Preventive Health Screenings for Women Over 40

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 48,667
    Beth Battaglino Cahill, Executive Director of HealthyWomen explains the importance of Preventative Screenings.

    Beth Battaglino Cahill: Hi! I'm Beth Battaglino Cahill, Executive Director of HealthyWomen. To stay in top shape, it's important to take Preventative Screenings and health practices seriously. Especially, as we age. Just as Pap test, clinical breast exams and teeth cleanings have been an important part of women's health in her 20's and 30's, there are some additional screenings, we need to add to our list, in our 40's, 50's and beyond.

    To start, once you hit 30, if you had 3 Pap tests in a row with normal results and your health is otherwise good, you can opt to get screened every 2 to 3 years, using either the regular Pap test or the Liquid Based Pap test.

    You also, after age 30, should talk to your doctor about getting an HPV Test to screen for types of viruses most likely to cause cervical cancer. And if you've had totally hysterectomy, meaning that your Uterus and Cervix have both been removed, you may stop having Cervical Cancer screenings. The exception to this rule is that if you had the surgery as a treatment for Cervical Cancer or Pre-cancer. When a woman reaches 40, she should have both a clinical breast exam and a Mammogram, every year. Well there have recently been Government reports that advocate women starting mammograms at age 50, the American Cancer Society continues to recommend 40 as the starting age. For women, who are overweight, you should get a blood glucose or Sugars Test starting at age 45, to check for Pre-diabetes. Dr. Pamela M. Peeke: This is a simple test of your blood sugar or blood glucose and this can be performed at your next examination for instance. If you are not overweight, you still need to have that blood sugar checked and, if you have any questions about this, please feel free to ask your Medical Care Provider.

    Beth Battaglino Cahill: In addition, if you have high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol, a family history of diabetes or other specific risk factors, you might need to start getting tested before age 45. When you turn 50, add colorectal cancer screenings to your check list. There are several types of screenings, you may elect to undertake. Dr. Pamela M. Peeke: The first one is, testing your stool for blood, during an office visit once a year. The next one is having a flexible Sigmoidoscopy exam, every 5 years or having a Colonoscopy, every 10 years. Now you need to sit down with your medical care provider, and really have a discussion about which option is best for you. Beth Battaglino Cahill: When you hit 65 years of age, experts recommend that you have get bone mineral density test. This test will allow your health care professional to determine your risk of Osteoporosis. Your doctor may recommend, you get this test earlier, if you experience a bone fracture or have other risks for osteoporosis. Dr. Pamela M. Peeke: All women are unique, and may be at high risk for many medical conditions. And therefore, it's important to sit down with your medical care provider and talk about risks for instance diabetes, heart disease or other health care issues that you really need to be on the red alert for. This way you can set up a strategy going forward for, what you need to be tested for and monitored. Beth Battaglino Cahill: To learn more about Preventative Health Screenings for your particular age group, visit healthywomen.