Guide to Staying Healthy
What Women Need
Good health begins with good preventive care. But, unfortunately, many women don’t subscribe to the “a cup of prevention is worth a pound of cure” adage. In fact, only about half of adults get regular check-ups and preventive health screenings, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That means that conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer can go undetected for too long. Why do women wait? Here are some common excuses:
I don’t have time.
With more than a dozen Adena Health locations in south Central Ohio, it’s easy and convenient to schedule regular screenings and checkups with your physician to talk about healthy lifestyle choices.
It’s too expensive.
Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance plans, as well as Medicaid and Medicare, are required to pay for a variety of services with no deductibles or co-pays. These include:
- Well-woman checkups (annual physicals)
- Cholesterol, blood pressure and some other routine health screenings
- Flu shots
- Many vaccines
- Gestational diabetes screenings
- Breastfeeding support
- Sexually transmitted disease counseling
- Domestic violence counseling
Sure, mammograms, colonoscopies, and even blood tests aren’t at the top of anyone’s favorite to-do list. But thanks to advances in technology and techniques, most screenings are relatively pain free. And if you think you’re too busy, remember that an annual health checkup is far quicker than long-term treatment for a disease that could have been prevented.
I feel fine, why bother?
Many conditions can develop and progress without any symptoms. For example, high blood pressure, breast cancer, and osteoporosis are often called “silent” conditions because they don’t exhibit any signs until they’ve progressed—sometimes to an untreatable stage.
I don’t want them to find anything.
Denial and fear are not good defenses for your health. Plus, working with your physician to establish a baseline for your health will make it easier to notice even small changes later, allowing them to detect diseases before they become serious.
The health experts at Adena Health System want to help women get the care they need. Here are the screenings recommended for women by the CDC, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and the American Cancer Society. Adena physicians and health clinics offer all of these screenings at locations throughout the 13-county region of southern Ohio.
Age 18 to 29
Blood Pressure: Get screened at least every 2 years if you have normal blood pressure (below 120/80).
Cervical Cancer: Women should be get a Pap test every 3 years from age 18-65.
Cholesterol: Get a baseline test in your 20s.
Age 30 to 39 … Everything above, plus:
Cholesterol: Start annual screenings at age 35.
Age 40 to 49 … Everything above, plus:
Breast Cancer: Get an annual mammogram starting at age 40.(Recommended by the American Cancer Society; the US Preventive Services Task Force recommends women begin at age 50 and get every two years.) Some women who are at higher risk may be eligible for a mammogram at a younger age. Ask your primary care provider about your risks.
Diabetes: Women with no risk factors should be tested annually beginning at age 45.
Age 50 to 59 … Everything above, plus:
Coronary Calcium: Have a baseline scan at age 55.
Colorectal Cancer: Begin screenings, and depending on the type of test, get rescreened every 5 to 10 years.
Age 60+ … Everything above, plus:
Osteoporosis: Have a bone density or DEXA scan every 2 years starting at age 65.
Based on your personal risk factors, family health history, and current symptoms, your physician may recommend you have some screenings earlier, later, or more frequently.
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