You’re feeling pretty good. Besides a few colds every year, or a bout with the flu, you consider yourself healthy. Even if you are healthy, get regular exercise and have no family history of medical problems, you should still see your doctor at least once a year for a physical. In addition to getting regular checkups, there are certain medical tests women need depending on their age. Below is a general guide for which medical tests you should consider.
If you’re in your twenties, you may be busy starting your career, dating and living life in a rush. With all you got going on, it’s important to make time for exercise and eating right. Women in their twenties should also make time for a yearly pap smear and gynecologic exam. Most doctors also perform a HPV test to check for the virus, which can lead to cervical cancer. Doctors also recommend women start getting a yearly cholesterol exam and skin cancer screening at age 20.
Something Else You Should Consider: All women should do monthly self-breast exams, and this includes women in their twenties. You may think you are too young for breast cancer, but even young women get cancer.
Your thirties are often a busy decade. Some women may be starting a family or working their way up the career ladder. Often women are doing both. Juggling various responsibilities can be stressful. Make sure to crave out some time for yourself to relax and recharge. Doctors suggest women in their thirties continue to have yearly pelvic exams, skin cancer screening, cholesterol checks and blood pressure screening. It is also suggested women get checked for thyroid disease after the age of 35.
Something Else You Should Consider: Although oral cancer may not be in the news as much as other types of cancer, it is being diagnosed more frequently in young people. Make sure your dentist is doing a yearly oral cancer screening as part of your regular exam.
Years ago the forties may have been considered middle-aged, but times have changed. Women in their forties are often as active as ever and handling multiple demands of family life and careers. Although some women feel great in their forties, for others it may mean changing hormone levels and increased fatigue.
It is recommended women in their forties have a yearly clinical breast exam and a mammogram. Doctors also suggest women over age 45 have a fasting glucose test to test for diabetes. A blood test to check hormone levels and thyroid function may also be a good idea.
Something Else You Should Consider: In your forties it is important to be aware of your risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Being overweight, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels are all risk factors.
Regardless of your age, if you are experiencing new symptoms or just feel off, trust your instincts and see your doctor. Also, if you have a family history of any type of disease, your doctor may recommend you undergo certain early screening tests. Remember it’s up to you to stay fit and healthy in your 20s, 30s 40s and beyond.