Sunday, February 12, 2012

Screening Tests for Women are Best Preventive Medicine

Dr. Esther Bahk, of Fauquier Health Internal Medicine at Lake Manassas, believes that “Women have something better than a fountain of youth to help them live long and well — preventive screening tests. These help catch diseases and other medical problems early, when they are most treatable.”

The following is a list of important screenings for women based on the recommendations of major health organizations and U.S. government agencies. Dr. Bahk suggested, “Talk to your doctor to find out which tests and what schedules are best for you.”

Pelvic Exam
Who needs it: Women, ages 18 and older; sexually active women
When to have it: Annually for first three years, then every one to three years based on results
Heart Disease
Blood Pressure Test
Who needs it: Women ages 21 and older
When to have it: Every one to two years based on results

Cholesterol Test
Who needs it: Women ages 20 and older
When to have it: Every five years
Diabetes
Blood Sugar Test
Who needs it: Women ages 45 and older, and pregnant women at high risk (Pregnant women at risk for gestational diabetes include those who are older than age 25, have had the condition before or have a family history of diabetes.)
When to have it: Once at age 45, then every three years; during pregnancy, if needed



Cancer Pap Test
Who needs it: Women ages 21 and older
When to have it: Every two years for women ages 21 to 29 (Women 30 and older who have had three consecutive negative Pap tests can reduce screening to every three years.)

Clinical Breast Exam
Who needs it: Women ages 18 and older
When to have it: Every three years for women ages 20 to 39; yearly from age 40

Mammogram (Breast X-ray)
Who needs it: Women ages 40 and older
When to have it: Every one to two years3

Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT)
Who needs it: Women ages 50 and older
When to have it: Every one to two years
Other Tests Your Doctor May Recommend



Colonoscopy
Who needs it: Women ages 50 and older
When to have it: Every five to 10 years, depending on test results.

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