As a woman, you have special needs when it comes to your health. You should be on the alert for early signs of disease because the best prevention is early detection. Be sure to have these important health tests as recommended by your physician.
Blood pressure: age 21 and over, at least once every 2 years, and more often if directed by your doctor.
Breast self-exam: age 20 and over, monthly, to detect changes in breast tissue or appearance.
Cholesterol: age 45 and over, every five years or as directed by your doctor.
Clinical breast exam: (a physician exam to detect breast changes) age 20 - 29, every three years, age 40 and over, yearly.
Dental checkup: age 18 and over, annually, or as directed by your dentist to check for cavities, gum disease or other oral problems.
Electrocardiogram: (to test heart function) age 18 and over, as directed by your doctor.
Eye exam: ( to check vision, detect glaucoma, and other diseases) age 18 and over - every three years or as directed by your doctor.
Fecal occult blood: (to check for blood in the stool) age 50 and over, annually to screen for colorectal cancer.
Mammogram: age 40 and over, annually, to detect changes in breast tissue.
Pap smear: age 18 and over, annually, or earlier than 18 if sexually active.
Routine physical: age 18 and over, as directed by your doctor to maintain health and catch problems early.
Sigmoidoscopy: age 50 and over, every 3 to 5 years to screen for colorectal cancer.
Note: Your physician may advise changes to this basic schedule, such as earlier exams, depending on your personal medical history and your family health history.
Don't be afraid to have tests done. The earlier a problem is detected, the greater the changes for recovery.
Ask your doctor to schedule the test. Don't wait until he or she suggests it. Your health is your responsibility.