Friday, May 10, 2013

What Health Screenings Do Women Aged 60 – 69 Need?

By:  Todd Palmer at Always Best Care

As the body ages, seniors experience a wide range of changes. For instance, they may find that they have higher blood pressure, are at a greater risk for certain types of cancer, or have developed diabetes. Yasmine, who lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, talked to her doctor about the healthcare needs for women in her age group (60 to 69). Here, Yasmine offers a list of health screenings that are recommended by the AARP.1

  1. Blood Pressure Screening: Seniors should have their blood pressure checked at least once every two years, as abnormal levels can indicate heart disease and other conditions. Blood pressure tests are noninvasive and quick, and are as such often conducted at each doctor's appointment before the consultation with a physician. 
  2. Breast Cancer Screening: Mammograms scan the breast for abnormal tissue, allowing doctors to detect any tumors or other concerns. These should be done once every two years. 
  3. Cervical Cancer Screening: A Pap smear, which should be done every three years, can identify any cellular changes that may be caused by cervical cancer. Human papillomavirus, or HPV, can lead to cervical cancer, so an HPV screening is also recommended. 
  4. Cholesterol Screening: Through a blood test, medical professionals can pinpoint any elevated or high cholesterol levels. This test will differentiate between LDL, HDL, and total cholesterol. One test every five years is recommended.  
  5. Colorectal Cancer Screening: This test can be performed in one of three ways, depending upon a senior's medical needs and the recommendations of their doctors. A colonoscopy may be conducted, which sends a camera into the body to identify any abnormalities. A sigmoidoscopy is the same procedure, but it is focused on the rectum and pelvic colon area. Finally, stool samples may be screened for blood. 

Yasmine has spent a great deal of time determining which health screenings she needs to have done in order to best protect her health as she ages. For women who are between the ages of 60 and 69, these are five of the most highly recommended tests. By having these conducted, seniors can work with their doctors to ensure that they are in the best health possible.


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