SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (Good Things Utah) – When we’re sick, we head to the doctor. But the best way to stay healthy in the first place is through detecting potential issues early. And the best way to detect potential issues early? Through regular wellness exams and recommended health screenings.

It’s important to keep an open dialogue with your doctor, to understand when they recommend you get wellness exams and specific screenings, but most people should get a comprehensive wellness exam at least once a year. Specific health screening recommendations can vary based on a number of factors, including your current health, your family history, age, and a variety of other factors.

Common health screenings

  • There are a variety of health screenings available that your doctor may recommend. Some common screenings that are appropriate for nearly everyone include for colorectal cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis
  • For men, prostate cancer screening is generally recommended starting at age 45 or 50, depending on individual risk factors
  • Women should talk to their doctor about screening for cervical cancer and breast cancer, beginning at ages 25 and 40, respectively

Your personal circumstances may mean you should think about additional—or fewer—health screenings than those common ones listed above. When in doubt? Have a conversation with your doctor.

Having a conversation—before and after a health screening

Setting up a health screening designed to catch a serious condition can seem scary. Health experts say it’s best to have an open and honest conversation with your doctor both about those screenings that are recommended for you, and about the steps you should take after getting screened, but so you’re prepared and for your own peace of mind.

Questions to ask your doctor before a screening:

  • Why is this screening recommended for me?
  • What does the actual screening process entail?
  • Is there anything I need to do to prepare for the screening?
  • Are there any potential risks or side-effects of the screening itself?
  • How long will it take to get my results?

Having a conversation afterward:

If your results come back and show nothing concerning, you should still ask what steps to take to maintain your current healthy results—including, if necessary, when you should again get screened.

But if your results show cause for concern, have a conversation with your doctor that covers:

  • What may have caused these results?
  • How can you and your doctor work together to treat or manage the condition?
  • Does the diagnosis involve any long-term effects you should be aware of?

Keeping up with recommended screenings:

Optum in Utah makes it easier than ever for members to keep up with their recommended wellness exams and screenings, through the Optum Mobile Clinic – a 45-foot-long, state-of-the-art mobile medical unit. The Optum Mobile Clinic brings a number of important screenings curbside, including mammograms, eye exams, and checks for diabetes, blood pressure, and kidney health, and more.

You can visit to learn more about the Mobile Clinic, and all the services Optum offers to members, throughout the community.

Sponsored by Optum Utah.