Since prevention is better than cure, it is advisable to seek preventive health services rather than visiting the hospital only when you are sick. Having regular health check-ups is one way of preventing complications as it helps with the ability to detect potential problems in their early stages. For example, many women have survived breast cancer because doctors detected it early, thanks to their routine medical check-ups.
This article is a guide to 5 important check-ups for a woman’s health.
Pelvic exam and Pap smear
Any woman above the age of 21 should have a Pap smear every three years, regardless of their sexual history. This test helps in checking signs of cervical cancer, which is common among sexually active women. Your doctor can reduce the number of Pap tests if you get three consecutive normal results. Tests for sexually transmitted diseases are also necessary, depending on an individual’s age and risk factors.
Breast Cancer Screening
Regular breast cancer screening is vital for any woman as it is one of the leading types of cancer among women worldwide. During a breast cancer screening, the doctor will conduct physical exams (checking for lumps in the breast) and screening mammograms.
You may be required to go for more breast cancer screenings if you have family members with breast cancer. The current recommendation is that women should start with an annual screening at the age of 45 and start having a biannual mammogram when they turn 55. However, this may vary in different clinics.
Women older than 20 years should have regular screenings for cholesterol levels and triglycerides if they are within the high-risk group for coronary heart disease. Women above 20 years of age can get checked every four two six years. However, the intervals can be reduced after 45 since the risk of heart disease increases with age.
Nowadays, you don’t have to book an appointment with a doctor or physically visit a hospital for check-ups. Online clinics such as Health Express have simple platforms that allow patients to communicate with a doctor remotely. They can also send test kits to your convenient location if the tests need samples. This is an online doctor service website and pharmacy delivery at home; how amazing!
Regular blood pressure screening can help you avoid diseases such as hypertension and high blood pressure.
Though a doctor will only confirm a positive diagnosis of hypertension when your pressure is higher than 140/90, it is advisable to have regular checks if the pressure is 120/80 or below. People diagnosed with high blood pressure should also have a blood glucose test to check for diabetes.
Colon cancer screening
It is advisable to have regular colon cancer screenings if you are above age 50. The common testing methods for colon cancer are sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. Sigmoidoscopy involves using a lighted tube and a camera to examine the lower colon, while colonoscopy uses a longer tube to check the entire colon.
Unless you are at a greater risk of colon cancer or the doctor finds a problem, the recommended interval for a sigmoidoscopy is every 5 years and colonoscopy after every 10 years.