You might not think that preventative care is very important or that it can provide you with any noticeable benefits. So, you might choose not to go to your primary care physician for your annual physical. The truth is, however, preventative healthcare can save you from a host of preventable illnesses down the road.
That’s why our team at Omni-Med Family Care & Urgent Care in Florham Park, New Jersey, has compiled this helpful guide to explain just why annual physical exams are so important.
The importance of early detection
We tend to think that chronic illnesses are reserved for the elderly. But the truth of the matter is, you can develop health problems at any time, no matter your age.
Early detection is the key to catching and treating illnesses in the early stages. So, you’ll want to make sure that you visit your primary care physician every year in order to get your health condition assessed. This is also a great time to tell your doctor about any health issues or symptoms you’ve been experiencing.
What happens during your annual physical
During your annual physical, Dr. Roger DiRuggiero asks about your family’s medical history and any current medical conditions you may have. He then conducts a complete physical examination of your body, including heart, throat, eyes, and general reflexes.
Finally, Dr. DiRuggiero determines which preventative tests are right for you. These tests help catch developing health problems early on, including:
- Blood pressure test - With this test, we measure the pressure of your blood as it pulses through your arteries to see if you have high or low blood pressure. High blood pressure, also known as the “silent killer,” poses many dangers to your heart and overall health, and the best way to detect it is by getting tested.
- Body mass index (BMI) - A number that’s calculated using your height and weight, which helps to determine if your weight is healthy. Being overweight places you at risk for developing a number of health problems, like heart disease and diabetes.
- Blood glucose test - This test screens for prediabetes and diabetes by checking if your body is processing blood sugar properly.
- Cholesterol test - This test tells us if your cholesterol is normal. High cholesterol places you at risk for developing atherosclerosis, which can lead to a stroke.
- Skin cancer test - A full-body exam that looks for any irregular moles or growths on your skin that may be cancerous.
- Breast exam - With this test, we look for lumps in your breasts or irregularities in your breast skin which may be cancerous.
- Prostate exam - With this test we make sure that you don’t have any signs of prostate cancer. We may also order a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test.
- Gynecological exam - This exam makes sure your reproductive system is healthy. We usually also perform a Pap smear every three years to check for abnormal cells that could be cervical cancer.
Take charge of your health today
As you can see, an annual physical helps detect some pretty serious chronic illnesses. Don’t wait until you get sick to see the doctor--take charge of your health now with early detection and preventative care.
If you’d like to schedule an appointment for your annual physical with Dr. DiRuggiero today, call 973-377-8776 or book an appointment online.