To have a long and healthy life, you need help from your doctor. Visiting a medical professional should be at the top of your to-do list. For women, there are tests that are essential to go through. These tests help in detecting health conditions early, so that when caught, it will be a lot easier to find treatment.
Aside from annual physical exams, here are six important tests every woman should have:
Mammograms are done to X-Ray your breasts that help in detecting breast cancer. When you reach the age of 40, this test should be something you and your doctor need to talk about. This is because at this period in life, your breast cancer risks greatly increases. Your doctor may recommend that you undergo regular mammograms.
If you’re in your 20s or 30s, you may still want to go through this test as there are some special circumstances, such as your medical history or your family’s background. Also, if you feel there’s a lump in your breast, you have nipple discharge, feel breast pain, or there is a rash developing on this part of the body, don’t wait. Visit your doctor as immediately as you can.
If you have a family history of skin cancer, you should talk to your doctor about this type of test. Your entire body will be monitored every month to check whether there are changes in your moles or there are suspicious spots that you are worried about. Skin cancer is dangerous and can be fatal, which is why catching it early is important.
Even if there’s no one in the family who has had skin cancer, you still have this test, particularly during your annual physical exam with your dermatologist or GP. Skin check should be a part of the overall assessment of your health.
Pap smear test is a tried and true way for doctors to detect whether or not you have cervical cancer. It is also used to determine if you have cervical cancer. Either way, when spotted early, it will be much easier to treat the cancer effectively. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), the death rate of cervical cancer has reduced to almost 75% since it was introduced about 50 years ago.
Pap smear is recommended for women who are at least 21 years old. If you have had the test and you are negative from the human papillomavirus (HPV), this doesn’t mean you should stop the test. In fact, you should still get tested at least every two years. Meanwhile, if you are a smoker, start having intercourse at an early age, have STD or HIV, or are at least 30 years old, you should have a pap smear every year.
One of the most effective ways to determine if you have a heart disease or at least have a high risk of developing it is through checking your cholesterol levels. When your cholesterol is high, this raises your chances of getting a heart attack or even stroke. Plus, high cholesterol levels are also connected to gallbladder disease.
It is recommended that you have such test when you reach the age of 20, even if your family does not have heart problems. If the results are normal, you don’t have to go back for five years, but make sure you keep getting the tests until you are 45 years old. Annual screening should be done to those with families that have heart diseases, those who are more than 45 years old, and those with a total cholesterol level of more than 200.
High blood pressure can affect your health silently and can kill when left untreated. You could be increasing the odds of getting a heart disease and you might even have a sudden cardiac arrest.
You need to have this test, so the doctor can check if your blood pressure is high. If it is confirmed, you will be asked for a follow-up visit for verification. Blood pressure testing is one of the easiest tests a woman should go through. It only takes a minute or two, so there’s no excuse not to have this test no matter how busy you are.
Comprehensive Eye Exam
You already know your eyes are important. Make sure that you talk to your healthcare provider for an eye exam to catch if there are problems with your eyes. Sties, cataracts, glaucoma, and vision changes can be detected through a comprehensive eye test. Glaucoma is one of the most common eye diseases, but it can be treated when detected early. In most cases, vision loss due to glaucoma can be slowed down if you show up at your ophthalmologist’s office before the onset of symptoms.
It doesn’t matter if you have a good vision because a basic eye exam is required for those who are at the age of 40. You will need the exam at least every two years until you reach 65 years old. After this, you need to get checked annually. If one of your family members has glaucoma, make sure you get your eyes checked before you reach 40. Also, if you have diabetes, you use steroids, you wear contact lenses, or you are an African American, have this check annually and before you’re 40.
These six medical screening tests will help you stay on top of your health. You can think of them as basic maintenance to ensure you are free from fatal diseases and health conditions.