10 Health Screenings All Women Should Have
A healthy lifestyle, such as regular exercise, stress management, and proper food selection, should be a top priority for every woman. Scheduling routine health screenings are one of those habits that can help detect potential problems early on.
Regular screening may even save your life if done regularly. In the words of Keri Peterson, MD, an internal medicine physician in New York City, “early detection of disease allows for the prevention of complications as well as an improvement in quality of life.” Breast cancer has been diagnosed in a large number of my patients at an early stage. They have undergone breast-sparing surgery with an excellent prognosis due to their diligent attendance at their screenings. So, what screenings should you have done? Here are ten basic tests to put you through.
Body Mass Index
According to the Preventive Services Task Force of the United States of America, obesity screening should begin at 18 for adults (USPSTF). Body mass index (BMI) is typically part of weight management measures (BMI). There are no hard and fast rules dictating how frequently you should have this test performed, but any amount of time is significant. Obesity is determined by your body mass index (BMI), which is a condition associated with an increased risk of developing severe health problems such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Colon Cancer Screening
At age 50, people should begin getting their colon screened, which can be done in a doctor’s office or hospital, according to the United States Preventive Services Task Force. Either a sigmoidoscopy or a colonoscopy will be performed on you. If the lower colon is being examined with a lighted tube and camera, a colonoscopy is being performed, during which a longer line is used to read the entire colon. In the absence of a problem being discovered or the presence of a higher risk of colon cancer, sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy are performed every five years and ten years, respectively, until the problem is resolved.
Blood Glucose Tests
All females over the age of 45 should have a blood glucose test to determine if they have diabetes or prediabetes. A fasting plasma glucose level of 100 mg/dl or higher indicates the presence of pre-diabetes. Diabetes is diagnosed when reading of 126 mg/dl or greater is obtained. If you have diabetes or prediabetes, consult your doctor. In the case of obesity, family history of diabetes, or belonging to a high-risk race or ethnic group, you may want to start earlier and have more frequent screenings to avoid complications later on in life. Your doctor can provide you with advice on how to proceed.
Bone Density Screening
Women must begin screening for bone loss with a bone density test at the age of 65 to reduce their risk of developing the disease later in life. Osteoporosis screening should start earlier in the lives of people at risk of the illness, such as those who have had fractures or are underweight. During this test, known as a DEXA scan, you will be asked to lie down on a table while a low-dose X-ray machine takes images of your bones. This screening is done on an as-needed basis, depending on the patient’s bone density and any other risk factors that may exist.
Breast cancer detection and surveillance are done by X-raying the breasts to expose the breast tissues and then compressing the breast between two plates to obtain mammograms. Due to the increased risk of developing breast cancer with age, as well as the possibility of undergoing more harm than good from frequent screening, there has long been debate on when and how frequently women should have their breasts examined. This is according to recommendations from the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).
In their most recent guidelines, the USPSTF recommends that women begin having mammograms every two years at age 50. Other experts advise that women begin annual mammogram screenings at the age of 45 and then continue to have them every two years until the age of 55, as the American Cancer Society recommends. You should see your doctor before taking on the screening tests yourself. If you’ve a family history of the disorder or have any other concerns about starting screening earlier than the recommended schedule, talk to your doctor about your options for getting started.
The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends that starting at age 21, women receive an annual Pap smear throughout their reproductive life. To expand the vaginal canal for better visualization of the cervix, a speculum will be used beforehand. Then, a small brush will be used to remove the cells from the cervix, and a microscope will be used to examine them for changes that could indicate the onset of cervical cancer. According to studies, women ages 30 and up who have regular screenings for HPV, an STD that has been linked to cervical cancer, should have the test done every five years instead of annually.
An assessment tool for determining your risk of developing heart disease or a stroke. To maintain good health, the National Institutes of Health recommend that people over the age of 20 have their cholesterol checked at least once every five years. Under normal circumstances, a total cholesterol level of 200 milligrammes per deciliter (mg/dl) or less is considered healthy. An elevated total cholesterol level, however, is defined as 200 to 239 mg/dl. Talk to your doctor about the frequency of this blood test if you have a family history of heart disease or stroke.
Blood Pressure Screening
If your blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg after the age of 20, the American Heart Association recommends that you see a doctor every two years until you reach the age of 65 until your blood pressure returns to normal. (AHA). As stated by the organisation, annual hypertension screening for adults 40 years and older, African-Americans, and those with risk factors for hypertension, such as obesity, is recommended by the United States Preventive Services Task Force.
As soon as your first baby tooth emerges, you must maintain good dental health, and all adult women should have a yearly dental examination. When you have regular dental checkups, which include tooth cleaning and inspection, as well as X-rays, you can detect early signs of decay and other issues.
Because of the preventive value of these tests, a significant number of insurance plans cover them. To ensure your health, you must conduct these tests, but they are costly. Contact your insurance provider before scheduling appointments and find out if your community offers any of these tests for free
The American Cancer Society recommends that women examine their skin at home every month to make sure it is healthy. Take a thorough look at your skin all over your body, examining any new moles or changes to moles you already have to see if they are early warning signs of skin cancer. Examine your hair and nails as well. The example that you are at increased risk of developing skin cancer or having a family history of the disease is one example of why you are a good candidate for a skin cancer screening. The American Academy of Dermatology advises patients to discuss the frequency of in-office exams with their doctor or dermatologist before scheduling the examination.