Preventative medicine is proactive medicine; the earlier something is detected, the easier it is to do something about it (generally speaking). The standard recommendations for health screenings are as follows, but may not apply to you if you have a personal or family history of cancer, heart disease, or other chronic disease. For individualized screening recommendations based on your health history, contact Dr. Kristina Roberts, naturopathic physician at Lokahi Health Center, at 808-329-2114 or [email protected].

 Screening blood work to look for chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes:

  • Recommendation: Get annually
  • A physical exam should also be done annually so your doctor can check your blood pressure, pulse, and listen to your heart and lungs.

 Skin exam to look for melanoma or other skin cancers:

  • Recommendation: Get annually

 Screening test for colon cancer:

  • I recommend a test to look for blood in the stool yearly or every other year starting around age 50.
  • Colonoscopy should be done every 10 years, starting at age 50.

 Screening test for breast cancer:

Screening for prostate cancer:

  • Digital rectal exams should begin at age 50.
  • The US Preventative Services Task Force recommends against getting routine PSA testing because it is non-specific to prostate cancer and often times leads to unnecessary invasive procedures.
  • I do recommend this test as a screening tool, as it is helpful to have a baseline value so you can detect changes/increases and make a plan based on that, clinical history, and patient symptoms. This approach helps to decrease unnecessary testing, such as a prostate biopsy.

Screening for cervical cancer:

  • Annual exams beginning at age 21, with HPV testing beginning at age 30.

 Screening for lung cancer:

  • Annual screening with CT scan recommended for adults aged 55-80 years who have a 30 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke.
  • Screening should be discontinued once a person has not smoked for 15 years.

Bone density test to screen for osteoporosis:

  • This is called a DEXA scan, and is recommended every 2 years starting at age 65.

All recommendations from the US Preventative Services Task Force: http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org. For more information or questions, please contact Dr. Roberts (808-329-2114, [email protected]).