Proper screening tests won’t always prevent a disease. But a screening test can often find a disease early enough to allow the best chance of overcoming it. Here are the most important screening tests for women.
Early detection and treatment help prevent the spread of breast cancer and boost the odds of recovery, said Today.com.
According to WebMD, women in their 40s should have a mammogram every year. Between ages 50 and 74, women should have a mammogram every other year.
Pap Smear and Pelvic Exam
Beginning at age 21, or earlier if sexually active, women need to have a pelvic exam and Pap smear every two years to check for any abnormalities, said EverydayHealth.com.
Barring any problems, women age 30 and older only need a Pap smear every three years if they have had three normal tests in a row.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the leading cause of cervical cancer and most sexually active women get the infection at some point, reported Today.com.
Beginning around age 30, women becomes more prone to infection. Get tested at age 30, and have your Pap smear every three years if results are normal.
Bone Density Test
Testing for bone loss is necessary for all women over age 65, as well as for younger women having at least one known risk factor, and for women who have had a hysterectomy, wrote About.com.
Osteoporosis that has been caught early by a bone density test is treatable with medications that stop progression of the disease and can reverse some bone loss.
Skin Cancer Check
Melanoma is the leading cause of cancer death for women ages 25-29, said Today.com. See a dermatologist annually if you have any family history of skin cancer, or semi-annually if you have actually had the disease.
Screening for High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is also called hypertension. In between these two conditions is prehypertension, a sort of early warning stage, wrote WebMD. Ask your doctor how often to check your blood pressure.