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Disease prevention and treatment

7 Medical Screenings Women Above 50 Years Should Do

Menopause can bring many changes to a woman's body. Your 50s is a good time to check in with your doctor about your overall health.

Some women from ages 50 to 64 are being diagnosed with at least one chronic condition, and many of them have two or three conditions.

But detecting potential health problems early when they’re likely to be the most treatable can help save or extend lives.

But despite the fact that early screenings can keep women healthier, only a few women between ages 50 and 64 are up to date on their preventive checkups, including immunizations and screening exams.

Women need to talk with their doctors about the screening tests that are most appropriate for them, and in many cases that will depend on their family history, age, and general health.

 For example, if you have ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, you may have an increased risk for colorectal cancer compared with people who don’t have these conditions. Or if breast cancer runs in your family, you should ask your doctor about when you should be screened and whether you should undergo genetic testing.

Here are some health screenings recommended for women over 50 years:

1. Hepatitis C: Anyone born between 1945 and 1965 is five times more likely to be infected with hepatitis C than other adults because they may have been exposed to hepatitis C through a blood transfusion or other risk factors that occurred before the virus was discovered in 1989.

Over time, the hepatitis C virus damages the liver, increasing the risk of liver cancer and organ failure. Today, screening is very important.

This is a silent epidemic, and there is an excellent treatment for it. The sooner the disease is detected, the less damage the liver will sustain.

2. Mammogram: Women should have their first mammogram between ages 40 and 50. Women should be screened every two years starting at 50.

It is recommended that you talk to your doctor about screening, particularly if you have a family history of breast cancer.

 This test gives you a chance to catch breast tumors early before they progress and spread. In women aged 50 to 69, mammograms reduced the risk of advanced breast cancer by about 20%.

3. Cholesterol check: The leading cause of death in women is cardiovascular disease, and we know that risk factors like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes are strongly related to the development of it. 

Also, treating the risk factors can significantly decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. For example, cholesterol can accumulate in your arteries, contributing to a blockage that could lead to a heart attack.

4. Blood Pressure: After 50, your blood pressure should be checked regularly. High blood pressure stresses the walls of the blood vessels and takes a toll on the heart and brain.

In a recent hypertension study, women who are 55 years and older with high blood pressure had a 40% increased risk of dying of cardiovascular disease.

5. Blood sugar test: Every woman over age 45, especially if you are obese or have symptoms of diabetes, such as excessive thirst, blurred vision, or numbness in your feet.

High blood sugar is a sign of diabetes a breakdown in your body’s ability to produce the hormone insulin. Diabetes can lead to eye problems and blood vessel damage and raise your risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems.

6. Bone Density Test: Women need this bone test at 65, or possibly earlier if they have a family history of osteoporosis or fractures. In particular, tell your doctor if your mother had osteoporosis.

Your bone mass and density peaked in your 20s. Bone health for women is especially affected after menopause. It’s been estimated that about half of postmenopausal women will have an osteoporosis-related fracture.

A dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) test will help your doctor predict if lifestyle changes or osteoporosis medication is needed to protect your bones.

7. Pap Smear: These tests are generally recommended for women ages 21 to 65. Pap smears can detect cervical cancer or precancerous lesions.

 More women are dying from cervical cancer than previously thought, especially our African women and older women.

Content created and supplied by: MatronJcares (via Opera News )



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