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the most important screening tests for women

Source: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force at the Department of Health and Human Services

These screening tests are recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force at the Department of Health and Human Services. On the other hand, your doctor will personalize the timing of the screening tests you need based on many factors, such as age and family history of diseases. Screening tests can find diseases early, when they are easiest to treat.

Blood pressure test:
This test can be done by you with a blood pressure monitor sold at supermarkets, but the doctor is the one who will decide how good or bad your blood pressure levels are and what action to take if any. The normal blood pressure levels are around 120/80. This test is recommended for women at the age of 30 or older.

Bone mineral density test (osteoporosis screening):
Special x-rays of your bones are used to test if you have osteoporosis, or a weakening of the bones. This test is recommended for women at the age of 50 or older.

Breast cancer screening (mammogram):
X-rays of the breast are taken by resting one breast at a time on a flat surface that contains an x-ray plate. A device presses firmly against the breast. An x-ray is taken to show a picture of the breast. Mammography is used to screen healthy women for signs of breast cancer. It can also be used to evaluate a woman who has symptoms of disease. This test is recommended for women at the age of 50 or older.

Cervical cancer screening (Pap test):
The doctor uses a small brush to take cells from the cervix (opening of the uterus) to look at under a microscope in a lab. This test is recommended for women at the age of 30 or older.

Cholesterol test:
The doctor or nurse will draw blood from a vein. Blood tests are needed to individually measure each type of cholesterol. There are four types of cholesterol levels: total cholesterol, triglyceride, bad cholesterol (LDL), and good cholesterol (HDL). This test is recommended for women at the age of 40 or older.

Colorectal cancer screening (colonoscopy):
An examination of the inside of the colon using a colonoscope, inserted into the rectum. A colonoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and lens for viewing. It may also have a tool to remove tissue to be checked under a microscope. This test is recommended for women at the age of 50 or older.

Diabetes screening:
A blood test can show if you have diabetes. The fasting blood glucose test is the preferred test for diagnosing diabetes in children and nonpregnant adults. The test is most reliable when done in the morning. Retesting is usually required and is done on different days. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes. This test is recommended for women at the age of 40 or older.





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