Taking care of your long-term health is so important. As we age, things change and it’s important to be proactive rather than reactive. Getting your routine screenings that look at various aspects of your health, from your blood pressure and cholesterol to your stamina and physical health are important. Here are some of the more important health screenings that women should get:
As a woman, one of the riskiest cancers for you is breast cancer. While men can get breast cancer, most people who get this type of cancer are women. You should get various types of breast screenings to look for signs of cancer. The first is a basic type of breast exam, where the doctor or nurse will look for signs of bumps or lumps on your breast, including examining your armpits and areolas for irregular patterns or colors. You should also get a mammogram each year starting between 40 and 50 years old, according to your doctor’s guidelines.
Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Checks
These are two simple screenings that everyone should get done regularly, especially if you are a woman. In fact, women often have a higher risk for heart disease and other cardiovascular conditions, so you should start these tests around age 18-20. Blood pressure and cholesterol are now checked during the pediatric years. Your doctor may request to perform the test each year if you are at high risk, or do them every few years when you go in for routine blood work. Both blood pressure and cholesterol can affect your heart health and overall health, so don’t skip this one.
One of the more common medical conditions women need to be careful about is osteoporosis. This is when you lose some of your bone density, which can easily happen with women as they age. You need to focus on diet and nutrition, as well as proper exercise to help prevent osteoporosis. You can also get early treatment by getting osteoporosis screenings periodically. This often includes getting a bone density scan, then following that up with x-rays of your bones.
Though getting pap smears is not the most comfortable, it is necessary to ensure there are no infections or abnormalities that can lead to cancer or other complications. Most women need pap smears yearly but follow their doctor’s orders.
Blood Glucose Tests
Finally, as a woman, you might be at risk for diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can occur at any time during your life, whether you are at high risk for it or not. It is important to get routine blood work, including checking your blood glucose levels, so you know whether or not you have pre-diabetes or if you already have diabetes and need to get it treated.
The key to taking charge of your health is prevention. Getting your regular preventative exams and tests can help identify things early and fix problems before it’s too late.