Beth Battaglino Cahill: Hi! I am Beth Battaglino Cahill, Executive Director of HealthyWomen. Staying on top of health screenings is critical to maintaining good health. Sadly women tend to put preventative care like Pap test, eye exams, demo check ups and other testing on the back burner, even if they have a good insurance. To maintain your health, don't skip these important screenings. First of all, women should get a regular pap test, for Cervical Cancer starting three years after beginning intercourse, or when they are twenty one years old. Screenings should be done every year with the regular Pap test, or every two years using the newer Liquid Based Pap test. And beginning at 30, if you've had 3 Pap tests in a row with normal results and your health is otherwise good, you can opt to get screened for every two years to three years using either type of the test. And testing for the Human Papillomavirus called HPV is an option for women aged 30 and older. Health care professionals can do the HPV test which identifies the types of HPV, most likely to cause Cervical Cancer at the same time as your regular Pap test. Ask your health care professional for more information about this. It's also important to sit down with your health care provider and discuss your risk for breast as well as ovarian cancer, based up on your family genetics and risk factors such as obesity. Women also need to have a clinical breast exam every one to three years until you turn 40, then you should have one each year. Dr. Pamela M. Peeke: Now make certain to communicate to your medical care professional, if you've noticed any abnormalities because they'll be checking for those and this exam is often an integral piece of any kind of gynecological examination. You know a research recently has shown that breast self exams play a small role in finding breast cancer, comparative finding that breast lump on your own or by chance, just simply knowing something is abnormal. So if you choose to perform a breast self exam, please make sure a medical care professional shows you how to do it right. Beth Battaglino Cahill: If you have a history of Chlamydia or other sexually transmitted diseases, or you or your partner have had multiple sex partners, ask your health care professional about whether you need to be screened for these disease which include Gonorrhea and HIV. Every year, you should have a blood pressure test to identify hypertension. Results of 120 over 80 are normal for blood pressure. If yours is high, your health care professional may recommend to having it tested more frequently. You should have your cholesterol tested every five years or more frequently if you have risk factors for heart disease. Don't forget screenings with specialists like dentist, eye doctors and dermatologists.
Dr. Pamela M. Peeke: The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that you examine your skin on a routine basis. And have a dermatologist look at it too, especially, if you have specific lesions that you are monitoring over time. Now make certain that if you notice any thing abnormal that you communicate this to your dermatologist immediately. Beth Battaglino Cahill: Don't forget to visit your dentist, once every six months for a professional tooth cleaning. And during this visit, the dentist will also check your mouth for early signs of oral health problems and bone loss. And finally, eye exams for women eighteen to forty years of age, you should have a complete eye exam every two to three years. And staring the age 40, you should go once every two years. And at age sixty, you should switch to annual eye exams. If you have any questions about preventative health screenings, you need to stay healthy, visit healthywomen.
org for more information.