What Every Woman Should Know About Screening Tests

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What Every Woman Should Know About Screening Tests

You may think your annual OB/GYN exam is all you need to worry about, but Pap Smears and mammograms are just two of the myriad of screening tests that you should request. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, screening tests can find diseases when they are easier to treat. Knowing what tests to ask for could ultimately save your life.

Here is a handy checklist so you know what to ask for at your next visit to the doctor.
All ages:
  • Blood Pressure: All women should have their blood pressure checked at least every two years, more if you have a family history of hyper tension.

  • Diabetes Test: If you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, get a diabetes test.

  • Depression: If you've felt "blue" for two weeks straight, ask your doctor about screening you for depression.

Age 20
  • Pap Smear: You should have this test every one to three years beginning at age 21 or once you're sexually active.

  • Cholesterol: Higher risk women, such as those who smoke, have diabetes or a family history of heart disease, should start having annual cholesterol test beginning at age 20.

  • Chlamydia: If you're sexually active, ask your doctor to test for Sexually Transmitted Diseases, including Chlamydia.

Age 40
  • Mammograms: All women should have a mammogram every one to two years beginning at age 40.

  • Cholesterol: Request regular testing (at least once a year) starting at age 45.

Age 50
  • Colorectal Cancer: By age 50, women should begin having screening test for colorectal cancer. Your doctor can help you decide which test is best for you.

Age 60
  • Osteoporosis: If you are at least 60 and weigh less than 155 lbs, ask your doctor to test your bone density. All women should have a bone density test at age 65.

Seeking preventative care is one of the biggest reasons to have a good health insurance plan. If you haven't been in the habit of getting annual exams (not just with your OB/GYN!), make an appointment today! If you don't have health insurance, look online for a plan that includes doctor visits for preventative care. Visit www.ehealthinsurance.com to search for affordable health insurance options in your area.
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