If you are a woman age 21 or older, you need to start having some important health screenings. These tests and scans evaluate your tissues, fluids, and organs for relatively common or potentially severe health conditions, and they will help you and your doctor take a proactive approach to your health.
In other words, you want to catch something as early as possible so it can be successfully treated.
Let’s talk about five of the most important health screenings a woman should have, what they involve, and where you can have them done with utmost accuracy – and with your comfort in mind – here in The Bronx.
For women who are over the age of 21 or women who have a family history of reproductive cancer, most physicians recommend having an annual pelvic examination and Pap smear. The Pap test is named after a shortened version of its developer’s name, Greek physician Georgios Papanikolaou.
The Pap smear is a gentle scraping of cells from the cervix, which is at the lower end of the uterus. The cells are then microscopically examined to determine whether cervical cancer is present, or whether the cells may be precancerous.
The gold standard for breast cancer screening in women aged 40 and up, the mammogram is an X-ray of your breast tissue. If you have breast cancer in your family history, you may be recommended to have mammograms starting at age 35.
The mammogram will take different angles of each breast in order to reveal irregularities, including the possibility of a malignant tumor. Mammography can now be done via 3D digital technology to capture a better picture of the breast tissue.
Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Screening
These indicators of cardiovascular health should begin at age 21. If your blood pressure begins to increase beyond 120/80, the American Heart Association advises more frequent checks as determined by your primary care physician. Your doctor may recommend that you take prescription medication or that you follow a certain diet to keep your blood pressure and/or cholesterol to a healthy level.
Blood pressure is measured in the doctor’s office with an inflatable cuff and a stethoscope. The cholesterol screening involves a blood draw and lab testing.
DEXA Bone Density Scan
Also called a bone scan, a DEXA scan quickly and painlessly tests your bones for osteoporosis or brittle bone disease. Women should have this X-ray examination starting at age 65, or sooner if health conditions or medication usage (e.g., steroids) warrant it. Your primary care doctor can explain what would be best for you.
Annual Checkups with a Primary Care Doctor
Women should visit their primary care physician annually for a wellness checkup. This will include having a blood draw, a urinalysis, and updates on vaccinations such as a flu shot. The blood draw will check for things like high blood sugar levels and diabetes, and the urinalysis will check for a urinary tract infection (UTI) and kidney issues.
Advanced Imaging and Diagnostic Health Screenings in The Bronx, NY
Here at Starling Diagnostics in The Bronx, our highly qualified medical team of radiologists and primary healthcare providers delivers the highest-quality medical screening tests and checkups. We have female healthcare providers to keep our female patients comfortable while here. Plus, because all of our testing is done on-site, you’re assured of quick and accurate results.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment for a checkup or an imaging scan, contact us today at (718) 319-1610. If you prefer, you can request an appointment by filling out our appointment request form online. We look forward to seeing you!