It’s time to stop procrastinating and make your health a priority. There are 5 important health checkups that are extremely important to your health as a woman no matter what age you are. You may not need all of these checkups right now, but make sure you know about them and talk to your doctor about when you should make your appointment.
Many women are concerned about the radiation exposure or the fear that something might be found. However, the odds of surviving breast cancer are strongly tied to how early it’s found. Women with stage 1 breast cancer have a 88 percent 5-year survival rate according to the the American Cancer Society.
As mammograms are now covered by insurance under preventive services, there is no excuse not to have your breasts checked out. The current recommendation is to do this every two years starting at 40 years old (unless other risk factors dictate yearly) then yearly once a woman reaches 50 years old.
Get your colonoscopy
As intimidating and unpleasant as it may sound, this is the primary way to evaluate for colon cancer or polyps and needs to start at 50 years old. Someone who has a personal history of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps, ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, or a family history of colorectal cancer will need to start sooner. Make the appointment, do the prep and get it over with. A normal result means you do not have to do it for another 10 years.
Do a fasting blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c
These tests evaluate for diabetes or pre-diabetes. Normal blood glucose should be between 75-99mg/dL while pre-diabetes falls between 100-125 mg/dL, and 126 mg/dL and above is considered diabetes.
A pre-diabetic hemoglobin A1c is between 5.7-6.4 percent while 6.5 percent and above, on two separate tests, is considered diabetic. Understand your numbers as diabetes can cause a lot of damage and lead to serious health consequences, but remember that with changes in diet and exercise may be prevented.
Get an eye exam
Many people cannot remember the last time they had a full comprehensive eye exam that checks for visual acuity, visual fields, pupil reaction, as well as for glaucoma and cataracts, macular degeneration and diabetic changes. Eye issues can sneak up on you therefore it is important to catch any changes early.
Get a full body skin check
You should request that your health care provider or dermatologist examine your skin from scalp to toe nails. This is important to assess for skin cancer such as basal cell, squamous cell and melanoma. It can also teach you what to watch for and to further evaluate non-cancerous lesions such as eczema, skin tags, or psoriasis.
Talk with your health care provider today about starting the year off healthy with these five exams or tests. You will be happy to have these checked off your list!