Heart disease, cancer and stroke are among the top health risks for women. With proper diet, exercise and health screenings, women can avoid these risks and other potentially serious illnesses while promoting healthy living.
In most cases, diseases detected in early stages have a higher probability of successful treatment. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends the following screenings.
- Blood pressure: Have your blood pressure checked at age eighteen and every two years after.
- Cholesterol check: Have your cholesterol checked every five years, starting at age forty-five.
- Colorectal Exam: Test for colorectal cancer starting at age fifty.
- Diabetes Test: Screen for type 2 diabetes if you are overweight, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or are older than forty-five.
- Mammogram: The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends yearly mammogram for women ages forty and older.
- Clinical Breast Exam: The ACS recommends clinical breast exams (CBEs) at least every three years for all women in their twenties and thirties and annual CBEs for women ages forty and older.
- Pap Test: A Pap test should be administered within three years of your first sexual encounter or age 21
- Osteoporosis Test: Have a bone density test at age 65 to screen for thinning of the bones, or at a younger age if you are at risk for osteoporosis.
- Eye Exam: According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, patients are advised to have an eye exam between the ages of 20 and 29 and at least twice between the ages of 30 and 39.
Life style choices can have a significant impact on current and future health. To promote healthy living:
- Avoid smoking
- Consume a balanced diet
- Be physically active
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Drink alcohol in moderation
- Practice safe sex