When women think of good health habits, they may think of things like regular exercise and a healthy diet. But just as important are preventive health screenings, which can identify problems early on when they are best treatable.
The American Heart Association recommends blood pressure checks every two years from the age of 20. Women 40 years and older, African American women, and women at risk such as obesity and diabetes should be screened annually.
High cholesterol increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. Most adults should have a simple blood test every four to six years, which will determine their cholesterol levels.
A fasting glucose test will determine whether you have diabetes or prediabetes. This blood test will check blood sugar levels after you have not eaten or drunk anything (other than water) for at least eight hours.
A Pap test (Papanicolaou) or Pap smear tests for cervical cancer by collecting cells from your cervix. Women aged 21 to 30 should have a Pap test every three years. From the age of 30, a Pap test in combination with HPV (human papillomavirus) screening is recommended every five years.
The American Cancer Society recommends women with an average risk of breast cancer start annual mammograms at age 45, or even as early as 40 if they so choose. By the age of 55, women should have the choice of switching to screening every two years or continuing annual mammograms. Women with a family history of breast cancer should speak to their doctor about when to start a mammogram.
The American Cancer Society recommends people with an average risk of colon cancer begin regular screening by the age of 45. This may be a sensitive test that looks for signs of cancer in a person’s stool, or a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy, which examines the colon and rectum.
From the age of 65, women should have a bone density test called dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA / DEXA) of the hip, spine, and wrist to assess the risk of osteoporosis – a bone-thinning disease that can lead to Fractions. Women with risk factors such as fractures or low body weight should be evaluated earlier.
Questions. US. Anything. Our women’s health program is based on an honest, open dialogue that addresses your specific health needs. No matter where you are in your life journey, we have the services to help you stay healthy. More information is available at lghealth.org/womenshealth.