Essential Medical Tests for Women

Mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends need to make their health a top priority, especially for early detection and treatment of heart disease and cancer.

All women should undergo these essential medical tests:

Regular blood work and blood pressure readings. High cholesterol, high triglycerides, and elevated blood pressure are all risk factors for heart disease. A blood sugar test may be recommended for those who are overweight or have a family history of diabetes.

Annual Pap test. Early detection is important. Women should have an annual Pap test, which takes a sample of cervical cells, when they become sexually active or turn 21.

Mammograms. Starting at age 40, women should get a mammogram every 1-2 years, then annually after age 50.

Colonoscopy. Beginning at age 50, women (and men) should have this test every 10 years to detect colon cancer.

Annual skin exam. From age 18, everyone should have annual head-to-toe skin exams by a dermatologist.

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