Prevention is better than cure. Having regular checkups and health screenings would greatly help in stopping often fatal diseases before they even begin, or detect them early for easier and more efficient treatment. As there are many diseases that occur only or prevalently among women, we have come up with suggestions of screening tests every woman must undergo. In advocating women’s health care, we greatly believe that prevention and early detection are the keys to a healthy and worry-free life.
First, take screening tests for breast cancer which is of the top diseases that cause a great number of casualties among the female population. The earlier you discover the cancer, the greater chance there is to be a survivor. Breasts that are smaller in size have lesser risk. Once you reach the age of 20, breast cancer screening tests must be done regularly every year to every three years. However, more repeated screenings are recommended if you have risk factors like giving birth for the first time beyond the age of 30 or never having breastfed. Mammograms are done to detect lumps in the breasts, though presence of such does not readily point to cancer.
For dealing with cervical cancer prevention and early detection, pap smears are conducted. Pap smears help find abnormal cells in the cervix so that they can be removed even before they become cancer cells. HPV (human papilloma virus) tests and pap smears greatly help in detecting cervical cancer. Aside from detection, avoiding cervical cancer is also a possibility by having yourself vaccinated. They can protect women younger than 26 to avoid HPV strains but these vaccines cannot combat all the cancer-causing strains so regular pap smears are still a must.
DXA(dual energy x-ray absorptiometry) is a procedure that measures the bone’s strength and detect osteoporosis before a breakage happens. It is recommended for women aged 65 or older, but earlier for those with family history of osteoporosis.
Having your skin checked by dermatologists or simply watching out for any skin marking, mole or freckle may help to detect skin cancer early.
Also, having your blood pressure checked and maintained regularly is a good practice. Blood pressure tests show two figures: the systolic which is the pressure of the blood when the heart beats, and the diastolic which is the pressure between beats.
Blood tests are also a must for keeping updated about your cholesterol level. High cholesterol level in the body may cause blockage of the arteries and eventually lead to heart ailments. Be reminded that 12-hour fasting is required before letting them test your blood. Aside from determining the cholesterol level, blood tests are also utilized to measure sugar level in the blood and thus alert you when you are nearing to acquiring diabetes. Aside from the two mentioned, blood tests are also used to detect the presence of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) which causes the incurable disease AIDS.
Colonoscopy is also suggested to help detect colorectal cancer which is the second most deadliest cancer among both men and women coming next to lung cancer.
Also, have your eyes checked to avoid glaucoma which may lead to blindness.
Ask your doctor about these screenings and have yourself checked before everything’s too late.