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Health Screenings All Woman Should Have

Health Screenings All Woman Should Have

1/17/2018 9:12:41 AM

Your health is a result of a lot of factors. Every woman should make time for healthy habits — regular exercise, stress management, healthy diet. But in addition she should also have a regular schedule for routine health screenings so potential problems can be spotted early. In fact, health screenings can make keeping tabs on your health simple.

Start here:

1. Blood pressure screening. From the age of 18, every woman needs to have her blood pressure checked at least every two years. This health screening involves wrapping a cuff around the arm and pumping it up tightly and repeated on the other arm. Ideal blood pressure for women is less than 120/80 mmHg (millimeters of mercury). If elevated pressures are found on repeat occasions your doctor have to start diagnosis and maybe treatment of Hypertension as early as possible. During pregnancy any form of elevated blood pressure is potentially life threatening for both baby and mother and must be treated.

2. Cholesterol check. Women should have their cholesterol checked at least every five years starting at about age 20. This screening is important for decreasing your risk of heart disease, and can be done at our lab by our doctor’s order. This test involves drawing a blood sample and we routinely check liver function blood sugar and kindey function together. If you get a high reading on this screening test, you will be referred to our doctor for a full check. The ideal level is below 200 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter) for total cholesterol. CarePlus Vietnam also checks HDL cholesterol (“protective cholesterol”), LDL cholesterol (“harmful cholesterol”) and Triglyceride (fat in blood) levels.

3. Pap smears and pelvic exams. Beginning at age 21, or earlier if you are sexually active, women need to have a pelvic exam and Pap smear every two years to check for any abnormalities in the reproductive system. Guidelines for this cervical cancer screening recently changed from once a year, as studies found no benefit to such frequent screenings. Barring any problems, women age 30 and older only need a Pap smear every three years if they have had three normal tests in a row. To take the Pap smear, a speculum is placed inside the vagina to widen the vaginal canal, and your doctor uses a small tool to take cells from the cervix to detect any cell changes that can lead to cervical cancer. Your doctor can also screen for sexually transmitted diseases and HPV infection.

4. Breast ultrasound and breast exams. Starting around age 20, women should have a clinical breast exam at least every three years until age 40, when this should be done annually, according to most experts. This is a manual exam — your doctor uses her fingers to examine the breasts for any lumps or abnormalities. A breast ultrasound is a screening test for breast cancer and involves applying moderate compression to the breasts. Though inconvenient it is a perfectly harmless examination and can be repeated any times. Mammography is an X ray examination of the breasts and it is recommended from the age of 50 ( as per The United States Preventive Services Task Force). Our recommendation though is to have breast ultrasound from as early as you can, and repeat yearly, for it is harmless and a very sensitive way to diagnose any lumps or tumors.

5. Bone density screen. Women should start getting screened for osteoporosis with a bone density test at age 65. Women with risk factors for osteoporosis, such as having a slender frame or a fractured bone, should be screened earlier. For this test we use a scanning machine that takes X-ray images of certain bones in your body. Healthy bones show a T-score (the measurement used to describe your bone density) of -1 or higher. The frequency of this health screening varies from woman to woman based on bone density and risk factors.

6. Blood glucose tests. Women should get a blood glucose test every two years starting at age 45 to test for diabetes. Before age 45, you may need to have your blood glucose levels tested if you have symptoms of diabetes or several risk factors. We use a blood sample to measure your blood glucose and we usually check other factors together. The range of normal test results can vary, but generally a test result of 100 mg/dL or higher indicates pre-diabetes or diabetes.

7. Colon cancer screening. Colon cancer screening tests for women generally start at age 50. The more traditional tests are the flexible sigmoidoscopy, a procedure involving a lighted tube and camera to look at the lower part of the colon, and a colonoscopy, which involves a longer tube to examine the entire colon. Unless a problem is found, a flexible sigmoidoscopy needs to be repeated every 5 to 10 years and a colonoscopy only every 10 years. The non-invasive virtual colonoscopy is another option. People with a greater risk of colon cancer may need earlier or more frequent cancer screening tests. In addition we use occult blood test from faces. Though it is a very sensitive technique, it is not specific to cancer, other factors (stomach ulcer, food etc) can cause positive results. At CarePlus Vietnam we also do tumor factor measurement from a blood sample to increase the accuracy.

8. Body mass index. A full yearly physical exam includes measurements of your height and weight and a calculation of your body mass index (BMI). You can also calculate your BMI at home using an online BMI calculator. BMI indicates obesity, which can assess the risk of serious health conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

9. Skin examination. Women should examine their skin every month starting at age 18, and by the time they’re 20, a doctor or dermatologist should conduct the examination during a routine check-up. Women should carefully inspect the skin all over their bodies, looking for any new moles or changes to existing moles to spot the early signs of skin cancer.

10. Dental check-up. Good dental health is important from the moment your first baby tooth sprouts, and all adult women need twice-yearly dental check-ups and cleanings. Regular dental check-ups, which involve examining the teeth and sometimes taking X-rays, can keep teeth healthy and spot early signs of decay or any problems with the mouth or teeth.

11. Lung cancer screening. From the age of 40 or in some cases earlier a regular lung check is recommended for early diagnosis of lung cancer. The best method is hCT, but it is not easily accessible and expensive. Chest X ray is still widely used as a cheaper alternative. These methods us X rays and should be recommended by your doctor.

12. Heart function check. A regular heart check is advised at every age but should definitely be part of your yearly health screening from the age of 45. This involves a detailed physical examination and listening to your heart sounds and checking your peripheral arteries and veins. In addition we perform an ECG test, an examination of your hearts electro physiological status. With this we can diagnose arrhythmias and ischemia early. Sometimes your doctor recommends a heart ultrasound as well to check your hearts actual functionality.

Overall, a regular health check is essential for every woman to keep healthy. If you got confused by the many methods and schedules, no problem: at CarePlus Vietnam we offer flexible plans best suited to your age group, personal requirements or other risk factors. Please contact us for a free consultation today.

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