No one looks forward to cancer screenings, but the fact remains that these tests could save your life. Kentucky has the highest cancer death rate in the U.S., but many conditions are preventable. Here are the top screenings for women.
7 Women’s Health Screenings & Check Up Exams
- Pap test to screen for cervical cancer. Yearly Paps start at age 21 or three years after first sexual intercourse, said William Collier, MD, with Baptist Health Medical Group OB/GYN. After age 30, the Pap can be combined with an HPV test, he said.
- Gonorrhea and chlamydia. Dr. Collier said this test is recommended yearly once a woman becomes sexually active through age 26.
- Cholesterol screening beginning at age 20. “Risk calculators integrate your blood pressure, total cholesterol and race to help us determine what kind of treatment and lifestyle changes to recommend,” said Dr. Collier.
- Thyroid screening. “This is important if you’re considering pregnancy or if you have a personal history of autoimmune disorders or family history of thyroid disease,” Dr. Collier said.
- Mammogram. Collier recommended annual mammograms starting at age 40.
- DEXA Screening. This bone-density test usually begins around menopause, or age 65, and then repeats every two to three years.
- Colon cancer screening. This should start at age 50, though African-Americans, who are at higher risk, should start at 45.
To learn more about these screenings, call Baptist Health Medical Group OB/GYN to schedule an appointment with a physician at 859.624.2229. Find out your risk for developing serious health conditions with a free online health risk assessment at BaptistHealth.com. Click on Patients and Visitors, then on health risk assessment.