5 Essential Health Screenings Every Woman Should Do

By on 10/13/2016

Womens SupportWomen’s health is obviously a very important topic, and while it’s prudent to know how to treat different illnesses, diseases or other health problems, it is arguably far more important to fully understand the importance of preventative health medicine.

What is preventative health? It is medicine that focuses on the prevention of disease. Stopping it before it starts, basically.  One commonly known and major way to support women’s health at a preventative level is through proper nutrition, exercise, and supportive health (like vitamins and supplements for the vast array of specific women’s health concerns that becomes even more crucial as we age).

Another, less known key to successful preventative medicine is knowing which health screenings you need and how often.

While the idea of doctors offices, medical tests and insurance bills may sound terrible – health screenings are one of the best and most effective ways to detect any early health problems and stop them in their tracks before they grow into a major medical issue.

Even better, because in the long run preventative health is cheaper than the long term treatment of many illnesses and diseases, most insurance companies will cover most, if not all, of the cost of many crucial health screenings. Yes, it ensures you stay healthy, but as far as the insurance company sees it, it also saves them money!Preventative Healthcare

Did you know the U.S. actually has a Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), that is made up of primary care providers like internists, pediatricians, family physicians, gynecologists/obstetricians, nurses, and health behavior specialists? This task force makes scientifically based and evidence-proven recommendations for health screenings for men and women of all ages and risk groups.

In fact, there are 5 essential health screenings for all women that are critical in preventing cancer, illness and other long-term diseases.

  1. Mammogram – Mammograms are about 84% accurate in detecting breast cancer, which is the most common type of cancer in women. 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed within their life time. Women ages 44-50 are suggested to get a mammogram once a year, and women over 50 are very highly recommended to have the screening annually.
  2. Pap smear – A pap smear tests for cervical cancer, the other major type cancer that plagues many women. For women age 30 and older, it is recommended to have a pap smear once every 5 years. If caught early, the prognosis for cervical cancer is pretty positive.
  3. Osteoporosis (Bone Density) – A bone mineral density test helps detect osteoporosis in women aged 50 and older. The recommendation for this screening is simply to have it done once over the age of 50, and then based on your results, discuss with your doctor when you should re-test. If results are normal, a re-test may not needed for another 10 years! However, if an issue is found, you can easily take some steps to help prevent further loss of bone density and help ensure your twilight years are far more pleasant!
  4. Blood pressure – As we all know, high blood pressure can trigger many serious health concerns. You should have your blood pressure tested every 2 years starting as early as 18 years old. High blood pressure is always an indicator of a health concern and should not be overlooked.
  5. STD/HPV test – All sexually active women should get tested for STD’s and specifically HPV (Human papillomavirus) which has been linked to cervical cancer. STDs can also cause liver failure, infertility, cancer and in the case of HIV – immunodeficiency which could be fatal. STD testing should occur annually or even more frequently if you are at a higher risk (ie: multiple partners).

So, how many of these screenings were you aware of? 

Now that you know the most important tests, and how often to get them, you have no excuse! Do yourself and your loved ones a favor and make sure to never miss one of these crucial screenings to be sure you stay in top health!

About modernhealthproject

Hi there! This is my little blog project where I am trying to learn more about health, wellness and living a balanced life, while also sharing a bit of my silly side as well. By "silly" I mean sarcastic. And by "a bit" I mean way too much. Sorry about that.♥ - Anna

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