New Year. New Health. New You.
With many people looking forward to the end of 2020, and the fresh start promise that comes with a new year in 2021, the time is now to make good decisions to ensure the new year is happy and healthy. Comprehensive Cancer Centers has some helpful guidelines to start the new year off right, by doing some planning now to make life easier and healthier in 2021.
Set Your Appointments and Screenings Now
With government directives constantly changing and medical practices having to adapt, the end of the year is a good time to chart out what doctor’s appointments you and your family will need in the new year. Once you have that mapped out, make a few quick calls, or website visits, to set appointment while schedules are more open.
Comprehensive recommends men and women set up screenings and tests based on their ages and family histories with these guidelines in mind:
Regular Check Ups – No matter what your age, it’s important to have an annual checkup with your doctor. If you don’t have a doctor you see regularly, find one and start to build a relationship. This is helpful for baselines that can be monitored each year to see if anything out of the ordinary is found. Regular checkups include blood pressure screenings, cholesterol level tests, diabetes test. Annuals should include dental and eye screenings. And always plan on getting your flu shot in the fall.
Women’s Healthcare Screenings and Exams – Annuals exams for women should also regular gynecological exams for women as well as mammograms and self-breast exams depending on age and health history.
Prostate Cancer Screenings – Age 50 when men should be talking to their healthcare provider about Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) testing. For African American men, these discussions should start even earlier at age 45. Men with a strong family history should also begin discussions with their physicians at age 45.
Testicular Cancer Screenings – The good news for these tests is they’re self-administered at first. You can just set up an Outlook or other email client calendar appointment to do these once per month. If anything unusual presents, then make sure to call your doctor immediate for a thorough exam.
Lung Cancer Screenings – Lung cancer is more likely to be successfully treated when found at an earlier stage. Comprehensive Cancer Centers follows the recommendations of the American Cancer Society and recommends lung cancer screening for people who are at higher risk. Elevated risk groups include former smokers between the ages of 55-74. This group should get yearly lung cancer screening with LDCT scans, which is offered at Comprehensive.
Skin Cancer Screenings – Comprehensive encourages everyone to set up annual full body skin exams. The exams also provide an important baseline of information about your skin a dermatologist can reference when you see them next year.
Cancer Genetic Counseling – Comprehensive Cancer Centers offers cancer genetic counseling services where our cancer genetic nurse practitioners, Claudine Bae, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC and Barbara Caldwell, MSN, APRN, can provide a thorough consultation and put together a comprehensive medical care plan tailored to the individual and their family if personal or family histories show potential for risks.
Other Ways to Make the Most of the New Year
As you get ready to enter the new year, just a little preparation with screenings and doctor’s appointments already set up, being ready to make some simple lifestyle changes will have you set up for success including:
Being Sun Smart – Wear sunscreen; limit yourself to no more than 15 minutes a day without sunscreen outside. If you are out longer, apply an SPF of 30 and reapply often. And when making outdoors plan, plan for the sun to make sure you have access to a had to protect your head, sunglasses for your eyes and access to plenty of shade on sunny days.
Eat Smarter – Plan on eating a little less food that you know is not healthy and more food that is good for you. For tips on how to improve your diet, while also enjoying tasty food, check out Comprehensive’s recipes list.
Comprehensive Cancer Centers Can Help
Physicians at Comprehensive Cancer Centers provide a variety of treatment options for patients who’ve been referred to the practice by a patient’s primary physician. To schedule an appointment with the team at Comprehensive, please call 702-952-3350.
The content is this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.