Health is your Superpower
Did you know many illnesses can be avoided with early detection and preventive health screenings? The key to staying healthy begins with you. Only you can sense if something isn’t right. And some diseases, like breast cancer, are usually found after symptoms appear. That is why screenings are so important. Knowing when to see your doctor can be tricky. Following is a list of general guidelines for women:
• Physical Exams – Every year, or as directed by your doctor.
• Body Mass Index (BMI) – Every year.
• Blood Pressure – Every two years.
• Mammogram – Every two years starting at age 50. At age 40, start discussing breast cancer screenings with your doctor. If you have a family history or other risk factors consider being screened earlier.
• Pap Test – Ages 21–65, every three years.
• Diabetes Screening – Beginning at age 45. If you have a family history, high blood pressure or other risk factors consider being screened earlier.
• Colon Cancer Screening – Beginning at age 50. If you have a family history or other risk factors consider being screened earlier.
Knowledge is Power
Prepare questions for your doctor’s visit. Also, make sure your physician knows your family history and any concerns you might have about your health. Bring a list of medications — including over-the-counter medications, vitamins and any other supplements — to your visit, as well.
Your overall health can be improved by making simple changes to your daily routine. Start by making good eating choices. A low-sodium, low-fat diet that includes fruits and vegetables can help you maintain a healthy weight. Incorporating a daily walk or other exercise can also help improve your well-being. Reducing your alcohol intake and eliminating tobacco use can lower your risk for many diseases. Just remember, you are your own best spokeswoman.