There is no person in the world who is entirely free from risk when it comes to the dangerous and chronic illnesses in the world. However, it’s important to understand that your risk of having certain issues will depend largely on the risk factors that influence you.
One risk factor of a lot of conditions is your biological sex. If you’re a woman, then there are a few routine checks you should be ready and willing to arrange as part of an annual physical, or as often as your doctor recommends.
The heart health tests
While men are more likely to experience heart disease, the risk is so high and ubiquitous that there’s no excuse for women not to get checked as well. You can easily get your blood pressure and your cholesterol checked as part of your annual physical, so make sure you don’t miss this. You can catch changes in heart health well in advance of any diagnosis, giving you time to make the lifestyle changes necessary to course correct.
The bone density test
Women are a lot more likely to start losing bone density as they get older, with the risk being most significant once you are in your sixties and beyond. However, a lot of women still get diagnosed with issues like osteoporosis early, especially if they have experienced bone fractures or have low body weight, as well.
Osteoporosis can be treated with medication to help your body preserve more of your bone density, so getting that diagnosis as soon as possible can be crucial to maintaining a great quality of life.
The breast exam
The risk of cancer is still a great specter that hangs over many of our heads, especially those of us with a family history that includes it. The breast exam, or mammogram, screens for breast cancer using X-ray images.
If you feel any physical changes in your breast tissue, especially lumps, you will want to make sure that you take a breast exam to help assuage any concerns or to get an early start in treating and fighting it. People who get their cancer diagnosed in an early stage have a significantly higher success rate of getting into remission or completely removing it.
The pap smear
While breast cancer might be the one we most commonly talk about, it’s not the only risk that women need to be thinking about. In fact, cervical cancer can be more likely to affect younger women. As such, it’s wise to have a pap smear done every year as part of a physical to check for it.
It’s important to know that a pap smear does not check for ovarian cancer, as some think, so you need to know the symptoms and signs of that yourself so you can go for a diagnosis if you think there’s anything to be concerned about.
Start making sure that these important health checks are part of your yearly routine. The sooner you discover any issues, the more proactive you may be able to be in treatment.