Routine screenings are a vital component of preventive health care for women. Many chronic conditions cause few or no symptoms during the early stages but may silently damage the body for years before detection.
Internal medicine physician Pabhdeep Singh, MD, is devoted to helping stay healthy and strong. Preventive care is a cornerstone of long-term health. What medical screenings do you need? Here are the significant screenings you shouldn’t hold off on.
We recommend that women start getting pap smears at age 21 and continue every three years until age 65. A pap smear screens for cervical cancer. The screening involves taking cells from the cervix to detect abnormal changes. Pap smears can detect cervical cancer at its earliest stages, as well as changes that have a high likelihood of developing into cancer.
Bone density screening
Estrogen plays a vital role in keeping your bones strong. As your ovaries wind down their estrogen production, your risk of bone density problems such as osteoporosis increases. Women with average risk should start screening for low bone density at age 65. It’s recommended that you screen sooner if you have risk factors such as early menopause or arthritis.
Colorectal cancer screening
Colorectal cancer isn’t just a man’s disease. Women should start screening for colon cancer at age 45, according to the most recent guidelines by the American Cancer Society.
A colonoscopy is the most common colon cancer screening tool. It’s essential for detecting precancerous and cancerous growths in the colon. We recommend that you screen sooner if you have a family history of colon cancer.
Talk to your doctor about the recommended time to begin getting mammograms if you’re age 40 or over. We recommend that women aged 50 with average risk begin screening for breast cancer every other year. While mammograms aren’t perfect, they’re an effective tool for detecting breast cancer at earlier stages before it spreads.
Blood pressure check
A blood pressure check is one of the simplest screenings for women. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women and men, so all women should make their heart and circulatory health a top priority.
A blood pressure screening checks for high blood pressure. A persistently elevated blood pressure is a significant risk factor for heart attack and stroke.
Too much cholesterol circulating in your blood can accumulate in your arteries, causing them to narrow and raising the risk for cardiovascular problems. An annual cholesterol screening helps you stay on top of your cholesterol levels and alerts you to any potential issues.
Maintaining healthy habits such as getting plenty of physical activity, eating a well-balanced diet, and maintaining a healthy weight go a long way toward keeping cholesterol levels within a healthy range.
Blood sugar screening
Screening for abnormal blood sugar levels is a vital part of preventing and managing diabetes. Women who are overweight, have high blood pressure, or hormonal disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are at an increased risk of developing diabetes. A blood sugar check is an easy screening to add to your annual well-woman checkup.
Preventing diseases and detecting them early when they develop helps you live a long and healthy life. To schedule routine health screenings, contact our El Centro, California office at 760-208-1338 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Singh today. You can also book online at your convenience.