Health screenings at any age

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Staying healthy isn’t difficult, especially if you’re willing to make slight adjustments to your normal routine. Medical check-ups are essential for maintaining good health. Make it a point to have a health check once a year from the age of 30. Preventive medical check-ups can help a doctor to identify any symptoms and treat them better, so that the prognosis is positive. This is especially true for women, who often neglect their health due to lack of time and energy.

“With increasing education and self-determination of people, health care is becoming more and more popular,” says Dr. Nandhini Elumalai, Gynecologist at Fortis Hospital, Vadapalani, Chennai. “Early detection gives you the best chance of getting appropriate treatment.” Because women have unique health needs, screening for a variety of issues is vital as it helps them maintain their overall well-being at every stage of their age. She adds: “Many patients were diagnosed with early breast cancer, were able to undergo breast-conserving surgery and had an excellent prognosis. Speaking of cervical cancer, it is the only cancer that takes 10 years to progress from the premalignant stage to the malignant stage. So if a sexually active woman has a simple Pap smear screening test annually, we can detect and treat anything from simple inflammation to HPV infection and pre-cancer early on,” she says.

The main goal of prevention and health promotion is to reduce the burden of suffering from the major preventable diseases. Medical history, physical examinations and diagnostic tests are part of the medical check-up.

Here are some tests women should take every 10 years of their lives, recommends Dr. Farah Ingale, Director of Internal Medicine at Fortis Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi.

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Testing in your 20s: cervical cancer screening
Screening for cervical cancer by Pap tests is highly recommended for women from a young age, beginning in their 20s, regardless of their sexual history. Cervical cancer screenings look for precancerous lesions, or changes in the cells of the cervix, so any signs of the disease can be identified and treated appropriately.

Tests in your 30s: Check your iron levels and reproductive health
Iron deficiency or anemia is quite common, especially in pregnant women and new mothers. If you experience shortness of breath and unexplained tiredness, a blood test to check your iron levels is highly recommended. Do not take any dietary supplements without consulting a doctor.

Tests in your 40s: mammograms
Since the risk of breast cancer is relatively higher as a woman ages, it is recommended that mammograms be performed after the age of 40. If you have any symptoms of breast cancer or have a family history, you need to get tested as early as possible.

Testing in your 50s: treating and relieving menopause
Menopause is defined as 12 months without a period. Women need to track their menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, mood swings, and sexual dysfunction.

Tests in your 60s: bone density scans
With increasing age, bones and muscles are put under a lot of strain. Because women have lower bone marrow density than men, they are also more likely to develop osteoporosis, leading to fractures and other associated complications. Therefore, women over the age of 60 must always have their bone density tested, especially if they have a family history.

Tests after 65+
Health screenings change as a woman ages and frequency needs to be increased. In addition, the cholesterol level should be checked annually. Other health tests that women over 65 should sign up for include screening for hearing and vision, diabetes and heart health, and screening for depression.

Also Read: Vitamin B2: Key Role, Sources, Deficiency and Side Effects

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