7 Medical Check-Ups You Need To Get In Your 20s

Unless you enjoy being poked with needles, the thought of going for medical check-ups doesn’t usually flit across our minds. We’re in our 20s, fit as a fiddle, charged with the energy of a brazen bull. Because why would we when rounds of late-night parties and strong liquor hardly leave us feeling defeated right?

Well, don’t be complacent just yet as that #YOLO lifestyle is exactly why we should be having annual body examinations. We’re only human after all, which makes us vulnerable to complicated diseases like STIs (sexually transmitted infections), diabetes, melanoma, depression and hepatitis, not to mention cancers. The scary part is that most of these diseases don’t display life-threatening symptoms until a much-advanced stage. If a long life’s what you envisioned, stick to the old rule and practice early detection. No worries if you’re at ground zero, we’ve rounded up  7 medical check-ups you’ll absolutely need once you hit the big 2-0!

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Breast Exam

health checkups 20s

Aside from the monthly breast self-exams, clinical breast exams should be regular too (every 3 years)! | Image credit: Unsplash

Many people don’t know this but aside from the monthly self-checks at home, women in their 20s and 30s are encouraged to do a clinical breast exams once every three years (annually if you’re at high risk)! Healthcare professionals will run the usual routine — visual checks of the skin and tissues then a manual check for unusual lumps. If they spot anything suspicious, they’ll send you in for an ultrasound or mammogram (if you’re extremely high risk) to evaluate whether the lump is a fluid cyst or a solid tumour.

ultrasound

Ultrasounds are most commonly used in normal breast screenings, or when abnormalities are found after a manual check. It utilises high-frequency sounds waves rather than radiation, making it extra safe even for breastfeeding mothers. What happens at an ultrasound is that the doctor will apply gel on your breast before using a wand-like device over your breast. It records the inside of your breast on a computer, and they’ll take multiple pictures if they find anything out of the ordinary.

Mammograms

If you’re 40 and above, or if the doctor has detected a suspicious lump, you will be advised to go for a mammogram. Mammograms are a special type of X-ray of the breast using low-dose X-rays to create detailed images of the breast. Rest assured that the amount of radiation you’ll be exposed to is relatively small and is not a potential for causing cancer. The procedure includes putting pressure on your breast for a few moments, which can be uncomfortable and even painful for some.

RELATED: Are My Breasts Normal? Here Are Answers To Your FAQs

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