Go to homepage
ISMA Resources

Periodic examinations

Periodic examinations benefit people by preventing disease, detecting illness in an early stage and promoting health through education.

The recommendations offered here are general guidelines and vary according to age, overall health and your physician recommendations.

  • Medical history and physical examination should probably be done every 5 to 10 years for people between the ages of 20 and 40 and annually after age 40.

  • Blood pressurecheck should be done every five years between ages 20 and 40, and annually thereafter.

  • Breast exam to screen for cancer should be done by a physician at least every three years between ages 20 and 35, and annually thereafter. Women should perform monthly self exams beginning at age 30.

  • Pelvic exam to screen for ovarian and other gynecological cancers should be done at least every one to two years between ages 20 and 65.

  • Rectal exam to screen for rectal cancer and for prostate cancer in males should be done every one to two years after age 40, and annually after age 50.

  • Testicle exam to screen for cancer should be done monthly by men followed by a physician exam if any abnormalities are detected.

  • PAP smear to screen for cancer of the cervix should be done annually on high-risk women (based on factors like intercourse at an early age, multiple sexual partners, genital herpes, genital warts and prior abnormal PAP smear) between ages 20 and 65, at least every two years for women at low risk who are between ages 20 and 65, and at a physician’s discretion thereafter.

  • Stool screening for occult blood (invisible blood) to detect colon cancer should be done annually after age 40.

  • Mammography or X-ray of the breast usually should be done annually after age 40.

  • Cholesterol level check should be done at age 20 and every five to 10 years thereafter.

  • Thyroid function test should be done at age 20 and every five to 10 years thereafter.

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG) should be done once between ages 20 and 40, every five to 10 years after age 40, and more often in some patients with heart disease.

  • Tuberculosis skin test should be done at age 20 if not sooner and repeated at the physician’s discretion.

  • Syphilis screen should be done at age 20 and repeated at the physician’s discretion.

  • Rubella titer should be measured at age 20 in women if not done sooner. Vaccine is recommended for women who have not had rubella and plan future pregnancies.

  • Dental exam should be obtained every year or two to detect gum disease or tooth decay. Brush daily and floss regularly to decrease your risk for dental problems.

  • Eye exams should be done every year or two after age 40.

  • Other tests commonly performed periodically by physicians include survey of blood chemicals, complete blood counts, urinalysis and chest X-rays

<< Back to Health Habits main page

Copyright: Information written and displayed on www.ismanet.org is the property of ISMA and may not be reproduced without expressed written permission of the Indiana State Medical Association.

For a more detailed sitemap click here.