What Tests Should Healthy Women Have?
Screening tests are tests performed to determine disease, a harmful condition, or risk factors that have not yet had symptoms. It is not a correct approach to wait for some complaints to occur for gynecological examinations, cancer screening, and blood tests. Healthy women should also have screening tests at regular intervals as a preventive measure.
Cancer screening tests are at the top of the life-saving tests. The earlier the diagnosis is made with cancer screening tests, the better the chance of treatment. The masses in the ovaries can be detected when they are small, with annual gynecological examination accompanied by ultrasonography. Ovarian cancer usually progresses without symptoms, and when symptoms occur, the chance of treatment is reduced. While the treatment chance in ovarian cancer is 90 percent in the early stage, the treatment chance in advanced ovarian cancer decreases to 25 percent.
Mammography saves lives
It is stated that a woman has a 10 percent lifetime risk of getting breast cancer. The most important method for screening breast cancer is mammography. With mammography, breast cancer can be detected before it becomes noticeable. Made works; It shows that screening with mammography significantly reduces the risk of death from breast cancer. Also, palpation is no longer recommended for screening for breast cancer.
Mammography testing is recommended between the ages of 40 and 74. However, those who have breast cancer in their first-degree relatives and those who carry the breast cancer susceptibility gene (BRCA) should start screening earlier. The issue of how long mammography should be done once is discussed. Many experts argue that screening should be done every two years, some experts once a year.
Radiation is no excuse
Some women avoid screening because of concerns about exposure to radiation during mammography. However, the studies; show that deaths due to breast cancer are prevented thanks to mammography, and the radiation level caused by mammography is very low and insignificant. In women with dense breast tissue, the mammographic evaluation will be difficult, and breast ultrasonography is also recommended.
Pap smear every 3 years from the age of 21
Pap smear tests should not be neglected to screen for cervical cancer. A smear test is recommended from the age of 21. While it was recommended to be done every year in the past, it is now considered sufficient to do it every 3 years. With the smear test, pre-cancerous changes in the cervical cells are detected and simpler treatment methods are applied, thus preventing cervical cancer. A smear test is not required for those who have previously surgically removed their uterus. Since the majority of cervical cancer is caused by HPV virus infection, HPV virus screening can also be performed every 5 years after the age of 30.
A close follow-up to the bones after menopause
Apart from cancer screening tests, it is of great importance to screen osteoporosis, ie bone resorption, by performing postmenopausal bone densitometry. With the measures to be taken after osteoporosis is detected and osteoporosis treatment, bone fractures that threaten the quality of life at later ages are largely prevented.
A drop of blood says many things
Having some blood tests such as fasting blood glucose, blood cholesterol levels, complete blood count, thyroid function test, vitamin D level also determines disease risks and takes precautions. For this reason, women should repeat blood tests at regular intervals.