WHAT DISEASES TO GET SCREENED FOR – WHEN AND WHY

Do you know a visit to your doctor when you are not Ill is one of the ways of staying healthy

The essence of regular medical checkup is to evaluate the current health status, screen for diseases or risk factors and provide preventive counseling depending on the age of the individual.  This helps to prevent onset of disease or worsening of an existing one. When diseases are in their early stages and detected early, if adequate diagnosis and treatment are available, there is a good chance it can be cured.

In preventive healthcare, measures are taken for disease prevention, as opposed to disease treatment.

Here are a few screenings for women at different ages:
Blood pressure: Have your blood pressured at least every once every two years if it is in the healthy range (under 120/80) or once a year if it is above normal (between 120/80 and 139/89).

  • Cervical cancer: A Pap smear is recommended every three years for women 21-65 who have a cervix. At age 30 a pap test and HPV test every 5 years is an option. If you are 65 or older, ask your doctor or nurse if you need to keep having Pap tests.
  • Diabetes screening: Diabetes may run in families or be linked to certain lifestyle factors. You should be tested if you have any of these risk factors:

1.Obesity

  1. Previous abnormal glucose screening results
    3. High blood pressure
    4. High cholesterol
    5. History of gestational diabetes or a baby weighing more than 9 pounds at birth
  • Bone density: Get this test at least once at age 65 or after. Talk to your doctor or nurse about getting tested if you’re younger than 65 and about repeat testing.
  • Breast cancer: Mammography every two years for women ages 50-74. If you are 75 or older, ask your doctor or nurse if you need to continue having mammograms.
  • Colorectal cancer:This screening is recommended for women ages 50-75. Talk to your doctor about which screening test, (fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy) or combination of tests, is best for you and how often you need it and if you should continue having these tests after 75.
  • HIV/AIDS: Get tested for HIV/AIDS at least once after age 20, or earlier if you are at high risk for being infected by the human immunodeficiency virus. Discuss further testing with your doctor.
  • Lipid profile: Starting at age 20, women at increased risk for developing heart disease should have regular cholesterol tests.

*Sexually Transmitted Infections: Get tested for chlamydia yearly through age 24 if you are sexually active or pregnant. After age 25, get tested for chlamydia and other sexually transmitted diseases if you are at increased risk for getting a sexually transmitted infection.

You need to stay ahead of diseases by warding them off before they even start.