by Annette Pinder

“Early detection is crucial to overcoming serious illnesses. Preventive care is something parents prioritize when raising children, but it’s also a crucial component of healthy living for all ages,” says Bradley Carrier, MD, MS, of General Physician, PC. Dr. Carrier offers the following age-specific screening recommendations as a preventive care guideline.

18 to 39 years old

  • Cholesterol. A cholesterol check should occur around age 20, then every five years until age 35. Thereafter, it should be performed annually.
  • Skin screening. An annual full body screening will identify any suspicious moles or skin lesions.
  • Cervical cancer. Women in this age range should receive a Pap smear every three years and an annual pelvic exam.
  • Breast exam. Breast self-examination and examination by a clinical provider should take place yearly.
  • Testicular exam. Men should conduct self-exams for testicular abnormalities. Doctors may examine the testicles during annual physicals as well.
  • Tdap vaccine. All adults should get the Tdap vaccine if they did not receive it as an adolescent to protect against pertussis, and then a Td (tetanus, diphtheria) booster shot every 10 years.
  • HPV vaccine. The human papilloma virus vaccine is recommended if you did not receive it as an adolescent.

40 to 64

  • Zoster (Shingles) vaccine. Two doses of this vaccine are administered between two and six months apart starting at age 50.
  • Colorectal screening. A colonoscopy to detect any colorectal illnesses is recommended beginning at age 45.
  • Prostate screening. Prostate screenings begin at age 50, unless you are a high-risk individual, in which case screenings begin at age 40.
  • Osteoporosis. Doctors may recommend a bone density test and osteoporosis screening at age 50 and up if certain risk factors are present.
  • Lung cancer screening. If you are a past or current smoker, it’s wise to have an annual lung cancer screening. Adults ages 55 and up can have this screening covered by health insurance.
  • Mammogram. Women should begin receiving annual mammograms at age 40.

65 years and older

  • Cervical cancer. Most women can stop getting Pap smears at this age if they have no history of cervical cancer. Women who have had a hysterectomy may no longer need pelvic exams after age 65.
  • Pneumococcal and pneumonia vaccines. These are recommended every five years for certain conditions and risk factors.
  • Cognitive health. Doctors may assess your cognitive health to see if there are any risk factors for dementias.

Physicians may conduct annual depression screenings to assess mental health. Routine blood glucose monitoring may also be recommended based on risk factors for diabetes. If you are seeking a primary care provider, and would like to learn more about General Physician, PC, visit, or call 716-852-4772 to schedule an appointment. Learn more about Dr. Carrier at