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May is Women's Health Month

This May we celebrate Women’s Health Month and Mother’s Day, which offer us all a unique opportunity to check in with the women in our lives. Oftentimes it can be hard for women to put themselves before their friends and family, but when it comes to their health, it’s more important than ever to practice a little self-care.

Screening tests for women at every age

It seems that every day we have more and more to keep track of and inevitably something falls by the wayside, but making a point to schedule regular health screening tests is a major step toward a healthy, happy you. Here are a few of the tests the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommends for women to have, organized by age bracket, and a few questions you should ask your doctor while being tested.

  • Ages 18–30
    • Blood pressure test
      • If your blood pressure is lower than 120/80, get tested at least every two years
      • If your blood pressure is between 120/80 and 139/89, you should get tested once a year
      • If your blood pressure is 140/90 or higher, you should discuss treatment options with a healthcare professional
      • Questions to ask:
        • What are some causes of high blood pressure?
        • Should I make changes to my diet and/or exercise routine?
    • Cervical cancer screening (Pap test)
      • If you are between 21 and 29  you should get a Pap test every three years
      • If you are 30 or older you can get a Pap test and an HPV test together every five years or a Pap test alone every 3 years
    • Cholesterol test
      • Get your cholesterol tested regularly starting at age 20 if you are at increased risk for heart disease
      • Ask your doctor or nurse how often you should have your cholesterol tested
      • Questions to ask:
        • How can I keep my cholesterol at a healthy level?
        • What should I do to minimize my risk of heart disease?
    • Diabetes screening
      • Have a diabetes screening if your blood pressure is over 135/80 or if you take medicine for high blood pressure
      • Questions to ask:
        • What sorts of lifestyle changes should I make if I have pre-diabetes?
        • What are some symptoms of diabetes that I should look for?
  • Ages 40–49
    • Blood pressure test
    • Breast cancer screening (mammogram)
      • Ask your doctor or nurse if you should have a mammogram
      • Questions to ask:
        • What are early signs of breast cancer?
        • How can I check myself at home?
    • Cervical cancer screening (Pap test)
      • Have a Pap test and an HPV test together every five years
    • Cholesterol test
    • Diabetes screening
  • Ages 50–64
    • Blood pressure test
      • Bone mineral density test (osteoporosis screening)
      • Ask your doctor or nurse if you are at risk of osteoporosis
      • Questions to ask:
        • What can I do to ward off osteoporosis?
        • Are there exercises that can help me build up my bone density?
    • Breast cancer screening (mammogram)
      • Have a mammogram every two years starting at age 50
    • Cervical cancer screening (Pap test)
    • Cholesterol test
    • Colorectal cancer screening
      • Get screened for colorectal cancer
      • There are several screening tests for colorectal cancer (fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy); ask your doctor or nurse which is best for you and how frequently you should be tested
    • Diabetes screening
  • Ages 65+
    • Blood pressure test
    • Bone mineral density test (osteoporosis screening)
      • Once you are 65, you should have an osteoporosis screening
      • Questions to ask:
        • Should I have repeat testing, and how often?
        • How can I manage my osteoporosis?
    • Breast cancer screening (mammogram)
      • Keep having a mammogram every two years through age 74
      • Ask your doctor or nurse if you need to be screened after age 75
    • Colorectal cancer screening
      • Get screened through age 75
    • Cervical cancer screening (Pap test)
      • Ask your doctor or nurse if you need to get a Pap test
    • Cholesterol test
    • Diabetes screening

You might feel overwhelmed by a new diagnosis. Many people do. We can help you manage your treatment. Health Mart is with you each step of the way.

Source

  1. OWH: “Screening tests for women.” Available at: http://www.womenshealth.gov/screening-tests-and-vaccines/screening-tests-for-women/; Accessed April 2, 2016.



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