Females out there wondering what tests need to be done at your preventative physical visits. I thought I’d spend some time here writing about some of the preventative screenings/test/vaccines that females should do and the most recent guidelines.
Cervical Cancer Screening
Cervical cancer screening is a vital part of preventative medicine visits for females.
USPSTF recommends screening for cervical cancer in women age 21 to 65 years with cytology (Pap smear) every 3 years or, for women age 30 to 65 years who want to lengthen the screening interval, screening with a combination of cytology and human papillomavirus (HPV) testing every 5 years. Of course if you have family history of history of abnormal paps, symptoms or concerns please contact your medical provider to schedule and appointment.
Also depending on the results the frequency of checking can be modified
Breast Cancer Screening
October is breast cancer awareness month! It is important to visit your doctor yearly for breast exam and evaluation.
Preventative Task Forces recommends screening with mammography every 2 years starting at age 50. However some resources such as American College of OBGYN recommends starting screening at age 40. If you have family history or notice changes in your breast tissues please contact your medical professional as soon as possible.
These are some guidelines but in reality each patient is considered with their own case and medical background for screening. Important to know that you should not start your screening later than age 50.
HPV vaccination is also recommended for boys and girls age starting at 11-12 years old to 26 years, if not vaccinated already. It comes in two doses.
Recently was releases that patients ages 27 through 45 years who are not already vaccinated may decide to get HPV vaccine after discussion with their doctor.
The USPSTF recommends screening for osteoporosis with bone measurement testing (DEXA Scan) to prevent osteoporotic fractures in women 65 years and older. Each patient is assessed on a case to case basis if needed to obtain bone density prior to 65, for example if taking certain medications that cause bone changes, family history etc. In addition I always check vitamin D in my patients in case there is a deficit to help supplement and help with progression and prevention of osteoporosis.
These are just a few of the screenings that are recommended. I will share more with you in articles to come!
Remember take care of yourself and make sure to consider screening recommendations!