Health screenings; 7 important screenings every woman should have
It is important for us to take care of both our physical and mental health. During times such as these, we often forget to look at our health and monitor it. We are so busy getting ahead and becoming successful that we often compromise our own health. We deal with a lot of sleepless nights, missed meals, and even unhealthy coping habits such as smoking. Women are affected differently by all of these issues.
Every woman should take out the time to develop healthy habits such as stress management, eating right, and exercising regularly. The most important habit that they should develop is getting their physical health monitored routinely so that they can detect potential problems before they turn serious and severe. Regular screening might even help save your life. There are a lot of complications that can arise if the disease is not caught in time.
There are so many women who are thankful for these early screenings since they helped them detect breast cancer in their early stages. They had better prognosis than the women who found out in the later stages. We have curated a list of certain essential screenings that every woman should routinely go through.
Body mass index
Obesity can bring a lot of problems to our bodies. It can lead to numerous health conditions such as cholesterol, high levels of triglycerides, high blood pressure, increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and much more. Usually, at the age of 18, most adults should be screened for obesity. There is no specific guideline given as to how much or how often your doctor should check you for obesity. But this test is still quite important. Your body mass index will help in determining whether you are obese and at risk for other diseases.
Colon cancer screening
Did you know that more than 1% of the world’s population has colon cancer? This serious disease should be screened by the time a woman is 50 years of age. This can either be done at a hospital or even a doctor’s office, whichever one you are comfortable with. You will either have a colonoscopy, a procedure in which a long tube is inserted through your rectum to examine your entire colon, or a sigmoidoscopy, a procedure in which a camera and a lighted tube are inserted in the anus to examine the lower colon.
This procedure might feel uncomfortable but is very necessary in determining your risk of colon cancer. The patient is asked to not eat at all before the test. Unless and until you show some risk of colon cancer, these procedures should be repeated every 5-10 years for optimal results.
Blood glucose tests
Every woman should get a blood glucose test after the age of 45, at least once in three months in order to determine if they are at risk for prediabetes or diabetes. Obesity is a major cause of type 2 diabetes in many people. People who have a family history of diabetes are also affected by this. Certain races are also predisposed to developing diabetes, which is why they should get screened more often.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the normal range for these tests usually varies. But if you are taking a fasting plasma glucose test, a reading of 100 mg/dl will indicate prediabetes, while a reading of 126 mg/dl or higher indicates diabetes. Talk to your doctor about the various strategies that you can apply if you are diabetic.
Good dental health is quite important if you want strong and healthy gums and teeth. All adult women need to get dental checkups at least twice a year. These regular checkups should also include examination of the teeth and cleaning. Even x-rays during your checkup can help you find out early signs of decay or any other problem that might be lurking around.
Most insurance plans cover these checkups since these are considered preventive. These can be expensive if you do not have dental insurance, so be sure to have a word with your health insurance company about your plans before you go ahead and make any appointments. There are even community services such as these that are offered for free sometimes.
Did you know that skin cancer is quite a real problem? Women should take out the time once a month to examine their skin by themselves at home. You should look at the skin all over your body, paying attention to any new spots or moles that have come up. A major symptom of skin cancer changes to existing moles or new moles arising. A ton of people have a family history of skin cancer, which is why you should talk to your doctor about how often you should have a skin examination.
Probably the most important screening test for a woman, mammograms involve a procedure where the breasts are compressed between two plates to check for breast cancer with the help of an X-ray. It is important to get constant wellness checks for breast cancer since it is a lifelong disease. The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age, which is why it is hard to pinpoint exactly how many times you should have your mammogram done. Women should have a mammogram at least once every two years, especially after the age of 45. If you have a family history of breast cancer, this test should be done more often.
Pap smears are tests that should be done once every three years, starting from the age of 21. Your gynaecologist will use a speculum in order to widen your vaginal canal. They will then take a few cells from your cervix with the help of a small brush so that they can examine them for cervical cancer. You can even get checked for HPV, a common STD that can cause cervical cancer.
It is very important for us to look after our health and to prioritize it. Use this checklist to help you know what screenings are important for you.