Tests all women need

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Tests all women need


All women should have a mammography to screen for breast cancer. How often you seek treatment varies by age. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends mammograms every other year for women over 50. Women younger than age 50 should work with their doctors to determine how often to have a mammography.

Breast exam

Starting in your 40s, you should have your breasts examined. A doctor can visually and manually check your breasts for differences in size or shape, rashes and dimpling, and lumps. You should be aware of how your breasts look and feel and report any changes to your physician.

Colon cancer screening

Once you turn 50, you should start being screened for colon cancer. You may need screening more often if you are at high risk of colon cancer. You should be screened for this until age 75.

Skin checks

To catch skin cancer early, check yourself once a month starting at age 18 by looking for new or suspicious moles. Screenings by a medical professional are based on a patient’s risk factors.

These risk factors may include:

  • significant sun exposure
  • family history of skin cancer
  • fair skin
  • the presence of multiple unusual moles
  • a history of several blistering sun burns, especially early in life

Diabetes test

If you are at high risk of diabetes, you may need to be screened for prediabetes and diabetes every three years starting in your 40s. If your blood pressure is over 135/80 or you have high cholesterol levels your doctor may screen you for type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes risk factors include:

  • physical inactivity
  • severe obesity
  • having a first-degree relative with diabetes

How can we improve it?

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Medically reviewed by Kimberly Dishman, MSN, WHNP-BC on June 6, 2016 — Written by The Healthline Editorial Team.


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