It is only natural that as we age, we are more prone to injury, disease, and other health issues which have an impact on all areas of our life including work commitments, personal commitments, finances, relationships, and our future.

When it comes to health, prevention is better than a cure. Screening programs are designed for people without any signs or symptoms. So even if you feel healthy, it’s wise to keep up to date with your appointments.

We have summarised some of the key checks you need to do based on your age.

All agesMelanoma/skin cancer – regularly checking your skin with a skin clinic is very important to detect early stages of Skin Cancer, especially in Australia
Teens & 20s  Cervical cancer – Women aged 18 – 69 are invited to screen through the National Cervical Screening Program. You should start having Pap tests between the ages of 18-20, or 1-2 years after becoming sexually active. Once you’ve had your first test, you’ll be added to the screening registry and be sent reminder letters every 2 years.
Men 18-39Testicular cancer is most common in men aged 18 – 39. Self-examination should be done regularly. If you detect a hard lump or abnormality, visit your GP.
30s & 40s  Cardiovascular disease – Heart Foundation recommends that people over 45 (over 35 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders) have a heart health check every 2 years. Performed by your GP, it usually takes about 15 minutes. They’ll be looking out for high blood pressure, high cholesterol or kidney disease.
Females from Age 40  Breast cancer – From age 40 women are invited via a letter from the Government for a free mammogram through Breast Screen Australia. This should be done every 2 years.  
50’sBowel cancer – People over the age of 50. Currently, the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program is offered to people turning 50, 54, 58, and it should be done every 2 years after that. When you turn 50, the government will send you a test kit in the mail. The test can detect minimal amounts of blood in your stool and involves taking samples from two bowel motions using the kit. These are then analysed at a laboratory, and if blood is detected, further tests may be required.
50’sBone density – Osteoporosis Australia says that men and women over 50 with risk factors may need a bone density scan to check for low bone density and osteoporosis. It is done when recommended by your GP and involves a bone density scan which takes 10-15 minutes.
50’sProstate cancer – mostly affects men aged 50+. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of prostate cancer tests. There is no national screening program and doctors have different opinions about whether men without symptoms of prostate cancer should be tested.
60’sVisual and hearing impairment – Everyone aged 65+ should get their hearing and eyes tested every 12 months. To assess your vision, your GP will use a Snellen chart (the large chart with letters decreasing in size). To assess your hearing, your GP will ask you questions about your hearing to determine whether it’s declining

NB: This information is general in nature. We are not providing medical advice. Please speak to your doctor or GP about specific issues relevant to your personal health.

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