Preventative Health Means Early Detection

  • Posted on: Apr 28 2016

As a woman, the best way to take care of your health and be proactive about early detection is to stay on top of necessary preventative health screenings.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has a list of guidelines they recommend for women when it comes to certain screening tests.

We highlighted several of those tests below from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health.

Blood Pressure Tests – Get tested at least every two years if you have normal blood pressure lower than 120/80. If you have blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89 then getting tested once a year is not a bad idea. Now if your blood is 140/90 or higher discuss a treatment plan with your doctor or nurse.

Bone Mineral Density Test (Osteoporosis Screening) – Women should be tested at least once starting at age 65. As there are no obvious signs of osteoporosis, bone density screenings identify problems early and enable you to start treatment sooner to prevent further bone loss.

Thyroid Test – Timing for this test varies from person to person, therefore it is best to discuss with your healthcare provider. Thyroid testing identifies an under or overactive thyroid, both of which can lead to more serious conditions if left untreated.

Mammogram – Starting at age 40, every woman should get a mammogram every one to two years. By getting screened regularly, this is the best way to identify possibly early signs of breast cancer. 

Clinical Breast Exam – Women should get these exams about every three years in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 and over. For breast cancers that are not found on mammograms, a clinical breast exam is a way to help identify signs of breast cancer relatively early.

Colonoscopy – It is best for women to get colonoscopies every 10 years starting at age 50, as they identify precancerous polyps and early signs of cancer. Colorectal cancer can be 90% curable if caught early.

Cervical Cancer Screening (Pap Test) – Women should get a Pap test every three years if they are 21 or older and have a cervix. If you are 30 years or older, you can get a Pap test and HPV test together every five years.  The Pap test is extremely important, as it helps identify women at risk for developing cervical cancer.

HPV Test – Women should be tested for HPV every time they have a Pap test. The HPV test in combination with the Pap test enhances accuracy in identifying women at risk of developing cervical cancer.

STD Screening – All sexually active women and their partners should be tested for HIV, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Chlamydia and other STDS, many of which do not show symptoms and can only be detected through testing.

If you would like to learn more about preventive health screenings for women, visit Summit Healthcare Regional Medical Center at summithealthcare.net

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