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Be it exercising regularly or maintaining a balanced nutritious diet, staying healthy may come across as a time consuming effort to many of you. It is nevertheless important for every woman to ensure vigilance and oversight when it comes to their health status and one such way is to get appropriate screening tests done, which could detect potential health problems while they’re still treatable and manageable.
Here are the top 5 tests to ensure timely detection of health ailments:
Regular blood check-ups can help find potential health issues before they become a problem and is one of the most important ways to keep track of overall physical well-being. Getting tested at routine intervals can allow us to see the way our body changes over time and empower us to make informed decisions about our health. Routine blood examination may include Anemia test, blood pressure screening, cholesterol check up, Blood Glucose test, Vitamin D etc. Preventive Blood tests can be done at least twice a year.
A mammogram is an X-ray of the breasts. It is used to find signs of breast cancer, which is the second most common cause of cancer-related death of women. Women are usually advised to get a mammogram done between the age of 40-50, followed by a repeat screening every year or two. Mammograms are advisable to identify any skeptical changes occurring in the breast e.g. breast pain, lumps, unusual skin color etc. However, this test is not recommended for pregnant patients.
A pelvic exam is an examination of the female reproductive organs to check for infections, cancer, and other related conditions. A “Pap Test” is a common screening done during a pelvic exam to help detect cervical cancer. Detecting cervical cancer early with a Pap smear gives a greater chance for treatment and it can also detect changes in cervical cells, helping to identify early onset of cancer. Detecting these abnormal cells early with a Pap smear is the first step in warding off the possible development of cervical cancer. A pelvic examination is advised to be conducted once a year, starting at age of 21.
A bone density test measures bone mass in key areas of your body, such as your wrist, hips and heels. It is an important test to diagnose osteoporosis, a condition in which the bones become weak, brittle and highly susceptible to breaking and damage. A bone density test can be done using different techniques, however, a common technique is “dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan as this scan enhances the accuracy of calculating the risk of breaking bones. A bone density test uses X-rays to measure how many grams of calcium and other bone minerals are packed into a segment of bone and the bones that are most commonly tested are in the spine, hips and forearm. Bone density test can be done twice in a year and there is no affixed age criteria.
Hormonal imbalances are common these days due to lifestyle changes and stress triggers at work and home spaces alike. Hormone blood tests can reveal an abundance of important information about a woman’s health. Moreover, blood tests to measure female hormone levels also can play a role in diagnosing medical conditions such as PCOD/PCOS, thyroid disease or diabetes. Hormonal profile test may include estrogen, progesterone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), testosterone/DHEA, thyroid hormones.
Therefore, it is critical for women to be vigilant of their health and get regular medical screening tests done. While the test listed above will help you detect a number of ailments and monitor your health, do consult your doctor(s) to understand the relevance of the tests before getting one and if any other tests are required basis your medical profile and history.