Mahaska Health Partnership Encourages Health Maintenance Screenings
MAHASKA COUNTY – When it comes to a healthcare provider, most people only consider a visit when they are sick or injured. Family Practice Physician Eric Miller, DO, explains why regular visits to your primary care provider are essential to overall health.
When it comes to your health, check-ups are just as important in preventing illness as a healthy diet and exercise. “Think of your body like a car,” Dr. Miller quipped. “You wouldn’t wait until the check engine light came on to get the oil changed, right? Your body is the same way; having regular check-ups and screenings can help prevent bigger health complications down the road.”
While primary care providers are there for you when you’re not feeling your best, they are also there to help keep you healthy. “Part of staying well is keeping up with regularly scheduled health maintenance screenings,” Dr. Miller advised.
“One of the most important screenings to keep up with are colonoscopies,” Dr. Miller continued. “These should be scheduled every ten years beginning at age 50. Between screenings, colorectal cancer screening kits are a great way to stay on top of your colon health. We offer these free every March both on the MHP campus in Oskaloosa and at New Sharon Medical Center.”
Along with colon screenings, cardiovascular, oral and eye health are also important. “High cholesterol is one of those sneaky conditions that can arise without any symptoms, so make sure to start getting yours checked every five years starting at age 20,”Dr. Miller urged. “High blood pressure can also be a silent risk, so have that checked at least annually. Blood glucose screenings to check for diabetes are encouraged every three years starting at age 45. Also, don’t forget your eyes and teeth. Schedule an eye exam annually and dental exams every six months.”
For men, a prostate exam is also important to consider. “Depending on your family history and other risk factors, a patient’s primary care provider will help them decide how frequently they should be screened,” Dr. Miller explained. “Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men, with skin cancer being first. Keep your skin healthy by wearing sunscreen and protective clothing while spending time outdoors and talking with your primary care provider at annual check-ups about any abnormalities.”
For women, yearly well-woman exams are important. “I know these aren’t top on your list of a fun afternoon, but they can help catch health concerns before they get too advanced, so make sure to schedule yours each year,” Dr. Miller encouraged. “Also, starting at age 40, schedule your yearly mammogram and help keep your risk of breast cancer in check.”
When it comes to your health, making yourself a priority is the best way to help prevent illness. “I know how hectic life can get and how easy it can be to put off a visit to your healthcare provider,” Dr. Miller empathized. “However, in the long run, a short visit here or there will help prevent prolonged visits in the future.”
Family Practice Physician Eric Miller, DO, practices full time in the MHP Medical Group. Growing up with a Pediatrician Mother and Farmer Father, Dr. Miller enjoys caring for families in a rural setting. He describes himself as more of a listener than a talker and enjoys hearing about a patient’s life experiences. In his free time, Dr. Miller enjoys the outdoors and building model trains. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Miller, call 641.672.3360.
Mahaska Health Partnership, located in Oskaloosa, is a non-profit health system accredited by the Joint Commission. It is guided by its mission to provide exceptional customer service and health improvement, linking the science of medicine with the humanity of compassionate care. For more information about how Mahaska Health Partnership is making healthcare personal, visit mahaskahealth.org.