This year, resolve to a proactive approach. Our bodies are constantly changing and maintaining good health is an ongoing process. Taking care of your body and being proactive about your healthcare will help ensure a healthier, happier you!
Screening tests look for diseases before you might ever have any symptoms or determine if you have a condition that can be treated before it manifests itself. These tests include mammograms, blood pressure readings, pap smears, colonoscopies and blood work. This is your body and you know what feels right better than anyone else, including your physician. Make a list of questions and note any changes you feel which may be different. The following tests are only a partial list of evaluation techniques but are the most essential and easiest to help prevent disease states.
Ask your health care provider whether or not this test is necessary based on your age, family history, or self-examination. Remember the “buddy system” and go with a girlfriend, your Mom, or your daughter. You could save a life!
Pap smears are essential to rule out cervical pre-cancerous or cancerous conditions. A pap smear every year after becoming sexually active is necessary, especially during this era of the high incidence of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and its’ association with cervical cancer. If you are in a stable relationship and your testing has been normal, ask your provider about the frequency necessary to be tested. Whether or not you need a pap smear, an annual pelvic exam is important at every age to monitor for ovarian cancer.
SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE (STD) TESTING
Many medical conditions can arise from undiagnosed sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, and syphilis. Fertility can be affected from an untreated chlamydia infection and diseases may spread to your unborn baby without a diagnosis and treatment. Be open with your health care provider, no one will judge you, and it is your right as a patient to ask questions and request testing. Whether or not you are in a new relationship, experience symptoms, or suspect infidelity, these tests are essential for early diagnosis and treatment.
COLORECTAL CANCER SCREENING
Screening tests for colon and rectal cancer are necessary for prevention of disease and early diagnosis and treatment. Beginning at the age of 50, or earlier if you have a family history, is the guideline recommended for screening. Your physician can refer you to the proper specialist for this type of testing. If you notice any type of rectal bleeding, contact your healthcare provider who will determine which testing is necessary for you.
HIGH CHOLESTEROL SCREENING
One out of three women dies of heart disease! Even if you are in the best of condition and you exercise and follow a good diet, a simple blood test can determine if you are at risk of heart disease. Genetic conditions exist and screening as early as 20 years of age is essential. If you smoke, have diabetes, hypertension, or are overweight, you can prevent the number one cause of death in women by early detection and treatment which may be as simple as dietary changes and exercise.
VITAMIN D TESTING
Everyone at every age qualifies for the testing of Vitamin D levels. More and more data is becoming available about the necessity of this vitamin and a simple blood test can determine your need. Today, we tell everyone to stay out of the sun, and use sun block. Our diets may not be as nutritious as they once were with all of the processing of foods and lack of essential nutrients. Vitamin D deficiency is a host to many disease states including depression, seasonal affective disorder, heart disease, and osteoporosis. New literature is describing cancers and assorted disease states that may be prevented with Vitamin D supplementation. Studies show that as many as 70% of women may be deficient in Vitamin D and a supplement is so easy to utilize if you are tested and found to be in need of it. Ask your physician to order a Vitamin D level at your next checkup. You will be surprised at what you may find!
BLOOD PRESSURE SCREENING
High blood pressure can cause heart attacks, stroke, kidney and heart failure, and eye diseases to only name a few of the devastating but preventable illnesses associated with this condition. Regular annual examinations can detect, treat, and prevent these life threatening conditions.
A fasting blood sugar level can evaluate for diabetes which in turn, if treated, can prevent heart, brain, eyes, feet, kidneys, and neurologic disorders. Ask your physician for a fasting sugar level at your next examination. You can prevent with early detection the devastating effects of this disease.
OSTEOPOROSIS (BONE DENSITY) SCREENING
Ask for a bone density base line test at the age of 50 to prevent one of the most costly disease states associated with bone fractures.
STAY UP TO DATE WITH SCREENINGS, BE ACTIVE AND ENJOY LIFE!
Ask your healthcare provider if you should take aspirin to prevent strokes, utilize the flu vaccine, get your immunizations up to date, be physically active, and enjoy a much richer, fuller, long lasting life!
For assistance with any of these screenings, please call us at 913-888-7546.