting at age 20 adults have their cholesterol checked through a blood test. If levels are within normal limits, the test should be repeated every few years.

Blood Pressure Test: High blood pressure can affect people of every age. It is one of the main causes of strokes and can also lead to eye problems and kidney disease. Blood pressure measurements are often part of a regular doctor’s visit and are quick and noninvasive. Doctors recommend adults have their blood pressure checked every year.

Health Screenings for Men and Women in Their 40s, 50s and Beyond

Diabetes Screening: Type 2 diabetes can lead to kidney failure, heart disease, vision problems and other health complications. Early detection, when a person is considered a pre-diabetic, is helpful to try to reverse the condition with lifestyle changes. The American Diabetes Association recommends adults over the age of 45 are screened for diabetes every two years. The test involves a simple blood draw.

Colonoscopy: Colon cancer is the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in the U.S., according to John Hopkins Medical Center. A colonoscopy is a procedure, which allows a physician to view your colon. If polyps, which can be precancerous, are found they are removed before they develop into cancer.

The American Cancer Society recommends both men and women have a colonoscopy at the age of 50.

Thyroid Test: Thyroid diseases including both low and hyperactive thyroid problems becomes more common as people age. A thyroid stimulating hormone test is recommended for adults every five years starting at age 50. The test involves a blood draw to check thyroid hormone levels.   

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