Every woman has to take care of her health. Thanks to a wide range of health screening tests, it is easy for women to detect potential health illnesses or risk factors by visiting a well woman clinic in London. Osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, and other serious conditions can be detected in the earliest stages. This increases the odds of getting better with more effective treatment.
The importance of health screening tests is something we cannot overemphasize. They can detect abnormalities before symptoms come to the surface. A woman needs different screening tests depending on her age, personal & family history, and risk factors for certain health illnesses. However, in general, women should take certain tests to detect any health problems earlier.
In this guide, we have put together a list of common well woman screening tests that every woman should consider taking. Without further ado, let us dive right in.
- Detecting Breast Cancer
When caught in the early stages, doctors can treat breast cancer. The smaller the tumour, the less likely it is to spread to lymph nodes. Doctors recommend taking a clinical breast examination test for women in their 20s and 30s about every 3 years. Women 40 years of age and over should take the test every year.
Can you have mammograms?
A baseline mammogram is effective for women aged 40. Yearly mammograms for women of 40 and above are recommended.
Women with lumpy breasts or other breast symptoms or those with a high risk of developing breast cancer should take a baseline mammogram test at the age of 35. Those who have the risk factors for breast cancer should follow a different health screening schedule depending on what their doctors suggest.
- Screening Cervical Cancer
Detecting cervical cancer is easy with a pap smear test. The test helps doctors to find abnormal cell growth on the cervix. If detected early, these cell growths can be removed before things get worse and lead to cancer. The human papillomavirus (HPV), a type of sexually transmitted disease is responsible for cervical cancer. So, if you choose to screen for any sexually transmitted infections, it would be more beneficial for you.
- Screening for STIs
During the Pap smear test, the physician takes away a small sample of cells from the cervix for lab analysis to detect the presence of the HPV virus. Other forms of screenings are there including tests that can detect STIs such as gonorrhoea and chlamydia.
You must test for these STIs annually if you are sexually active. Some forms of STIs increase the risk of problems in unborn babies. This is why pregnant women should test for these infections and get treatment as early as possible if they are positive.
- Take the HPV Vaccine
Two major vaccines are available for preventing certain types of HPV infections. They may include Gardasil and Cervarix, which protect against certain strains of the HPV virus. While there are more than 100 types of the HPV virus, not all are capable of infecting one’s genital tract and causing infection. This means not all of the virus forms cause cervical cancer.
The vaccines do not confer complete protection against all strains of HPV. This is why it is important for you to continue to get the Pap smears test. Do not hesitate to discuss the risks and advantages of vaccination with your doctor.
- Detecting Osteoporosis
In osteoporosis, patients develop weak and fragile bones that are susceptible to fractures. It is more common in women as they age, leading to lost bone mass. The first symptom of this bone disease may be a bone break after a relatively minor accident.
Women over 50 should have a bone mineral density test. But you need to first discuss it with your doctor if you are thinking of having this test. If your age is 65 or you are older, you should have the test at least once.
- Checking Skin Cancer
A majority of skin cancer conditions are treatable when you detect them early. Basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma are the most common yet the least dangerous types of non-melanoma tumours.
If you are subject to excessive sun exposure, it can increase your potential for developing melanoma i.e., a skin cancer. You need to have annual skin checks if you have moles and other skin spots. This reduces any risks of malignancy. Fair-skinned people often have lots of moles, freckles, blue and/or green eyes, a history of sunburn, or a family history of skin cancer. In those cases, those patients are most vulnerable to the disease.
- Screening High Blood Pressure (BP)
Blood pressure increases as people age. It increases the risks of cardiovascular diseases along with other risk factors including diabetes, increased waist circumference, and high triglycerides and triglycerides. High BP can often lead to heart attack and stroke.
So, it is important for everyone to check for high blood pressure. Because it can damage the eyes, kidneys, and other essential organs with time. Adult women over 20 should have a blood pressure check about every two years. If you have heart health risks, your doctor would want to screen you for high blood pressure.
- Checking Cholesterol Level
Cholesterol is a fat molecule present in our blood. Some amount of cholesterol is necessary to ensure vitality, but excessive levels can increase the risks of hardened arteries, which is what we call atherosclerosis. When excess blood lipids clog into the blood vessels in the arteries, it leads to a heart attack or stroke. From increased body mass index (BMI), diabetes, smoking, and other factors, high cholesterol levels are associated with cardiovascular diseases.
- Measuring Cholesterol Levels
When you are 20, you should have your fasting cholesterol levels checked every four to six years. The cholesterol test helps measure the total level of good cholesterol and bad cholesterol levels.
Your doctor may recommend checking cholesterol levels more frequently if you have the risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Make sure you make certain lifestyle changes including diet and exercise. Medication can also be your option to keep your cholesterol levels in control.