Health screenings or diagnostics aren’t something that should slip to the bottom of your to-do list. Screenings such as pap tests, mammograms, colonoscopies and bone density scans at appropriate ages or in light of family history risks are the best way to identify problems early when they’re most treatable.
|Screenings during certain stages of life can help identify problems when they are most treatable.|
Important Screenings in your 20s and 30s
1. Pap Test
2. Human papillomavirus (HPV)
3. HIV & STD
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the HPV vaccination for boys and girls around the age of 10 or 11, before they are sexually active. Pediatrician Dr. Karen Keane believes the vaccination is a vital addition to regular childhood immunizations. “It’s really a good vaccine,” she says. “For girls, it potentially reduces the risk of cervical and other genital cancers later in life. For boys, it reduces their risk of rectal, anal and oral cancers.”
Important Screenings in your 40s and 50s
2. Colon Cancer
Connie Duke, RN, notes there has been confusion nationally about when and how often women should get mammograms. “Now they say after the age of 50 that women should get mammograms every two years,” says Duke. “There’s still a lot of debate about this, but we’re staying with the American Cancer Society’s recommendation that women should have annual mammograms after the age of 40.”
Important Screenings in your 60s and beyond
2. Colon Cancer
Beaufort Memorial’s bone densitometry scan screens noninvasively for osteoporosis in just 15 minutes. The Central DXA scan, recommended by the National Osteoporosis Foundation, measures both the hip and the spine for more reliable results than scans that measure using the heel or wrist.
Regardless of family history or stage of life, every woman should have a trusted relationship with a physician who understands her health, concerns, risks and lifestyle. Your physician is your partner in living well!