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Make a Health Promise

We’re all guilty of making and breaking promises. But the person you can’t afford to shortchange — especially when it comes to health — is yourself. Make a health promise to yourself and keep it. If you don’t already have your own, here are 15 health promises that can help you maintain your health and feel good about it. Share your health promise to show you mean to keep it, and inspire others to do the same by using #MyHealthPromise.

Share Your Health Promise

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Overall Health

A routine physical exam is absolutely essential to preventive care. It typically includes a check of vital signs, heart and lung exams, blood work, height and weight measurements, and testicular and/or breast exams.

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Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension, directly increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. Blood pressure can be controlled with a healthy diet, exercise and, if necessary, medication.

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Bone Health

Osteoporosis affects more than 10 million Americans—one in two women and one in four men. Fortunately, it is preventable and easily detected using a bone density test (or DXA scan). Once osteoporosis is diagnosed, it can be treated before it causes a broken bone.

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Breast Health

Although detecting breast cancer at its earliest stages is the main goal of routine breast care, other benign conditions, such as fibrocystic breasts or cysts, are often discovered during routine care. A yearly mammogram is recommended for women over 40.

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Cholesterol

LDL (“bad” cholesterol) contributes to the formation of plaque buildup in the arteries. HDL (“good” cholesterol) helps prevent the fatty buildup and formation of plaque. To keep your LDL low and your HDL high, don’t smoke, avoid saturated fats and excess calories, get exercise, and maintain a healthy weight. Medications also may be prescribed if necessary.

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Colorectal Health

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the U.S., excluding skin cancers. Early detection is vital, and a screening is recommended every 10 years, starting at age 50. Those with a family history of colorectal cancer should be screened starting at age 40, or 10 years before the youngest case in the family, whichever comes first.

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Dental Health

With proper preventive care, such as regular checkups, brushing and flossing, the risk of dental disease can greatly be reduced. A routine dental exam should be scheduled every six months.

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Diabetes

Diabetes is a serious disease that can lead to a number of complications. The good news is that diabetes can be managed—and many of its complications can be prevented—with proper self-care and treatment. If you smoke, stop. If you’re overweight, eat less and exercise. Work with your doctor to control your blood pressure and cholesterol.

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Ear Health

Hearing loss affects nearly 36 million adults in the United States. If ignored or untreated, it can get worse. But hearing loss that is identified early can be treated with hearing aids, medications or surgery. Protect your ears from excessive noise. If you suspect you’re experiencing loss of hearing, schedule a hearing test.

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Eye Health

Adults should have a routine eye exam every one to two years or immediately upon experiencing any problems, such as injury to the eye, visual changes, pain, flashes of light, new floaters or tearing. If you have high blood pressure, diabetes or a family history of eye disease, consult with your ophthalmologist or optometrist on how often you should be seen.

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Heart Health

Heart disease remains the number one killer nationwide. To help prevent heart disease or catch symptoms early, adults over 50 should have a full cardiovascular assessment. A coronary calcium scan can show just how at risk you are for a heart attack or other heart issues before other signs and symptoms occur. This is particularly useful for those with a family history of heart disease or other significant risk factors.

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Lung Health

Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S. If you’re a smoker and have thought about quitting, do it now. If you’ve recently quit smoking, schedule a pulmonary assessment and a chest X-ray or CT scan. This can help rule out chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary nodules or lung cancer, or diagnose them early before other signs and symptoms occur.

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Prostate Health

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men. More than 90 percent of all prostate cancers are discovered when they are confined to the prostate or are nearby. The survival rate for men diagnosed with prostate tumors discovered at these stages is nearly 100 percent—all the more reason men should be screened annually.

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Skin Health

Skin cancer accounts for nearly half of all cancer cases. Protecting your skin from the sun is vital. It’s also important to examine your skin on a regular basis. Become familiar with moles or other skin conditions in order to better identify changes. If you or your family has a history of skin cancer, visit a dermatologist regularly for routine skin checkups.

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Women's Health

Early detection of cervical problems is the best way to prevent cervical cancer, among other diseases. Routine annual pelvic exams and Pap tests can detect conditions that often can be treated before cancer or other diseases develop. Women 21 or older should have annual gynecology checkups.

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