In our last blog entry, we discussed two distinct breast cancer screening techniques – mammography and thermography. Mammograms are particularly important health screenings that The American Cancer Society recommends all women age 45 and older should undergo once a year. But mammograms are far from the only health screening women should have each year. Today we’ll look at a few more medical tests that every woman should have to protect their health for the future.
Pelvic Exam/Pap Smear
Beginning at age 21, women should have this swab test once a year to identify potential signs of cervical cancer. This test is especially important for women who were over the age of 26 when the HPV vaccine was introduced. Despite recent strides in prevention and treatment, cervical cancer is still the second most deadly form of cancer for women worldwide.
Cholesterol Screening/Lipid Profile
Beginning at age 20, women should have this test once every five years to assess their risk of heart disease. If the test reveals that your cholesterol levels are high, your doctor may recommend that you come back for additional testing every six months to a year.
This test can identify the early signs of colorectal cancer, making it much easier to treat and cure than if it’s caught later on. Typically, women should begin undergoing this cancer screening at the age of 50. Women with additional risk factors, however, may want to have their first colonoscopy in their 30s or 40s instead.
This health screening, which can be done in the comfort of your own home, is the first line of defense against breast cancer. Perform regular self-examinations to identify any changes in your breast tissue and nipples. Click here for a complete guide to the five steps of a breast self-exam.
Interested in learning more about what you can do to screen for cancer and other health issues? Give us a call to schedule an appointment with the caring physicians at South Avenue Women’s Services today.