So, as we all know, 30 is the new 20, so 25 is like the new 18! (I’ll check the math on that later). But, that doesn’t change the fact that by 25 our bodies have generally reached their growth peak. We don’t get much taller, our body systems are fully formed, and we tend to not bounce back as well from sickness and injury as we did when we were still kids. What that means though is that we need to go in for regular check-ups to be proactive about making sure everything is working smoothly. For women, this is extra important due to the nature of the female reproductive system. So, for your peace of mind, I’ve compiled a list of the most important tests to keep current so that you have all your bases covered. Let’s take a look:
1. Cholesterol Test: Whether or not you have a family history of heart and cholesterol issues, it’s good to get regular testing in those areas. Since excess cholesterol is the primary cause of most types of heart disease (a leading killer of women), a cholesterol test with your annual check-up, especially after 40, is a must-have! The reason this is so important is that most physicians agree that the vast majority of heart disease cases are preventable! Diet and exercise can prevent nearly 80% of cases, but the only sure way to catch it early if it does develop is to get tested at least semi-regularly.
2. Pap Test: The infamous Pap smear, which detects cervical cancer, is especially important in the years immediately preceding 25, but even if all goes well it would be best to continue getting them done every few years from then on out. If any abnormal results emerge, it is advised to follow up with an HPV test since the HP virus is the usual suspect in causing cervical cancer.
3. STD Test: The only real way ensure that you’ll never have contact with sexually transmitted diseases is abstinence, but since a lifetime of complete abstinence is not the norm (nor recommended, apart from religious vows) it never hurts to get tested. You don’t have to have had a large number of partners to be at risk. No matter what your activity level, a routine STD test is nothing to be ashamed of, and can help keep you in the know.
4. The Mammogram: These x-rays scan for breast cancer, and are usually not recommended until after 40. But once you hit that age, it is recommended that you routinely include a mammogram in your check-up, even if you aren’t experiencing any symptoms. Early detection is always the answer with these sorts of things, and getting regular check-ups can only increase your peace of mind!
5. Colonoscopy: Colorectal cancer is typically thought to be only a man’s concern, but women do make up a certain percentage of cases and should not consider themselves immune! The only way to detect this form of cancer is a colonoscopy once a decade after the age of 50. In 2000, Katie Couric famously got herself tested on live TV, and ever since large numbers of women have felt more comfortable going in for testing. Even though the chances are slim for women to develop colorectal cancer, the procedure is worthwhile, if only to let you know everything is fine!
6. Melanoma Scan: If I was asked what my wife’s favorite summer pastime is, I would say sunbathing! But, as we all know, too much of a good thing can hurt you. Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancers for both men and women, and the one that often goes the longest without being untreated. So, consider adding a short melanoma test to your annual or semi-annual check-ups if you love being out in the sun. If you don’t think you are at risk enough to warrant a regular trip to the dermatologist, get yourself regular self-scans to make sure everything looks normal. This self-diagnostic from WebMD will be useful to you: WebMD self scan.
7. Blood Sugar Testing: Diabetes is one of those things that become more common and likely with age. Once you reach the age of 50 these risks increase and it is advised that you get annual blood sugar tests. Until then, consider getting a blood test every three years or so to ensure that everything is normal and so that your doctors have a good, long history of blood tests for later in life. Diabetes is one of those things that can be easily prevented or treated if caught early.
Keeping the above tests and potential health hazards in mind is like getting car work done: you hate to do it, but it just needs to be done! While reading this may not have left you with a warm fuzzy feeling now, taking due caution with your health can offer peace of mind and confidence as you tackle life!
Author Bio: Kevin Wayne writes for HealthTestingCenters.com, which has been offering direct access to health testing for 30 years.