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A Woman’s Guide to Health Screenings

POSTED BY: Florida Hospital

Follow our guide to help ensure that any health problems you may have are detected early when they’re most treatable. Your healthcare provider can modify or add to these recommendations based on your medical history and personal risk factors.

Breast Health

  • Breast self-exam: Women of all ages should be familiar with their breasts so they can discuss any changes with their health-care providers.
  • Clinical breast exam: Women younger than 40 should have a breast exam by a medical professional at least every three years. Every year for women 40 and older.
  • Mammogram: Every one to two years, beginning at age 40, for women at average risk for breast cancer. Women 80 and older should discuss with their health-care providers whether a mammogram is recommended for them.

Reproductive Health

  • Pelvic exam: Annually, throughout life. This exam can help your doctor find evidence of various gynecologic conditions, including cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, broids and cysts.
  • Pap test: At least every three years through age 60. Women older than 60 should discuss with their health care providers whether this test, which screens for cervical cancer, is recommended for them.
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine: Women up to age 26 whose HPV vaccine series is incomplete (two to three doses are required, depending on the age at which the vaccine is given) should discuss vaccination with their health-care provider.

Heart Health

  • Blood pressure test: At least every two years. High blood pressure can lead to a variety of health problems, including heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney disease and dementia.
  • Cholesterol panel: At least every five years, total cholesterol, LDL, HDL and triglycerides should be measured to assess heart-disease risk. Discuss the right frequency for you with your health-care provider.

One-time Screenings

  • Hepatitis C (HCV): If you’re born between 1945 and 1965, talk to your doctor about this test.
  • Bone density: At least once. Talk to your doctor about the right age for you to be tested.

In addition to the screenings listed here, any time you have concerns about your sleep habits, mental health or symptoms you are experiencing, talk with your doctor.

Early detection of disease can help people live longer, healthier lives, so keep a copy of these screening guidelines and share the information with friends and family who may benefit.