Medical Tests Every Woman Should Have

In addition to an annual wellness visit, there are certain medical tests that every woman should be sure to have. In honor of National Women’s Health Week, which is May 13 – May 19, take time to talk with your doctor about your personal circumstances and when you should schedule these:

Skin cancer screening. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, with melanoma being the most serious type. While melanoma can spread and become life threatening rapidly, if it’s diagnosed early, it is nearly always curable.

Mammogram. According to the American Cancer Society, a woman’s odds of developing invasive breast cancer is approximately 1 in 8, and the chance that she’ll die from the disease is approximately 1 in 35. However, having regular mammograms is an effective way to screen for breast cancer, and early detection can increase a woman’s chance for successful treatment.

Pap test. Having regular Pap tests is an effective way to screen for cervical cancer, and actually prevents cervical cancer almost 100 percent of the time. Depending on a woman’s personal circumstances, a Pap test and STD screenings may be part of an annual gynecological appointment.

Bone mineral density test. This pain-free procedure is an important test that can determine the health of a woman’s bones, diagnose osteoporosis and estimate the risk of a future fracture or broken bone.

Colonoscopy or other test to screen for colorectal cancer. A colonoscopy is a procedure used to find and remove polyps before they become cancerous. According to the American Cancer Society, the survival rate is 90 percent when colon cancer is found early, and in many cases, screening can actually prevent colon cancer.

Diabetes screening. Early detection of elevated blood glucose levels can help some people avoid getting diabetes and the life-threatening complications that sometimes accompany the disease.

Cholesterol test. High cholesterol can contribute to coronary artery disease, heart attack and stroke.

Blood pressure test. High blood pressure can increase the risk for heart attack and stroke. If you numbers are too high, rest assured that there are ways to manage the condition. Want to learn more? Join William Handelman, MD, on Tuesday, May 15, for Hypertension Is Curable. This informative lecture will be held at the Lake Seminole Square Auditorium at noon.

To learn more about the medical tests that you should have, schedule an appointment, or register for the May 15 lecture, call St. Petersburg General Hospital’s free Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-888-741-5122.

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