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As a woman and a mom, there are certain essential medical checks that you should not ignore, regardless of your age or overall health status. Here are some of the most important to consider.
Getting a Mammogram
Every two years, women aged 50 to 74 should get a mammogram to check for breast cancer. If there is a history of breast cancer in the woman’s family or if there are other risk factors, she may need to start screening earlier. Talk to your doctor about your personal risk factors to find out what the best breast cancer screening schedule is right for you. Also, if you notice any changes in your breasts, like a lump or unusual discharge, you should see a doctor right away.
Pap Smear Testing
Every three years, women over 21 should get a Pap smear test to check for cervical cancer. If you are between the ages of 30 and 65, you should get a Pap test every three years. Or, every five years, a Pap smear and an HPV (human papillomavirus) test. Also, you may need to be screened more often if you have certain risk factors, like a weak immune system or a history of abnormal Pap smear results. See your doctor about the best schedule moving forward.
Essential Medical Checks Include Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can seriously affect your health. Even though men are more likely to have it, about 44% of women also have it. If you are a woman and your family has a history of high blood pressure, you should have your blood pressure taken periodically. Or if you are 40 years old or older. Women who are overweight or have diabetes may need to have their blood pressure checked more often than other women. It’s crucial to talk to your doctor about it.
Check Your Cholesterol Level
Checking your cholesterol levels is important, especially if you have a history of heart disease in your family or if you are over 45. And if you have high blood pressure, smoke, or are overweight, you should have it checked often. A history of diabetes or preeclampsia during pregnancy are also good reasons to get checked regularly. Starting at age 45, you should get checked at least once every five years and make some changes to your lifestyle.
In the United States, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, and regular skin exams can help find it early when it is easiest to treat. The American Cancer Society says that there will be almost 100,000 new cases of melanoma in the United States alone in 2023. A dermatologist should check the skin on a woman’s whole body at least once a year to look for signs of skin cancer. You should also check your own skin once a month for changing moles or spots.
Talk to your healthcare provider about your essential medical checks. Some of the most important to consider are mammograms, blood pressure checks, and exams for skin cancer.