It's no secret that women’s health needs can change dramatically throughout their lives. Regular screenings and tests are an essential part of early detection of potential health issues. This blog dives into 5 screenings and tests that every woman should take to ensure good health.
1. Breast Cancer Screening (Mammogram)
A mammogram is the most effective way to detect breast cancer early. Although breast cancer screening cannot prevent breast cancer, it can help find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat (CDC). Women should begin having mammograms yearly starting at age 40, but those with a family history of breast cancer may need to start earlier (UH Hospitals). Read our blog 4 Preventative Measures For Breast Cancer to learn how you can actively work to help prevent it.
2. Cervical Cancer Screening (Pap Smear)
A Pap smear, also called a Pap test, is a procedure to test for cervical cancer in women. According to Mayo Clinic, women aged 21 to 65 should consider having a Pap smear every three years. If you have certain risk factors, such as a history of smoking, you may consider getting tested earlier. Women that are older than 30 should consider Pap testing every five years if the procedure is combined with testing for HPV.
3. Bone Density Screening (DEXA Scan)
A DEXA scan is an imaging test that measures bone density and can detect osteoporosis. Women should start getting screened for osteoporosis with a bone density test at age 65, or earlier if they have risk factors (CDC). Early detection can help manage and slow the progression of the disease.
4. Blood Pressure Screening
This simple test measures the pressure in your arteries as your heart pumps. High blood pressure can lead to heart disease, stroke, and other problems. Early detection and management are key to reducing risk of these issues. Medline Plus recommends seeing your primary care provider for regular checkups, even if you feel fine. This is because the only way to find out you have high blood pressure is to check it regularly.
5. Cholesterol Check
A blood test to measure cholesterol levels can indicate your risk for heart disease or stroke. Women should start getting their cholesterol checked regularly at age 20, or earlier if there is a family history of heart disease (UH Hospitals). Knowing your cholesterol levels can help you make lifestyle changes or start treatments if necessary.
Screenings and testing are a vital part of women’s health care. It’s about prevention, early detection, and taking control of your health. Don’t wait to start taking control of your health. Schedule your screenings today and take a proactive step towards a healthier future.