Good physical health is directly related to a great quality of life, experts say.
We have studied several researches on how regular exercise, wholesome diets, and general healthy habits help fight off diseases and ill health. Another healthy practice that has been reiterated by medical professionals is routine health checks.
Regular medical tests can be life-saving especially as a woman, a New York-based doctor says, as they can allow you to discover signs of diseases right before they cross the threshold to become life-threatening.
In this article, we will discuss five vital health checks that medical specialists say can prove to be the difference between life and death.
1. Pap Smear and HPV Test
A Pap smear (or a Pap test) is a medical procedure used to test for cervical cancer, or the existence of cancerous cells in a woman’s cervix. The HPV test also tests for cervical cancer however instead of checking for cancerous cells, it tests for the presence of the Human Papillomavirus, a virus that has been found to cause 70% of cervical cancer cases.
According to WHO, cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer among women globally with over 600,000 new cases in 2020.
Early detection of cancerous cells in the cervix or the HPV virus is the most effective secondary prevention of the disease, and it is advised for women between the ages 25 – 65 to take these tests once every five years.
Simply stated, a mammogram is an X-ray picture of the breast. It is specialized medical imaging that uses a low-dose x-ray system to observe the inner breasts.
Medical organizations and professionals have advised and hammered on daily self-checks of the breast as it is a simpler way to physically detect any changes on the breasts.
However, according to medical professionals, mammograms are the best tests doctors can use to find early signs of breast cancer – signs that exist long before it becomes physically detectable by self-examination.
In general, mammograms are not recommended for women below the age of 40. Women with a family history of breast cancer, however, or a genetic predisposition can have mammography at age 25.
3. Blood Glucose Tests
Medical professionals use Blood Glucose Tests to check for hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia – two distinct indications of the widespread sickness, diabetes.
Diabetes directly caused 1.5 million deaths in 2019, according to the WHO, and though the disease is more prevalent in men, women are said to have more severe complications and a greater risk of death.
A blood glucose test screens your blood to check if the blood sugar levels are within a healthy range. For people that have not been diagnosed with diabetes, Harvard Medical advises, blood sugar monitoring is important and should be done once every three years.
4. Blood Pressure Screening
Your heart works hard every second to pump blood to your heart and a blood pressure screening checks how hard it works. Hypertension – high blood pressure, is rather dangerous as it has no obvious physical symptoms.
It is relatively easier to get a blood pressure screening as many pharmacies and supermarkets have blood pressure kits that you can use in-store — sometimes for free.
Health professionals recommend having your blood pressure checked regularly beginning at the age of 18. Between ages 18 to 39, they advise getting a blood pressure screening every 3 years. Women aged 40 or older should have their blood pressure checked at least once a year.
5. Dental Checks
Dentists recommend that you have a dental checkup at least once in 6 months. Regular dental checks are vital in protecting the gum and teeth.
Postponing your visits to the dentist could cause minor and treatable conditions to become serious oral complications that could induce considerable pain and discomfort, and could even lead to tooth extraction.
Certain studies have shown that oral health is directly related to self-confidence, and a regular dental check would help promote good oral health.
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