Life for many women is extremely busy and with a huge daily “to do” list, health care checks can soon languish at the very bottom. With so many people relying on you, it’s essential to look after yourself. If you have any hidden healthcare issues, the sooner they are identified and treated the better. During a woman’s lifetime, there are key ages when certain healthcare checks are encouraged.
It’s so important to schedule screening and health care checks into your life. Often screenings can save lives, as the earlier a problem is spotted the better. Occasionally diseases such as cancer can go undetected for a long time meaning that early intervention is impossible. If you have a relative who is terminally ill, you have options available to make their life as comfortable as possible. Spectrum Healthcare palliative and end of life care offer specialist care services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The remainder of this article aims to highlight some of the healthcare screening checks you shouldn’t miss.
This is a blood test which assesses the likelihood of a person suffering from a stroke or heart disease in the future. It’s recommended that from the age of 20 your cholesterol should be checked every five years. Cholesterol levels are affected by diet or hereditary factors. If you experience a high level your medical practitioner will be able to advise.
Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a main contributing factor to heart disease and stroke. Your reading should be around 120/80, as you age it’s possible that your reading will become higher. Raised blood pressure is also caused by poor diet, obesity, smoking and it can be hereditary. Annual screening of blood pressure after the age of 40 years is recommended.
A mammogram screens for breast cancer. If you have no family history of breast cancer it is recommended that two yearly mammogram screening should happen from the age of 50 years. It may be recommended that you have an annual mammogram if you have a strong family history. Mammograms can detect tiny microscopic changes within the breast, meaning that breast cancer can be spotted at the earliest stage. Early detection means the better success of treating the disease.
A cervical screening test (smear test) detects abnormal cells on the cervix. An abnormal result doesn’t necessarily mean cancer but does warrant further investigation. Abnormal cells can be easily removed, which lowers the chance of cancer. It’s important not to delay your cervical screening test as early detection of cancer cells means a cure is more likely.
From the age of 25 years to 65, all women should be invited for a cervical screening test, cervical cancer is rare for women under the age of 25 years, although it isn’t unheard of.
These are all examples of screening tests that shouldn’t be delayed. Although a couple of the tests can be a little uncomfortable, the benefits far outweigh any inconvenience. In the UK the screening tests are free on the NHS, for other countries ensure that screening is included in your health insurance policies.
Don’t delay, book that appointment today!