Staying healthy is more important than ever

Clinics are working hard to get you the care you need during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, while taking precautions to keep you and clinic staff safe. Now is the time to get screened for one of many common health issues. Being screened by your provider — even when you’re not feeling sick — is important. This is known as "preventive care,” which means care that helps you prevent illness.

Screenings help find problems sooner, so you can start dealing with them. CareOregon covers routine exams with your provider and many types of health screening tests. Don’t wait — schedule a visit or a screening today.

Ways to get screened and practice preventive care

CareOregon covers many types of screenings and preventive care. Below are some of the most common.

Flu shots (ages 6 months and older)

Seasonal flu — the flu that comes year after year — begins in September and lasts into May. Caused by the influenza virus, the flu is a sickness that infects the nose, throat and lungs. Getting a flu shot each fall is the best way to prevent it.

Flu shots are free to all CareOregon members. Get a flu shot as soon as possible — everyone ages 6 months and older should receive an annual flu vaccine unless there’s a medical reason not to get one. Call your primary care provider (PCP) or local pharmacy to schedule your flu shot. Many retail pharmacies also offer walk-in flu shots.

Flu shots are even more important as COVID-19 continues to spread.

Depression screening (all ages)

According to the World Health Organization, depression affects 264 million people around the world. It is a common mental health issue that many people face, which can be treated in a variety of ways. Are you having trouble getting out of bed? Do the colder, darker days get you down? Do you have very high highs and very low lows? There are many kinds of depression, and levels of depression vary. Physical and mental health providers can help you. They may offer a physical exam, ask a set of questions that discuss depressive behaviors, give you a blood test, or use other methods. Counselors and therapy are covered benefits — take the first step toward better mental health and call today.

Cervical cancer screening (ages 25 to 65)

Cancer of the cervix occurs most often in women over 30 years old. Women who have been exposed to some types of human papillomavirus (HPV) are at greatest risk of cervical cancer. When it’s caught early, it can be treated. Screening for cervical cancer can involve a Pap smear, pelvic exam or a test for HPV. Both tests can be done by an OB-GYN provider or most primary care providers.

Mammograms for breast cancer screening (ages 50 to 74)

Each year, a little more than 250,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer. A mammogram is a special type of X-ray that helps doctors find breast cancer, sometimes as early as three years before a lump can be felt. Early detection allows treatment to begin as soon as possible. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that women ages 50 to 74 get a mammogram every two years. Your provider may also suggest getting a mammogram if any symptoms of breast cancer appear.

Colon cancer screening (ages 50 to 75)

Colon cancer — also known as colorectal cancer — is caused when abnormal cells in the colon or rectum form a tumor. There are different ways to screen for colorectal cancer, including a colonoscopy at your provider’s office or a FIT Kit that lets you collect your sample at home and send it in for testing. Ask your provider about what kind of test is best for you. The USPSTF recommends screening for adults age 50 to 75.

Prostate cancer screening (ages 50 and older)

Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common kind of cancer for men. Nearly 98% of men beat prostate cancer. The most trusted form of detection is the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test. This test can be done through a typical blood test. A higher PSA level may mean the presence of prostate cancer, but not always. Your provider will help you understand your results. Typically, prostate cancer screening can begin at age 15, though screening may start sooner for men at higher risk of prostate cancer.

Don’t wait — get screened today!

Health screenings and preventive care are some of the best ways to stay healthy. Finding cancer early, getting a flu shot to help keep illness away, and learning about counseling options are all important for your health. The list shown above is just a start — other types of screenings are available. During the COVID-19 pandemic, your health is more important than ever. Call your PCP or customer service and ask about health screenings today. Getting screened only takes a bit of your time, and can be lifesaving!

More helpful resources

CDC: Seasonal flu shot

CDC: Basic information about breast cancer

CDC: What should I know about cervical cancer screening?

National Cancer Institute: Tests to detect colorectal cancer and polyps

CDC: Prostate cancer health tips

Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Screening for depression

Mental Health America: Depression test