Vim & Vigor - Summer 2018 - Parrish Medical Center - 17

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Pap tests, which detect abnormal
cells before they become cancer, are
one of two kinds of cervical cancer
screenings. The other type, HPV testing, identifies human papillomavirus
infections that cause cell abnormalities, sometimes even before cell
abnormalities show up.
HPV testing isn't recommended
for women younger than 30, and Pap
tests aren't recommended for women
younger than 21. That's because HPV
infection and any cervical cell abnormalities present early in life are likely
to go away on their own.
Women older than 65 who otherwise
aren't at high risk for cervical cancer
don't need to be screened for the disease, according to the task force.
Many doctors still prefer to do
annual or even more frequent cervical
cancer screening, especially if a woman
has had abnormal results before.

Sexually
Transmitted
Infections

When to go: If you're younger than
25, get annual chlamydia and gonorrhea tests. If you're any age but have
new or multiple sex partners or sex
partners with STIs, get annual chlamydia and gonorrhea tests. Everyone
ages 13 to 64 should be tested at least
once for HIV. All pregnant women
should be tested for HIV, syphilis and
hepatitis B. Source: Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention
What to know: Most STIs can be
effectively treated, sparing discomfort
and potentially serious complications.

Mammograms

When to go: Talk to your
doctor when you turn 40
if you're at average risk of breast
cancer. Source: American College of
Obstetricians and Gynecologists
What to know: Some physicians
recommend annual mammograms at

Screening Guidelines for Everyone
Want more information about health screening recommendations for the
whole family? The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force-an independent,
volunteer panel of national experts-has a lot of resources. Learn more
at uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org.

40, while others wait until 45 or 50.
Forty is when the doctor should go
through a woman's family history and
other risk factors, Schimmoeller says.
Women with a family history should
notify their doctors in their 30s.
From age 50 to 75, the American
College of Obstetricians and
Gynecologists recommends a mammogram every year or two years, and
the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force
suggests a mammogram every two
years. Again, some doctors and women
prefer annual screening.
Women older than 75 should talk to
their doctors about whether to screen.

Blood Pressure
and Cholesterol

When to go: Get a blood
pressure test at every regular healthcare visit, or at least once every two
years if your blood pressure is less
than 120/80. Adults 20 and older
should have their cholesterol checked
every five years. Sources: American
Heart Association; National Cholesterol
Education Program of the National
Institutes of Health
What to know: Heart disease is the
leading cause of death for women in
the U.S., killing about 1 in 4 women.
High blood pressure and cholesterol
are key risk factors for the disease. Be
sure to get tested regularly for both.

Bone Density

When to go: If you're 65
and older, have a bone density test to screen for osteoporosis.
Sources: U.S. Preventive Services Task
Force; National Osteoporosis Foundation

TALK TO
YOUR DOCTOR
It's easy to want black-and-white
answers when it comes to healthcare.
But screening recommendations
for women aren't one-size-fits-all, and
it's important to keep in mind that
individualized suggestions may vary.
"Screening guidelines apply to people who are in a low-risk category,"
says Natasha Schimmoeller, MD,
MPH, a fellow at the American College
of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
So, for example, if a woman has
a compromised immune system or
has an abnormal result on a test, her
recommended screening frequency
may change.
"We modify based on risk,"
Schimmoeller says.
Talk to your doctor about your risk
factors-from your medical history to
your family history-to get personalized healthcare recommendations
that work for you.

What to know: Osteoporosis, a disease that makes bones weak and more
likely to break, affects more women
than men.
About 80 percent of the estimated 10
million Americans with the disease are
women, according to the federal Office
on Women's Health.
That's because women usually have
thinner bones than men; women live
longer than men, and bone loss happens
naturally with age; and women lose
more bone mass after menopause. ■
SU MM E R 2018

17


http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org

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