Skimping on Health Insurance? Don’t Skip These Important Health Tests! by 30Seconds Health
With the healthcare system is crisis, tons of red tape and fewer doctors accepting insurance, managing one’s health has become a major challenge. More and more women are skipping key exams simply because getting appointments are a hassle and obtaining coverage isn’t always guaranteed. That said, there are some key tests and exams that ever woman must have at various times of her life. If you’re going to put a preventative care plan together for yourself it’s important to know which tests are necessary to maintain optimal health. Dr. Christopher Calapai, a NYC board certified expert in osteopathic medicine specializing in longevity, recommends these tests:
- Blood and blood pressure screening: Starting at age 18, every woman needs to have her blood pressure checked at least every two years. Having annual blood work done is the way to tell if organs are functioning properly. Doing the basic blood panel between age 18 and 39 is a great start.
- Cholesterol screening/lipid profile: Cholesterol is a type of fatty protein in your blood that can build up in your arteries, so knowing how much cholesterol is present is a good predictor of your risk for heart disease. It’s important to start monitoring cholesterol starting at age 20 to establish a history.
- Pap smear: A pap smear is an important test for women to get annually if they are sexually active and over age 21. The test is designed to detect infection, inflammation or cellular abnormalities in the cervix which may lead to cervical cancer.
- Mammograms and breast exams: Women should begin administering monthly self-breast exams monthly as early as age 18. “It’s so important for women to understand that breast tissue changes during the month," says Dr. Calapai. "They want to do the self-check in their shower or lying down just after their period ends when breasts are less tender, sore or swollen. This is when to feel around for any lumps, pain, tenderness, inflamed skin and any issues with the nipple such as blockages or discharge."
- Skin cancer screening: Skin cancer, while less deadly than other kinds of cancers, is the No. 1 cancer diagnosed among Americans; and one type of skin cancer, melanoma, is deadly. The number of women under age 40 with basal cell carcinoma, one type of skin cancer, has more than doubled in the last 30 years and women under 39 are almost twice as likely to develop melanoma as men.
- Eye exam and vision screening: According to the American Optometric Association, people with normal, good vision should have their eyes examined every three years. For people who needed glasses or contacts at an earlier age an annual exam is recommended. By age 40 those with healthy, strong eyesight will begin to see changes either when driving, reading or watching TV.
Schedule your screenings today!