A physical examination, medical examination, or clinical examination (more popularly known as a check-up) is the process by which a medical professional investigates the body of a patient for signs of disease. It generally follows the taking of the medical history and an account of the symptoms as experienced by the patient. Together with the medical history, the physical examination aids in determining the correct diagnosis and devising the treatment plan. This data then becomes part of the medical record.
Mammography is the process of using low-energy X-rays (usually around 30kVp) to examine the human breast, which is used as a diagnostic and screening tool. The goal of mammography is the early detection of breast cancer, typically through detection of characteristic masses and/or microcalcifications. For the average woman, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended mammography every two years in women between the ages of 50 and 74. The American College of Radiology and American Cancer Society recommend yearly screening mammography starting at age 40.
A pelvic examination is a complete physical exam of a woman’s pelvic organs by a health professional. A pelvic exam helps a health professional evaluate the size and position of the vagina, cervix, uterus, and ovaries. A pelvic exam may be done to help detect certain cancers in their early stages, infections, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), or other reproductive system problems.
Colonoscopy may be done for a variety of reasons. Most often it is done to investigate the cause of blood in the stool, abdominal pain, diarrhea, a change in bowel habit, or an abnormality found on colonic X-rays or a computerized axial tomography (CT) scan. Individuals with a previous history of polyps or colon cancer and certain individuals with a family history of some types of non-colonic cancers or colonic problems that may be associated with colon cancer (such as ulcerative colitis and colonic polyps) may be advised to have periodic colonoscopies because their risks are greater for polyps or colon cancer. How often should one undergo colonoscopy depends on the degree of the risk and the abnormalities found at previous colonoscopies. One widely accepted recommendation has been that even healthy people at normal risk for colon cancer should undergo colonoscopy at age 50 and every 10 years thereafter, for the purpose of removing colonic polyps before they become cancerous.
Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens bones over time. Because of this, it puts you at risk for breaking a bone. Postmenopausal osteoporosis is the most common form of osteoporosis. It affects many women after menopause. A Bone density test is often used to screen for and detect the early stages of osteoporosis, a condition defined by a decreased density of normal bone.
Aorta aneurism screening
An abdominal aortic aneurysm is a weakening of the blood vessel wall in the aortic artery that leads to the abdomen, pelvis and legs. A rupture of this vessel is a life-threatening condition.
Typically, aortic abdominal aneurysms are asymptomatic, meaning there are no definable symptoms. They can rupture without warning, which then produces symptoms, but also requires immediate medical attention. Your doctor may be able to detect the aneurysm based only on clinical findings. He will palpate your abdomen looking for signs of deep pain or tenderness. The doctor can sometimes feel an abnormally wide pulsation of the aorta. He/she can also listen with a stethoscope for abnormal sounds within the vessel. www.webmd.com
Ankle-Brachial Index Test (ABI)
This test is done to screen for peripheral arterial disease of the legs. It is also used to see how well a treatment is working (such as medical treatment, an exercise program, angioplasty, or surgery).This test is done by measuring blood pressure at the ankle and in the arm while a person is at rest. Measurements are usually repeated at both sites after 5 minutes of walking on a treadmill. The ankle-brachial index (ABI) result is used to predict the severity of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). A slight drop in your ABI with exercise means that you probably have PAD. This drop may be important, because PAD can be linked to a higher risk of heart attack or stroke.
Chlamydia and Gonorrhea Urine Test
Our doctors have selected the NAAT test, which stands for “nucleic acid amplification test,” to test for Chlamydia and gonorrhea. It’s the most accurate Chlamydia and gonorrhea test on the market today. This FDA-approved test looks for the Chlamydia trachomatis and neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria in urine. Chlamydia affects both men and women. With more than 2.8 million new infections a year, Chlamydia spreads easily. Plus, it’s common to have Chlamydia without having any symptoms. The only way to know is to get tested. The CDC recommends Chlamydia testing for all sexually active women ages 25 and under and for women who have a new sex partner or multiple partners. Consider Chlamydia testing as part of routine STD screening, especially if you have had unprotected sex with someone whose STD status you do not know or are concerned about.
Stool Tests for Colorectal Cancer
A stool test is one of many tests used to look for colorectal cancer. These tests may find cancer early, when treatment works better. Colorectal cancer affects the large intestine (colon) and the rectum. The fecal occult blood test requires the collection of three stool samples. You can purchase fecal occult blood test kits at the pharmacy to perform the test at home, or your doctor may give you the home test during one of your appointments. The stool samples are collected in a clean container and evaluated by detecting color changes on a test card, or by sending the samples, in a special container and envelope, directly to the doctor’s office for analysis.
Pneumococcal vaccine in adults is used to reduce the risk of the most common type of bacterial pneumonia. Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs which can be associated with severe complications. Adults age 65 and over should receive this vaccine. Those who are at higher risk of complications of pneumonia, such as patients with chronic lung disease (asthma, emphysema/COPD), heart failure, Diabetes, chronic liver disease, alcoholism, transplants, HIV, Leukemia, Lymphoma and other states of reduced immunity, should receive this vaccine sooner.
Influenza (Flu) Vaccine
Influenza is a viral infection of the respiratory system that infects millions of people per year, and is associated with over 25,000 deaths in the USA annually. Influenza vaccine should be given to individuals ages 50yrs and older. Younger persons should be immunized sooner: those with chronic lung or heart disease, chronic liver or kidney disease, Diabetes, HIV infection, residents of long term care facilities and others with reduced immunity as mentioned above. Also, household contacts, caregivers and workplace contacts of those mentioned should receive Influenza vaccine. Many other groups of people should be immunized such as medical personnel and travelers to areas with current Influenza illness.
Tetanus vaccine is a vaccine composed of deactivated tetanus toxins. This vaccine is immunogenic but not pathogenic and is used to prevent an individual from contracting tetanus. Tetanus, also known as lockjaw, is a disease caused by the bacterium Clostridium tetani which enters the body through open wounds and releases a poison called tetanospasmin. This is a potentially deadly disease because the poison attacks the nervous system blocking nerve signals from the spinal cord to and from the muscles. However this disease is preventable through injecting multiple doses of vaccines and administering the recommended booster shot every ten years.
Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis Vaccine for Adults
Tdap is a combination vaccine that protects against three potentially life-threatening bacterial diseases: tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis(whooping cough). Td is a booster vaccine for tetanus and diphtheria. It does not protect against pertussis.
Tetanus enters the body through a wound or cut. It affects the brain and nervous system and causes extremely painful muscle spasms. Spasms of the jaw can make it impossible for you to open your mouth. This condition is often called “lockjaw.” Tetanus kills one out of five people infected with the disease.
Diphtheria is a very contagious infection that makes it difficult to breathe. In severe cases, it can cause heart and nerve damage.
Pertussis, or whooping cough, is an extremely contagious respiratory infection that can lead to severe breathing problems, especially in infants. Pertussis first appears like an ordinary cold, but then causes intense, uncontrollable coughing spells. A “whoop” noise is heard when the person tries to take a breath after coughing.
ZOSTAVAX is a vaccine used for adults 50 years of age or older to prevent Shingles (also known as zoster). ZOSTAVAX (“ZOS-tah-vax”) is not a treatment for Shingles—it’s a vaccine you can get now to help reduce your risk of getting Shingles in the future. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that appropriate adults 60 or older get vaccinated to help prevent Shingles.
Hepatitis A Vaccine
Hepatitis A is a viral infection, predominantly affecting the liver that causes fever, severe joint pain, fatigue and jaundice. It is transmitted by contact with food or water contaminated with feces of an infected person. Those who should receive Hepatitis A vaccine include: those with chronic liver disease, recipients of clotting factor concentrates, gay men, drug abusers, adults who have had recent contact with Hepatitis A, certain food handlers, persons who work or travel in areas of high risk, and all persons wishing to be protected from hepatitis A virus infection.
Hepatitis B Vaccine
Hepatitis B is a viral infection, predominantly affecting the liver, with similar symptoms to Hepatitis A, however Hepatitis B is transmitted by contact with blood and other body fluids. In some cases, it goes on to cause a persistent inflammation of the liver, called Chronic Hepatitis B. This puts an individual at increased risk to develop Cirrhosis of the Liver (permanent scarring), liver failure, and Cancer of the Liver. Everyone up to age 18 years should receive the 3 shot series. Others who should be immunized include: those with chronic liver disease, household contacts of patients with Hepatitis B infection, gay men, sexually active people not in monogamous, long-term relationships, health care personnel, clients and staff of long term care institutions, patients receiving hemodialysis, some international travelers, prison inmates, and those seeking care for sexually transmitted diseases.
Genital human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States. More than half of sexually active men and women are infected with HPV at some time in their lives. This vaccine can prevent most cases of cervical cancer in females, if it is given before exposure to the virus. In addition, it can prevent vaginal and vulvar cancer in females, and genital warts and anal cancer in both males and females. Protection from HPV vaccine is expected to be long-lasting. But vaccination is not a substitute for cervical cancer screening. Women should still get regular Pap tests. HPV vaccine is given as a 3-dose series. This HPV vaccine is recommended for girls and boys 11 or 12 years of age. It may be given starting at age 9. HPV infection is easily acquired, even with only one sex partner. That is why it is important to get HPV vaccine before any sexual contact takes place. Also, response to the vaccine is better at this age than at older ages.