Schedule Your Annual Physical Now
Your annual check-up is an important measurement for your health. Get to know your health status by getting a wellness physical at RWJB Renaissance Primary Care.
Physicals Emphasize Prevention
The annual physical exam is a great opportunity to focus your attention on prevention and screening.
For example, at age 50, it’s time to begin regular screening for colorectal cancer. People with immediate family members with colorectal cancer or other risk factors may need to be screened before age 50.
For some women, age 40 marks the time to begin annual mammogram screening for breast cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends that Women ages 40 to 44 should have the choice to start mammograms if they wish to do so. Women age 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year while women 55 and older should switch to mammograms every 2 years, or can continue yearly screening.
What to Expect During Your Visit
The doctor will review your vaccination status and update your personal and family medical history, as well as review your lifestyle behaviors such as smoking, diet and exercise. In addition, the doctor will address and concerns you have about your health.
These are some vital signs checked by your doctor:
Temperature: 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit is the average, but healthy people can have resting temperatures slightly higher or lower.
Blood pressure: Less than 120 over less than 80 is a normal blood pressure. Doctors define high blood pressure (hypertension) as 130 over 80 or higher.
Heart Exam: Listening to your heart with a stethoscope, a doctor might detect an irregular heartbeat, a heart murmur, or other clues to heart disease.
In addition, the doctor may check other vitals such as heart rate and respiration rate, and perform a lung exam and head and neck exam.
Your doctor may order the following laboratory tests:
A Complete Blood Count (CBC) includes several tests that evaluate the cells that circulate in blood, including red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), and platelets (PLTs). The CBC can evaluate your overall health and detect a variety of diseases and conditions, such as infections and anemia.
A Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP) provides information about the current health of your kidneys and respiratory system as well as electrolyte and acid/base balance and level of blood glucose.
A screening lipid panel, or cholesterol test, is recommended every few years, according to the American Heart Association. Your doctor might check more frequently if you have risk factors for heart disease. Abnormal cholesterol levels increase the risk for heart attacks and strokes.
If you are overweight or have any risk factors for diabetes, your blood sugar will likely be checked. The American Diabetes Association recommends that all adults, beginning at age 45, should be tested for diabetes — regardless of weight.