As if it wasn’t already difficult enough to be a woman, there are a plethora of health issues that affect only our gender. Due to issues surrounding our basic anatomy, we can get diseases men cannot, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.
So, as a woman, it may be even more crucial to have good Health insurance so that we can receive the best possible preventative care to live our healthiest and happiest lives.
But, what health-related checks should we be getting? Check out the top nine health checks all us gals should be getting:
1. Skin cancer checks
While skin cancer rates tend to be higher in men than women, according to the American Cancer Society, women are still at a greater risk before age 50 than men. The American Cancer Society notes that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer for younger adults (especially women). To prevent cancer (for all ages), they recommend things like:
· Avoiding tanning beds and sun lamps
· Doing monthly mole checks
· Seeing a dermatologist if we have a lot of moles or a mole becomes suspicious
· Limiting sun exposure (the shade is our friend)
· Using lots of sunscreens, wearing hats, sunglasses, and clothing that shades our skin when in sunlight
Tip: consider trying LUMASOL products like their FDA approved sunscreen mist with SPF 50+ (coming April 2020—just in time for summer!) that is specifically designed to be sprayed on over makeup to maintain our ideal look while providing sun protection.
2. General physical exams
Seeing our primary care provider regularly (about once a year) is the best way to ensure we’re receiving life-saving preventative care before it’s too late. We should be ensuring our blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and weight all stay in a healthy range.
According to myDoctor.com.au, the Body Mass Index (BMI) test is used to indicate diseases or conditions such as being overweight, our risk for cardiovascular disease, our risk for stroke, our risk for heart attack, and our risk of osteoporosis (this one would be a low BMI).
3. Breast cancer screening
According to myDoctor.com.au, starting at 50, women should be getting a mammogram every two years. Women of all ages should be performing self-checks regularly (once a month). According to John Hopkins Medicine, 40 percent of breast cancer cases were initially found by a woman who found a lump during her self-exam.
4. Cervical cancer screenings
According to the Mayo Clinic, starting at age 21, every woman should start getting Pap smears. Then, most doctors suggest getting another Pap test every three years to prevent cervical cancer. While performing a Pap test, our gynecologists can also perform STD testing, which will also prevent cervical cancer.
5. Dental exams
According to myDoctor.com.au, everyone should be seeing their dentists for a check-up “at least once a year.” But it’s best to follow our dentist’s individual recommendations.
6. Checking in with a mental health professional
According to the Office on Women’s Health, One in five American women experienced a mental health condition in the last year and conditions such as bipolar disorder and depression affect more women than men. Seeing a qualified doctor can help us discover if we’re suffering from a condition that could benefit from treatment.
7. Eye exam
According to the CDC, 45 percent of adults in the United States haven’t received a dilated eye exam in the last two years. Considering that the CDC notes that eye exams are really the only defense against diseases that can affect the eye, this is pretty upsetting. The CCD recommends that people at risk for glaucoma get an eye exam every two years and those who are diabetic get an exam annually. Everyone else should ask their doctors for individual recommendations.
8. Bone density test
According to the CDC, women have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis (one in four women over the age of 65 are affected). Therefore, at 65, we are going to want to start getting a regular bone density test. If we find we have low bone mass and are therefore likely to develop osteoporosis we can take steps to prevent further loss to reduce the chance of breaking bones.
The average person (with no risk factors) should start getting colonoscopies between the ages of 50 and 75, according to the US Preventative Services Task Force. Generally, a colonoscopy is recommended every three to five years (assuming everything comes back normal) accompanied by an annual “stool test” to check for blood in the stool.