Annual Physical Exams Q & A
What is an annual physical?
An annual physical involves visiting your provider at Alexandria Immediate Care once a year for a complete checkup and assessment of your overall health.
Checking all your health indicators, seeing how you are, and having a chance to discuss any health concerns you have gives you and your provider an opportunity to prevent any medical problem that’s in its early stages from developing into a more serious condition.
There are many examples of potentially life-threatening conditions that show few, if any, symptoms in the early stages, such as diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure).
It’s also vital to help catch the early cell changes that can happen before cancer starts to develop to optimize your chances of survival. For example, colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in the United States, with five-year survival rates as low as 11% if the cancer spreads beyond the colon. However, screening can pick up the polyps that may lead to cancer developing, which, with treatment, results in survival rates of up to 90% after five years.
What happens during an annual physical exam?
Your provider at Alexandria Immediate Care begins your annual physical exam by going through your medical history and talking with you about how you’re feeling. The next stage is a physical exam during which your provider checks your vital signs and health indicators. Each annual physical may be different, depending on your medical history and current state of health, but an annual physical is likely to include checks of your:
It’s also important to consider your mental well-being as well as your physical health.
After the physical exam, your provider arranges for any further testing you may need. Taking blood and urine is standard to check for infection, hormone levels, blood sugar, cholesterol, and micronutrient deficiencies.
Do men and women have the same annual physical?
Most parts of the annual physical are the same, but there are certain gender-specific tests as well.
Men need a physical examination of their penis, testicles, and prostate gland, while women need a breast exam and internal vaginal exam. Women may also need a Pap smear to check for cell changes that could indicate cervical cancer and a human papillomavirus (HPV) test.
To arrange your annual physical, call Alexandria Immediate Care today to schedule a consultation, or book an appointment online.