According to Dr. Christopher Walker, urogynecologist, regenerative medicine specialist, and the founder of Hazel Walker Foundation, “Health screenings help us detect diseases at an early stage and improve patient outcomes. Therefore, women must have access to quality care and freedom to make their own reproductive health care decisions.”
Even though maintaining your health requires effort and vigilance, it is not the most challenging thing you will ever do. But it may be among the most important. Receiving the proper screening tests, which are used to identify potential health issues while they are still curable, is one aspect of that effort.
As you get older, you’ll need different screening exams. Once you begin a test, you’ll probably need to take it occasionally for the rest of your life.
Pap smear and pelvic exam
Women aged 21 and older should get a Pap smear every three years, regardless of their sexual history to ensure reproductive health. Cervical cancer symptoms are sought after by the Pap smear. If three consecutive normal Pap tests are given to you, your doctor might allow you to have smears less frequently. With a negative HPV test, your doctor can also prolong this interval in older women.
In accordance with their risk factors and recommended ages, women should undergo STD testing.
Finding breast cancer early
Clinical exams and mammogram screenings are the main components of breast cancer screening. Your doctor will screen you if you have breast cancer in the family to determine whether you are at increased risk for more severe forms of the disease that are linked to specific genes (BRCA1 or BRCA 2). Your doctor might suggest genetic counseling or BRCA testing if you’re at risk.
Exam of the physical body and emotional health
In your 20s, you should get two physicals. Every time you see a doctor, they should carefully examine you from head to toe and check your:
- Dimensions: Height, Weight, and BMI (BMI)
- Your physician might also inquire with you regarding:
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Smoking, dietary habits, and vaccination records
- A violent intimate relationship
Test for cholesterol
If a woman is at risk for coronary heart disease, she should have baseline cholesterol and triglyceride screening done. Starting at age 20, the American Heart AssociationTrusted Source advises women to get checked every four to six years. Cholesterol screening becomes crucial after age 45 as the risk of heart disease rises with advancing age.
An eye exam
If you wear contacts or glasses, have your vision checked every other year. It might not be necessary to screen you if you don’t have vision issues. However, if you have any worries, you should visit an eye doctor.
Screening for colon cancer
You should begin having colon cancer screenings once you turn 50. A possible test is a:
- Annual stool test
- Dynamic sigmoidoscopy (every five years)
- Colonoscopy (every 10 years)
- Two-dimensional barium enema (every five years)
- Colonoscopy using computed tomography (every five years)
You might require screening more frequently if you have a high risk of colon cancer. Up until the age of 75, you ought to be examined for this.