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Two of the most important keys to good health are prevention and early detection. You can take steps to detect problems early–when they're easiest to cure–by being regularly screened for certain conditions as directed by your doctor.
Einstein women's health experts suggest the following screening tests:
Regular pelvic exams and Pap smears. Have a pelvic exam and Pap smear every one to three years as directed by your doctor.
Monthly breast self-examinations (BSEs). It's a good idea to start the life-long habit of monthly BSEs as early as possible.
Regular clinical breast examinations. When you have your regular pelvic exam and Pap smear, your doctor will do a clinical breast exam, too. Using fingertips, your doctor will carefully check each breast for lumps or other suspicious changes.
Yearly blood pressure screening. Have your blood pressure checked once a year. High blood pressure, which usually has no symptoms, can lead to heart disease.
Cholesterol screening every five years. High cholesterol levels can also lead to heart disease.
Keep up with immunizations. Make sure you get a diphtheria/tetanus booster every ten years. If you are thinking about getting pregnant, talk to your doctor about getting immunized for measles, mumps and rubella–three diseases that can cause serious birth defects. Depending on your risk factors, your doctor may also recommend an annual flu shot, periodic pneumonia vaccinations and a hepatitis B vaccination.
Skin examination. When caught early, skin cancer can be treated and cured. Talk to your doctor about being screened at least every three years and about what signs you should look for on your own. Skin screenings are recommended for people as young as 30 if they have a family history of skin cancer or are very fair-skinned.
Yearly mammograms. One of the most effective ways to detect breast cancer early is to have yearly mammograms after age 40.
Eye examination. Starting at age 40, have an eye exam every two to four years to check for vision problems including glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness.
Colon cancer screening. Colon cancer can be prevented or cured if it's detected early enough. After age 50, have a fecal occult blood test annually, a digital rectal exam every five years, and a sigmoidoscopy every five years or a colonoscopy every ten years.
Diabetes screening. Your risk for diabetes–a chronic, life-threatening and grossly under-diagnosed disease–increases as you get older. Have a fasting plasma glucose test every one to three years as directed by your doctor after age 50.
Osteoporosis screening. Have a bone mineral density test at least once to determine your risk for developing osteoporosis, the bone-thinning disease.
Thyroid-stimulating hormone test. Have this test for thyroid problems every three to five years if you are age 65 or older.
You can also prevent many health problems by listening to your doctor’s advice about how to reduce risk for conditions such as cervical cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis, the bone thinning disease.
If you think you have a sexually transmitted disease, you can be tested by an Einstein physician.
Einstein Healthcare Network can help you with all of your healthcare needs. From primary care and prevention to breast health and osteoporosis risk reduction, our network of women's health experts includes family practice physicians, internists, geriatricians, gynecologists, oncologists and breast surgeons.
Einstein's women's health experts are located at:
To schedule an appointment with one of Einstein's women's health experts, call 1-800-EINSTEIN. Or, find a doctor online.
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