Early detection is key to a woman’s health and longevity. Learn which tests you should have, and when, for optimum well-being.
Throughout the course of a woman’s life, a few standard precautions are necessary for her health and well-being. Some tests are geared toward specific age groups, as risk of disease varies with lifestyle and behavior, and some diseases just aren’t prevalent at certain ages.
There are several screening tests aimed at women’s health that are recommended by Womenshealth.gov. Guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) (see chart below) are evidence-based, meaning they are scientifically proven to be crucial to a womans longevity. The USPSTF is made up of primary care providers, such as internists, pediatricians, family physicians, gynecologists/ obstetricians, nurses and health behavior specialists. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also endorses this information as a part of its Healthier Worksite Initiative.
In addition to these tests, its crucial for women to get screened for thyroid disease every woman has a 1-in-8 chance of developing a thyroid disorder in her lifetime, says Dr. Kurt Campbell of Mercy Medical Center. Thyroid disease is very prevalent in the U.S., and can lead to thyroid cancer.
Early detection of this disease is important, as thyroid cancer is highly treatable with surgery. In these cases, doctors will remove the thyroid gland and start the patient on hormone replacement therapy. Although prevalence is high thyroid cancer is one of the top 10 most-common cancers in the country it is rarely fatal. The treatment of thyroid disease depends on many factors, including the type and severity of the thyroid disorder, and the age and overall health of the patient. Treatment must be specific to the individual.
Some symptoms of abnormal thyroid function are depression, tiredness, dry skin and hair, anxiety, dramatic weight change, feeling cold or hot all the time, and trouble concentrating. The CDC recommends that patients who are experiencing any of these symptoms visit their doctor for a thyroid examination.