10 Warning Signs Your Heart Isn't Working Properly
9 Most Important Medical Tests For Women
What it is:Your old "friend," the Pap test, and a similar swab that tests for human pappilomavirus, or HPV
Who should get it:Women ages 21 to 65
How often:Every 3 years, or every 5 years if you're between the ages of 30 and 65 and get the HPV swab and the Pap together. The good news? You probably don't need the physical pelvic exam anymore.
Why it's so important:Both tests look for changes in cells that could indicate a need for further testing, like a biopsy, says Tasneem Bhatia, MD, a board-certified physician who specializes in integrative medicine. If it is cervical cancer, you want to catch it early, she says.
What it is:The dreaded colonoscopy
Who should get it:Adults ages 50 to 75. Those between ages 76 to 85 should discuss whether or not they should continue to be screened with their doctors.
How often:Every 10 years, assuming everything looks normal.
Why it's so important:As unpleasant as a colonoscopy can be, it's the best tool we have to pick up colon cancer or precancerous lesions or polyps early, says Nieca Goldberg, MD, medical director of New York University's Tisch Center for Women's Health. Women may underestimate their risk for the disease, but it's the third most common and most deadly cancer for women, behind breast and lung cancer, according to the CDC. If you have a family history of colorectal cancer, your doctor might recommend starting screening earlier and going back more frequently than once a decade, Bhatia says.
MORE:6 Things Proctocologists Want You To Know
What it is:A mammogram
Who should get it:Women ages 50-74. Women between the ages of 40 and 49, as well as women 75 and older, should decide with their doctors about when to start and stop routine screening.
How often:Every other year, if you're at average risk. With a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, your doctor may recommend more frequent mammograms.
Why it's so important:As we've written about before, mammograms aren't perfect, but right now, they're the most effective tool we have for detecting breast cancer. "By catching breast cancer early, we can hopefully reduce cancer from spreading," Bhatia says.
MORE:10 Things Your Breasts Say About Your Health
What it is:This blood test measures your total cholesterol: your "good" HDL cholesterol, your "bad" LDL cholesterol, and your triglycerides, another kind of fat in the blood. Triglyceride levels are affected most by what you've recently eaten, Goldberg says, which is why many cholesterol tests are done after a short period of fasting. In general, staving off snacks for 4 to 6 hours before your test should be fine, she says.
Who should get it:Definitely women age 45 and older if they have increased risk of heart disease, and probably women ages 20 to 45 who have an increased risk of heart disease, too. (The USPSTF gives an A grade to the evidence supporting the use of cholesterol tests in older women and a B grade for younger women.)
How often:Once a year, if you're healthy, to make sure there haven't been any changes for the worse, Bhatia says. Younger women may not need a yearly screening if they're healthy, Goldberg says.
Why it's so important:High cholesterol is linked with heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke. Keeping a general understanding of your levels may help you and your doc make heart-smart decisions to keep you healthy, particularly as you approach menopause. Estrogen is thought to raise that HDL ("good") cholesterol; the natural drop in estrogen at menopause may be one reason .
MORE: Top 10 Cholesterol-Fighting Foods
Video: The 9 BEST Scientific Study Tips
Stovetop Pork Chops with Wilted Chard Quinoa
10 Group Cycling Must-Haves
Mango Summer 2012 Catalogue
25 Amazing Benefits Of White Pepper (Safed Mirch) Powder For Skin, Hair, And Health
Top 7 Juices to combat cancer
Stained Glass Ornaments
The Best And Worst Looks From The 2019 MTV EMAs
How to Afford a Good Attorney
Whats Your Metabolism Type
How to Provide Rescue Breathing for a Child
10 Pictures Of Shilpa Shetty Without Makeup
New Zealand Will Give You a Free Trip If You Agree to a Job Interview
The Healthiest Way To Cook Every Type Of Vegetable, According To Nutritionists
9 Healthy 500-Calorie Breakfast Ideas
How to Lose Weight Before Dinner