When was the last time you went to see your family doctor? Have you been in for your yearly check-up or scheduled your well-visit for 2021? If you can’t remember the last time you sat face-to-face with your primary care doctor, you might want to make an appointment soon.
You are the best person to advocate for your health. When you are proactive and seek preventative care, it can keep you feeling your best for longer. It’s no secret that when you hit a certain age, you’re going to start having tests run to ensure you’re at your optimum health. Ask your doctor about these five tests that could save your life, and if you might want to consider them.
CT Calcium Scoring
There’s no way to totally prevent a heart attack, but catching the risks early can save your life. With a CT Calcium Scoring, also known as a Coronary Calcium Screening, you can calculate your risk of having a heart attack. This could help you adjust to a healthy lifestyle or have corrective surgery to reduce the risk.
Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in America. By the time you’re through just this section, a person will have died from heart disease. 1 in 4 deaths are attributed to heart disease.
You can take a lot of steps to improve your health and prevent heart disease, like:
- Keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol in check
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Exercise regularly
- Eat a healthy diet
- Manage your stress levels
- Limit your alcohol intake and don’t smoke or use tobacco products
Speak with your primary care doctor about having a Cardiac CT Calcium Scoring to assess your risk for heart attack. He or she will need to send a referral to NMC Health. We will then call you to schedule your appointment.
When you have a CT Calcium Scoring at NMC Health, you can expect a smooth, efficient process. This simple imaging test will take an x-ray of your heart. It should only take about 10 minutes and the results will be sent directly to your doctor.
For those paying out of pocket or who do not want to use their health insurance, MDsave offers deals and discounts when you purchase a voucher through our partnership with the company.
If you’d like more information about getting a coronary calcium screening at NMC Health, please call our Imaging Department at (316) 804-6170.
Colonoscopies tend to be a routine procedure that most people get around the age of 45, and then every 10 years after that. If you have a family history of colon cancer, your doctor may want you to be tested sooner, or more frequently.
Colorectal Cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. 1 in 23 men and 1 in 24 women will develop colorectal cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 53,000 people are expected to die in 2021 from colorectal cancer.
Colonoscopies are one way to screen for colon cancer and other bowel issues. A colonoscopy is when a surgeon looks inside of your body with a long, thin camera and makes sure your bowels and intestines are functioning normally. During the procedure, you are under general anesthesia, which means you’ll be put to sleep and shouldn’t remember anything!
NMC Health has an expert team of board-certified general surgeons who do routine colonoscopies. You can make an appointment through NMC Health Surgical Specialists or have your family doctor send over a referral, if your insurance requires it. For those paying out of pocket, you can purchase a voucher through the MDsave website and save hundreds on routine medical procedures.
If you’re a woman, you know that at the age of 45, you’ll start getting regular, routine mammograms to promote breast health and screen for breast cancer. What you might not know is that men may need to get them too.
If you’re a man and you have risk factors or symptoms of breast cancer, you’ll want to speak with your doctor. 1% of all breast cancer patients are men. The most common symptom of male breast cancer is the same as breast cancer in women: a lump or a mass in the breast. It can also include nipple discharge, pain and changes in the look or feel of your breast tissue.
About 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer. According to breastcancer.org, more than 43,000 women are expected to die in 2021 from breast cancer. The World Health Organization says breast cancer has become the most common cancer in the world as of 2021.
Mammograms are a great way to screen for breast cancer and see inside the breast. To be proactive and notice changes early, you should do regular breast self-exams or peck checks. Use these steps to check yourself:
- Check your breasts in the shower by feeling around both breasts with your fingertips.
- Check yourself in front of a mirror and look for any changes in your breasts when you raise your hands above your head.
- Check yourself lying down. Put your arm under your head and feel one breast with your opposite hand for any changes. Repeat on the other side.
Complete a breast self-exam every month. For women, doing so after your period will help your breasts not be as swollen or sore.
Imaging Services at NMC Health include a specialized Breast Imaging Center. Here, you’ll be taken back to a discrete room to have your mammogram, away from most other imaging procedures. Our expert team understands the intimacy of the procedure and will go above and beyond to make you feel comfortable.
If you have questions, or want to schedule a mammogram, please call our Breast Imaging Center at (316) 283-4744. You can purchase a voucher through MDsave to save on your 3D Mammogram or other procedures offered at NMC Health.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men. It only falls second to skin cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates more than 34,000 men will die from prostate cancer in 2021. 1 in 8 men will develop this form of cancer. Those who are older and non-Hispanic Black men are at the highest risk.
Screening for prostate cancer is one of the five tests that could save your life. Men can expect a routine prostate exam, done by a urologist, starting at age 50. If you’re at a higher risk for developing prostate cancer, your doctor might want you to get checked starting at age 45.
Another option to screen for prostate cancer is a Prostate Specific Antigen Lab or PSA lab. This simple blood test can measure the level of PSA, a protein produced by cells inside the prostate. PSA levels are usually elevated in men who have cancer. This blood test can help screen for prostate cancer as well as monitor levels in prostate cancer patients.
Your doctor will have to send orders to NMC Health Laboratory for you to have your blood drawn. If you’re paying out of pocket or have a high deductible, you can take advantage of our MDsave partnership. Purchase a voucher through the MDsave website for discounts on common medical procedures, including the PSA lab.
Bone Density Screening (DEXA)
Osteoporosis is a disease that causes your bones to become weak or brittle, and more likely to break. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, half of all women and about a quarter of all men will break a bone related to the development of osteoporosis.
To evaluate your risk of developing osteoporosis or to see your overall bone health, you should ask your doctor about getting a Bone Density Screening or a “duel-energy X-ray absorptiometry” (DEXA). This procedure looks at bone density and can determine if you’re at risk for osteoporosis or osteopetrosis. This quick, painless procedure will let your doctor know if you’re experiencing bone loss or weakness.
There are ways you can prevent osteoporosis:
- Get as much calcium and vitamin D as you need each day
- Strengthen your muscles and core to help protect your bones
- Limit your alcohol consumption and don’t smoke
- Talk to your doctor about when you should get a DEXA scan
- Take any medicine your doctor prescribes in the manner in which is it prescribed
To get a bone density scan/DEXA at NMC Health, your family doctor will need to send orders to our Imaging Department. From there, our expert team will call to schedule your scan.
Learn more about this procedure by calling our Imaging Department at (316) 804-6170. You can also purchase a voucher through MDsave to save money on routine screenings and procedures if you’re paying out of pocket.
Your Health. Our Focus.
Take charge of your health by speaking with your doctor about any or all of these life-saving tests. Your primary care provider will be able to help you understand each procedure and whether it is right for you.
Remember, you are the best person to advocate for your health. Be proactive and make an appointment with your doctor today!