As a woman there are certain tests that you need to get on a regular basis. Here’s a quick guide to the 8 most essential test every woman needs to get in order to stay healthy.
WHO TO SEE: Gynecologist
WHY: Collecting cells from the cervix during a pelvic exam is the best way to tell if your cervix is healthy — cell changes can lead to cervical cancer.
HOW OFTEN: Starting at age 21, most women need to be screened every other year or less, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Once you turn 30 — and you’ve had three consecutive negative tests and no abnormal history — you can get it done once every three years.
Clinical Breast Exam
WHO TO SEE: Gyno or general practitioner (GP)
WHY: She can feel or see abnormalities in breast tissue, skin and nipples that can indicate cancer.
HOW OFTEN: At least once every three years in your twenties and thirties. But if you want to be checked more frequently, simply ask. After age 40, go yearly.
Skin Cancer Screening
WHO TO SEE: Dermatologist
WHY: She can ID weirdly shaped moles or other growths that might be cancerous or precancerous.
HOW OFTEN: Get new or changed growths assessed ASAP. If you’re a current or recovering tanning-bed or sun lover, are fair or dotted with moles or freckles or have a family history of skin cancer, see the derm twice a year. If not, go annually.
FAST FACT: Derms are better at diagnosing melanomas than primary-care docs, finds a recent study. The result of better screening? Higher survival rates.
WHO TO SEE: Your GP
WHY: High cholesterol means higher risk for heart disease. You want total cholesterol under 200 mg/dL; LDL (bad cholesterol) under 100 mg/dL; HDL (good stuff) 60 mg/dL or more; and triglycerides under 150 mg/dL.
HOW OFTEN: At least once every five years, starting at age 20.