Everyone should make time for healthy habits such as choosing the right foods, stress management, and regular exercise, but when you’re a busy mom, it can be challenging to fit everything in. Scheduling routine health checks which can detect potential issues early is one of the many healthy habits you should never skip. Regular screening could save your life and when a disease is detected early, preventing complications and improving the quality of your life is much more straightforward. Suppose you’re diagnosed with breast cancer in its early stages; you would have an excellent prognosis and will most likely be able to undergo breast-sparing surgery without any further complications. Our guide is here to help you understand which screenings you should never skip to ensure you are at your healthiest at all times.
Blood Pressure Screening
In today’s modern world, it can be easy to miss recurring headaches, dizziness, or even nausea which are all signs of high blood pressure. A diagnosis of high blood pressure, or hypertension, is made when your blood pressure is higher than 140/90 and having high blood pressure can lead to numerous other complications, including preeclampsia if you’re pregnant. As a result, you should have your blood pressure checked every two years if your blood pressure is 120/80 or below. However, if your blood pressure is higher than this, you should be reviewed annually or even more frequently if your doctor recommends it. If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, you should also take steps to arrange a diabetes screening, as high blood pressure can be a sign you have developed this condition.
Once you’re over the age of 20, you should have your cholesterol checked every five years, and ideally, your cholesterol should be less than 200 milligrams per deciliter. A high reading would be anything above 200 which would put you at risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke. If you have high levels, your doctor can create a plan with you for how often you need to have your cholesterol checked in order to monitor your risk.
From the age of 21, every woman should have a Pap smear every three years until the age of 65. In some cases, your doctor may recommend you go more frequently, and this is typically due diligence for women with a higher risk of cervical cancer. During the smear, a doctor will use a speculum to widen the vaginal canal in order to take cells from the cervix with a small brush. The cells taken during the smear are then examined for changes that could potentially lead to cervical cancer. For women over 30, you can have the Pap smear every five years if it is combined with an HPV screening, which is a disease that can lead to cervical cancer.
Another concern for women is ovarian cancer, and other screening tests such as the Pap smear or HPV test are not effective in detecting this type of cancer. Women can have regular pelvic exams where a medical professional feels the ovaries and uterus for size, shape, and consistency.
However, while a pelvic examination can be helpful for finding some female cancers at an early stage, most ovarian tumors are challenging or impossible to feel. As a result, many women are choosing the undergo a full-body MRI instead of the traditional pelvic exam as these MRIs can give an accurate look inside your whole body and typically give you information on multiple organs such as the brain, ovaries, uterus, and lungs. A comprehensive scan that could detect the early signs of cancer in numerous organs could save you hours of time that busy moms just don’t have, and for more information, head over to https://ezra.com/.
Over the years, many doctors have disagreed with how often a woman should have a mammogram, which is an exam that screens for breast cancer and involves compressing the breast in order to take X-ray images. As the risk of breast cancer increases as a woman ages, it is recommended that women over the age of 45 have a mammogram every two years. Frequent screenings can produce false positives, and your doctor can recommend if you should increase your screenings to biannually once you reach the age of 55. However, if you are a high-risk patient with a family history of breast cancer, your doctor may recommend annual screenings from an earlier age.
According to the American Cancer Society, women should be examining their skin at home every month. In order to perform this examination, you should inspect the skin on your whole body carefully and take note of any new moles or changes to existing ones, as this can often be a sign of skin cancer. If you have a family history of skin cancer or are deemed high risk, your doctor or dermatologist will be able to advise you on how often you should have an in-office exam.