Top 5 Lifesaving Test Every Woman Should Have

Physical ExaminationIf you are a woman, then surely you are already aware that there are certain things you have to do to take care of yourself and your health.

The problem is that women have so much on their plates these days and it is easy to forget how important your health really is.

Even if you are super busy and can hardly find the time to fit a doctor appointment into your schedule, there are five tests in particular that you should not forget about and which can actually be lifesaving.

1. The Mammogram

Mammograms are extremely important tests for women of all ages. A lot of younger women think that mammograms are only for their mothers, women who are older aged, but this is entirely untrue. In fact, breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death around the world, and in many cases it develops in younger women, even those in their early twenties.

You should get a mammogram at least once every couple of years, and always check for lumps in your breasts. The best idea is to check in circular motions around the area of both your breasts every time that you are in the shower. Not only does the warm water help you to relax but as well it helps you to remember to examine yourself. This is a very important process because breast cancer sufferers have an incredibly high success rate as long as the cancer is caught early, and this means keeping on top of the situation on your own time.

Mammograms are recommended once a year for women over the age of 40.

2. Cholesterol Test

It is always important to keep the health of your heart at the top of your priority list. After all, without a healthy heart you are in serious danger, so it is important that you never let the health of your heart take a backseat. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among American women these days, which is obviously a quite frightening statistic. Six times more women die from heart disease then breast cancer each year, and most of these cases were due to the fact that the women avoided getting the right tests.

The best way to know where you stand in terms of the health of your heart is to get a cholesterol test. Remember that there is both good and bad cholesterol, but by getting a simple test your doctor will be able to inform you if your cholesterol levels are at a dangerous level. They will also test your blood pressure because high blood pressure or hypertension as it is medically known is a condition which can be very harmful, even potentially deadly.

Cholesterol tests are recommended at least once every 5 years starting at the age of 20.

3. Pap Test

Another test that you do not want to forget about is the Pap test. Many women mistakenly think that just because they do not have an STD or otherwise are not experiencing any problems that they simply do not need to get a Pap test, but this is actually completely untrue. In fact, there are many women who have developed conditions such as cervical cancer out of nowhere, and so whether you are presently experiencing any problems or not, it is vital that you get in and get a Pap test as often as is recommended, which is usually every six months to a year.

This test can detect any abnormal changes that could lead to cervical cancer, as well as various other health conditions. In fact, the American Cancer Society recommends that the Pap test be taken by all women at least once annually until the age of thirty, and if no problems arise until that point then they can begin taking the test only once every two or three years.

Cervical cancer is a major killer not only in the United States but all around the world, and although there are a variety of causes, one of the leading causes is the Human Papillomavirus, or HPV as it is more commonly known. This is one of the leading STDs in the world, and most women do not even realize that they have the disease until months, even years later, if at all.

4. Skin Check

Skin cancer is something that very few women think about, even though it is one of the leading causes of death among women around the world. Even if you stay out of the sun and take proper care of your skin you can still develop skin cancer, so it is important that you take the appropriate tests in order to stay on top of this and make sure that you do not have a skin cancer problem.

Every woman should start taking these tests after the age of eighteen, and this means having a skin exam at your dermatologists every 3 years, and once a year for women above 40. They will typically do an all over examination of your skin, checking for any abnormal pigmentations, red or brown spots, in particular moles that are larger than normal or irregularly shaped.

5. The Katie Couric Test

Colon cancer is not just something that men have to worry about, even though many people once thought this. The colonoscopy, which Katie Couric has now made famous, is a test that all people, both men and women, need to be concerned with. The American Cancer Society estimates that nearly 75,000 women alone will be diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer this year, and so it is critical not only for you to take this test as recommended but also to keep your colon as clean and healthy as possible.

The colonoscopy is a test that allows a doctor to closely inspect the patient’s rectum, during which they will check for any signs of cancer, polyps, or even small growths that may continue to grow and eventually become cancerous. The test is quite simple, and the patient will first be given a medication that allows them to relax and not tense up, as this can make the examination of the rectum much more difficult. The scope is then inserted slowly into the rectum, and on this scope is a tiny video camera, the pictures from this which are sent to a television monitor in the room that the doctor can use to examine the rectum better.

Colon cancer is totally preventable and treatable if found early, so it is important that you stay on top of this.

Other Physical Exams

  • Dental checkups – Every six months to a year for exam and regular cleaning.
  • Hearing tests – Once during adolescence, no need after that, unless problems appear.
  • Eye exams – Every 2 years if you wear glasses or contacts, and if you have good vision, start every 2 years after the age of 40.
  • Blood pressure tests – At least once every other year. More often if you’re overweight or have a family history.
  • Fecal occult blood test – Once a year after 50.
  • Bone density – Soon after menopause, if considering hormone replacement therapy or bone-building drugs.

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7 Responses

  1. Healthyeric says:

    Are these tests really as essential as they are hyped up to be I ask myself…certainly not looking to offend anyone here, or doctors who frequently administer and recommend these tests…but… there is a lot of information suggesting that mammograms for example are very inaccurate, that misdiagnoses are made on a pretty frequent basis, and that with each mammogram or exposure to radiation, you add a 1-2% chance of contracting the very cancer you’re being tested for.

    As for the whole cholesterol subject, it is becoming fairly mainstream knowledge that a lot of the so called facts are nothing but myths. A good book that touches base on this subject, but focuses mainly on statin drugs is “Hidden Truth about Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs” by Shane Elison. There is even suggestions, that people who have lower cholesterol have a higher chance of not surviving a heart attack, if they have one.

    As for the PAP test, well I don’t know much about that, but I did see something about HPV (vaccine), which is yet another hoax, boldly sold to the public, which may even cause infertility.

    Then there’s the mention of checking your skin, and that even if you STAY OUT OF THE SUN and take care of your skin, you can still get skin cancer…..OK…overexposure to the sun can be bad, but the sun is what really helps our bodies to fight all cancers, especially skin cancer. It is the toxic sunscreen, and toxmetics (cosmetics) that we apply to our skin that inhibits natural Vitamin D synthesis and absorption, polluting our bodies with chemicals that we would never eat, but may as well have, as they get easily absorbed through the skin.

    And then colon cancer…another big one. Staying away from processed foods and especially sodium nitrate, a chemical preservative contained in all processed meats and most meat in general, will significantly up your chances of never having to deal with colon cancer.

    I’m sorry, but a lot of these tests really place the “fear” in people, some of which help to start a process which ultimatley increases your chances of becoming diseased, especially when you get put on a statin drug for cholesterol, or take human guinea pig vaccines to stop cervical cancer, or get exposed to radiation, which causes cancer, to be tested for cancer etc etc etc. Not looking to undermine these tests completely, but there’s fact and there’s fiction. Could some of these tests be based on premises and research which is fiction, carefully disguised as scientific fact? Something to consider I think.

  2. Very big thanks to this article. I have heard about the first four tests but the Katie Couric Test is new to me. I will have my mom take this test soon.

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  4. Eliz52 says:

    Totally disagree with a lot of this and there are some glaring errors as well. Cervical cancer is NOT common, it’s rare and always was and was in decline before screening started…
    False positives from the unreliable pap test are very common and HPV is common, but in almost all cases, HPV is harmless and clears up with no medical treatment at all, our immune systems take care of it.
    The risk of this cancer is always exaggerated to get women to have this unreliable test – it generates a huge amount of profitable work for doctors, day procedures, specialists, pathologists etc

    The lifetime risk of cervical cancer is 0.65% here in Australia and it might be a little higher in the States, but no more than 0.65%. (Richard DeMay article at Dr Sherman’s site)
    Yet 95% of American women who screen will be referred for colposcopy and usually some sort of biopsy after an “abnormal” pap test. That’s HUGE over-detection and over-treatment for a tiny risk and American doctors also test women who are not at risk. (women not yet sexually active, women who’ve had full hysterectomies for benign conditions, women in lifetime mutually monogamous relationships and others)

    Also, high grade strains of HPV are responsible for basically ALL cervical cancer. One way of reducing this small risk is to delay sex until you’re 18, limit your partners and use condoms – the latter reduces the risk of infection with HPV by 70%. (maybe more with perfect use)
    Of course, almost all women with HPV don’t go onto cancer, only a very small number and they have another factor that pushes them to cancer – what is it?
    Some say smoking or multiple infections with high grade HPV or an impaired immune system. The jury is still out…

    In the States, 0.65% at most are helped by pap tests, 0.35% get false negatives and may be disadvantaged with a later diagnosis after being falsely reassured and ignoring symptoms and the rest accept high risk for nothing – more than 99% derive no benefit from pap tests, but 95% will be referred after an “abnormal” result – almost of of them are false positives caused by infections, inflammation (condoms, tampons), hormonal changes (pregnancy, menopause), trauma (childbirth) and for perfectly normal changes that occur in women under 30 with their cervix maturing and older women with menopausal changes.

    Damage to the cervix can result in cervical stenosis which can mean infertility, endometriosis, infections and may require surgery if the cervix is scarred shut and menstrual blood can’t escape also, cervical incompetence which can mean miscarriages, high risk pregnancy, some require cervical cerclage, premature babies and psych issues. Not things to be taken lightly – LEEP and cone biopsies carry the greatest risk.
    As a low risk woman, my risk of cc is near zero, I made an informed decision not to have pap test more than 25 years ago. More recently I declined mammograms – once again, we get a happy screening story and pressure to screen with no real information – very paternalistic.
    The Nordic Cochrane Institute have released “The risks and benefits of mammograms” at their website, a rare, unbiased summary. My concerns were false positives, over-diagnosis with DCIS and lubular carcinoma and I believe compression and radiation are not good for my breasts!

    Women who want the truth – head over to Dr Joel Sherman’s medical privacy forum and under women’s privacy issues, in the side bar, you’ll find lots of references. Look at Dr Angela Raffle’s research, “1000 women need regular smears for 35 years to save one woman from cervical cancer”….

    Basically I see a Dr if I’m ill and otherwise I’m very cautious with any extra test or exam. Our doctors do not recommend the well-woman nonsense, I’d refuse it anyway – those exams are unnecessary, of poor clinical value and expose you to risk. 1 in 3 American women will have a hysterectomy by age 60 – 600,000 every year – THAT’S TERRIFYING! All the unnecessary biopsies and procedures that are caused by these exams – they risk your health and quality of life!
    I check my skin once every few months and as heart disease runs in the family, will keep an eye on my blood pressure and cholesterol (through my GP), I take no medication at all and I’m a fit and healthy 52 years old…

    I’d urge every woman to look at her risk profile and do her reading – what are the risks and benefits of this test or that exam? Make up your own mind and protect your healthy body. Challenge your Dr – ask him/her the hard questions and remember doctors in the UK, NZ and Australia receive undisclosed financial incentives from the Govt to reach screening targets for pap tests – I regard these payments are unethical as they place our doctors in a potential conflict of interest situation. (Financial Incentives Legislation and PIP scheme) All very disrespectful and underhanded – also, why is the Govt paying doctors to screen for a rare cancer, no payments are made for prostate screening and that’s a common cancer? Easy, the Govt has invested millions in a testing program that was never suitable for mass screening purposes – they must screen 80% to stand some chance of lowering the already low death rate otherwise Q’s will be asked, why are we wasting millions of taxpayer dollars to achieve nothing? Of course, they knew at the outset this testing would harm and distress far more than it helped, far more…

    This test fails the basic requirements for an effective screening test and is unethical without express informed consent – the cancer is rare, the test unreliable and many women find the test invasive and unacceptable. Informed consent is a legal and ethical requirement for all cancer screening, yet has always been denied to women. A test that relies on misleading women, ignoring informed consent, concealing risk and making undisclosed payments to doctors is unethical and unacceptable.
    Changes need to be made – I’d urge every woman to protect her body from harm – make informed decisions.

  5. Certainly an article to be read! This was a great and informative read! Fabulous work by the author and creator! Nice feedback from the readers as well! I must admit the author had some very valid points here. Thank you for taking the time to share this with us!

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