Every woman’s average day is almost routine … care for your family, meet deadlines and possibly hope for some time to relax later. But in the midst of all this, have you noticed how health automatically takes a backseat? And no, we aren’t talking about your exercise regime. We are talking about diseases that affect women, and the medical tests you cannot afford to miss if you want to prevent them in their earliest stages.
Cholesterol (Lipid Profile) Check
Studies say that women are more susceptible to heart disease than to cancer. Menopause causes a change in your cholesterol level, so starting from the age of 45; you should have regular cholesterol checks. In fact, if you smoke, have diabetes, are obese or have family members with heart problems, start getting the check even earlier.
Clinical Breast Exam and Mammogram
Breast cancer is one of the most hard-hitting cancers in women. Get a clinical exam from your doctor, from the age of 20. Once you turn 40, start getting mammograms at least once a year.
This is the best way to check for an HPV infection, which helps prevent cervical cancer. Start getting tested early, as soon as you become sexually active, or when you turn 21. Depending on the test results, your doctor will be able to advise you on how frequently you should take the test.
Bone-Mineral Density Test
Post menopause, a woman can lose between 5-7 per cent of her bone density. To find out if you are at risk for osteoporosis, it is important that you get a bone-mineral density test after menopause, especially if you smoke, are thin, or have suffered from any non-traumatic fractures.
You should get a colonoscopy every few years, from the age of 50, to find out if you are at risk of developing colon cancer. If you have a family history of this disease, then have the test done earlier.
To ensure that you are not at risk of cardiac arrests and other heart problems, get a regular heart-health check up. This is, especially, necessary if you are over the age of 45 and have a family history of heart attacks and hypertension.
If you have a history of diabetes in your family or if you suffer from hypertension and high cholesterol, you must get regular blood sugar tests to ensure that you do not get diabetes.
Tests for HIV and Other STDs
Any woman who is sexually active must get screened for HIV. Speak to your doctor to know if you should get tested for other STDs like Herpes and Chlamydia as well.
Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? But when it comes to healthcare, the old cliché holds true – Prevention is, after all, better than cure!
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