FOUR MUST-HAVE BOXES ON YOUR MEDICAL CHECK-UP CHECKLIST
B.K.S. Iyengar says “Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul opens”.
It is well known that women are the most vulnerable gender. Women are often faced with work complications, health issues and childbearing. Despite the fact that they are wired to be emotionally strong compared to their male counterparts, they need to be taken adequate care of. We often have a huge to-do list, which invariably includes everything other than our regular health checkup.
Breast cancer examination and Mammograms
Starting at age 20 is a good time. By age 40, you should have a mammogram (an X-ray of the breasts) once a year. “Schedule your mammogram right after your period,”That’s when the breasts are least tender.”
Both types of screening can detect breast cancer when it is confined to the breast. Ninety-seven percent of women diagnosed at this stage survive without a recurrence for at least five years, according to the American Cancer Society.
Every woman should have a mammogram, which screens for breast cancer; It involves compressing the breast between plates so that X-ray images can be captured. There has long been discussion about when and how often a woman should have them, given that the risk for breast cancer increases as you age, and the false positives from frequent screening might do more harm than good.
Pap smear test
After the age of 25, it is always advisable that you visit your Gynecologist periodically and have a complete pelvic examination and a Pap smear test. Cervical cancer is a leading cause of death amongst women globally. However, even after been vaccinated, women above 30 should take this test once in 3 years if consecutive PAP smear results are negative.In this test, a swab is inserted in the vagina and cervical cells are collected, which are then sent for laboratory investigations or microscopic examination. This test is usually advised at 21 years or within 3 years of being sexually active.
Before going for a Pap smear, avoid having sexual intercourse or using vaginal medications one or two days prior to your appointment. In addition to this, a complete pelvic examination should also be done to look for lumps, growths, and any abnormal discharges.
Blood pressure check
Blood pressure is one of the deadliest killers of the twenty-first century. A diagnosis of hypertension, or high blood pressure, is made if your blood pressure is higher than 140/90. Because high blood pressure can lead to other complications, it should be checked every two years if it’s 120/80 or under. If it’s higher, your doctor may recommend having it checked more often. If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, you should also be screened for diabetes.
To check your risk for diabetes, doctors check your tolerance for glucose absorption, which means how readily your body digests sugar. Diabetes puts a unique burden on women: Many women get diabetes while pregnant, and it’s dangerous for both mother and baby. And although gestational diabetes goes away in most cases, it raises the risk that you’ll develop regular (type 2) diabetes later in life.
The range for normal tests can vary, but a fasting plasma glucose test reading of 100 mg/dl or higher, indicates that you may be prediabetic, while a reading greater than 126 mg/dl indicates diabetes. If you are obese, or have a family history of diabetes, or are of a race or ethnicity that’s at particular risk, you may want to start earlier and get screened more often. Your doctor can help you strategize.