Important Medical Tests for Women Over 40

Women’s health issues and particular medical needs change as they age.  Physically, women in their forties are healthier than they have ever been throughout history.  However, as women turn forty, it’s important to continue to get regular medical checkups.  These checkups should include certain health screenings and tests to insure that a woman can continue to have good health throughout her forties and beyond.   A woman should discuss needed health screenings with her doctor during her checkup.  Each woman’s health needs will vary, and doctors may recommend special tests depending on those needs. 

Breast Exams

Breast exams are usually routine for women by the time they reach forty, however,   now is the time to start having regular mammograms.  Starting at age forty, a woman should have a mammogram annually.  Yearly mammograms, coupled with home self breast exams, are the number one way breast cancer is detected early. Early detection means a higher rate of survival for women.  If a woman has breast cancer in her family, it is doubly important a woman get a yearly mammogram.

Cervical Cancer Screenings

Cervical cancer screenings performed at a woman’s regular gynecological exam should continue throughout a woman’s forties.  If a woman is sexually active, a pap smear with an HPV test can and should be performed as well.  Cervical cancer screenings should be performed every 2-3 years throughout a woman’s forties.  It’s a misconception that as women age it is unnecessary to test for STD’s or to practice safe sex; therefore, it’s important for a woman to discuss her particular needs with her doctor.

Heart Disease Screenings

Heart disease screenings are very important for women in their forties.  After age forty five, a fasting plasma glucose test should be performed in conjunction with regular blood pressure and blood cholesterol tests.  The plasma glucose will detect the early onset of diabetes, while the other two tests will assess any risk to the heart.  

Additional health screenings should be performed if a woman has certain risk factors in her family.  Eye screenings are normally performed regularly at sixty for healthy adults, but if there is a history of glaucoma or diabetes, starting these screenings in the forties decade is recommended.  Bone health screenings usually begin around age sixty five, but if a woman has a history of osteoporosis or is taking any medications that cause bone loss, then a bone mineral density test should be performed regularly starting at forty.  Getting a total body skin exam is necessary for women who are exposed to the sun for long periods of time and for those women with a history of skin cancer in their family.  Normally, skin cancer screenings begin at age fifty.  

A woman should always discuss her own individual health needs with her doctor, however, knowing what health screenings are needed and normally performed at checkups can assist a woman in planning her health care well into a long and healthy future.

Call HealthwoRx™ at 954.967.6550 to schedule an appointment with a doctor regarding your screening tests.

Breast Cancer Screening
Cervical Cancer
Skin Cancer
Heart Disease
Bone health
Thyroid health
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