Life threatening diseases are simply taking a toll on human life. We are all making much hue and cry about diseases that still lack medication and treatment. However, are we doing enough to improve or fight back this unfortunate situation that is prevailing? Perhaps NO.
HIV/AIDS, cancer, osteoporosis or any fatal disease you can think of, perhaps cannot be completely cured. However, getting yourself tested early can help you lead normal lives for many more years to come.
Thus, when researchers and scientists are working on bringing out newer remedies; we can play our small yet significant part, by opting for regular screening tests available with health care centers.
Screening tests are set of simple examinations that can help identify physical ailments within body, even when no significant symptoms are observed or experienced by patients.
Screening tests for Women:
Below listed are few screening tests and related age in years when they need to be conducted:
Cervical Screening/ PAP test:
A PAP smear test takes cells from a woman’s cervix or vagina to detect the presence of cancerous cell growth or any probable chances for the same. Early detection facilitates complete cure of cervical cancer.
- For age 21 – 29 years: Take the test after every three years even if you are not sexually active.
- For age 30 – 62 years: Take the test after every five years along with an HPV test to remain on the safer side.
- For age above 64 years: You can stop taking the test with your doctor’s advice.
This is a manual exam conducted to check for the presence of lumps or other abnormal formations in breasts, that may lead to breast cancer. A clinical procedure is conducted at the doctor’s clinic in presence of a nurse practitioner.
- For age 20 – 40 years: Every female at the age of 20 or even younger, needs to go for mammograms after every 3 years under normal health condition.
- For age 41 – 49 years: Women in this age group need to go for this test after every 2 years or so. However, if you are at a higher risk, more frequent visits are suggested.
- For age 50 and above: Mammograms are exceptionally important for all women of the age 50 and above. Annual mammography is suggested by doctors in this case.
Osteoporosis/Bone density test:
Elderly and middle aged women are prone to bone disorders. Therefore, knowing your bone health before they get too fragile to get treated is vital.
Bone density test is a simple procedure that takes X ray images of your bones. The unit of measurement for bone density is known as T score. A healthy bone needs to have a T score of -1 or higher. Knowing your T score early can help to prevent severe osteoporosis – a condition when the bones thin down and become very brittle.
For age 65 and above: The Bone density tests are prescribed to women above the age of 65 years. However, if you have a susceptibility to fragile bones and have suffered fractures earlier, you can definitely opt for this test at the earliest possible time.
Patients undergoing this test need to be on total fast for 12 hours prior to sample collection. Blood samples are collected and tested for three different components – HDL, LDL and triglycerides(blood fat).
For age 20 – 29 years: Women who are in the habit of smoking, drinking, or are suffering from high blood pressure, or have a family history of heart issues, need to start getting this test done after every 2 – 3 years.
For age 30 and above: The test is suggested as an annual screening procedure for all women above the age of 30 years.
Blood Pressure Screening:
Along with cholesterol tests, blood pressure screening is equally important to maintain your heart in good condition. Rather, blood pressure screening is the effective method of determining hypertension; now common in teenagers as well.
For 18 – 39 years: Present scenario shows that blood pressure screening tests for women of 18 years should be conducted after every 2 years; even for normal conditions.
For 40 years and above: The screening test can be conducted after every 6 months or annually.
Any abnormal blood pressure ratings need to be discussed with doctors immediately to avoid any development of heart disorders.
HIV Screening is one of the most important tests that every individual must undergo. HIV is one of those viruses that do not show any noticeable symptom of its presence for years after it has infected any human body. And tests are the only means of detecting HIV within bodies.
Thus, health care professionals suggest that every female who is sexually active, needs to undergo HIV screening to remain on the safer side.
For age group 13 – 64 years: The test has been suggested for all females in between this age group, if they are involved in any kind of sexual activity. In addition, pregnant ladies undergo this test as one of the mandatory procedures during their pregnancy period.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Therefore, opting for screening test is a wise investment made to ensure better health.
The above mentioned are the six important screening tests available for women. Besides these, there are number of other screening tests that can be opted for. Therefore, talk to your doctor today to learn about the screening procedures available in all health care institutes across your city. Get tested, Stay safe!