Stay healthy with regular check ups – Part 2

Continued from last week
Breast Exam
Starting in your 20s, if you are a woman, you should have a breast exam by a health care provider. It gives you a chance to talk about any changes in your breasts and discuss anything in your health history that might make breast cancer more likely to happen. Ensure you know how to do self-exams. Most health practitioners encourage women to know the natural shape of their breasts and report any changes to their doctors.

This is an X-ray that looks for changes in the breasts. The American Cancer Society recommends that women aged 45 and above should have one every year. Other medical groups suggest that women should have mammograms every 2 years, starting from when they’re 50, until they’re 74. Talk to your doctor about what’s best for you.

Eye tests 
Regular eye tests are important because eyes do not usually hurt, when something is wrong. A sight test is a vital health check for the eyes, as it can detect early signs of eye conditions before you are aware of any symptoms – many of which can be treated, if found early enough.
A sight test will show if you need to get glasses for the first time or change your current glasses.
A sight test will also include a general health check that can detect early signs of eye diseases before you are aware of any symptoms. Some health conditions can affect the eyes such as diabetes, macular degeneration and glaucoma.

Optometrists recommend that most people should get their eyes tested every two years. However, in some circumstances, they may recommend more frequent tests.

Pap Test
A Pap test (or Pap smear) checks for cancers in the lower part of the uterus, called the cervix. The doctor uses a special small stick or brush to take a few cells from the cervix for the test. Starting at age 21 through age 29, women should have the test every 3 years. If you’re between 30 and 64, you should get a Pap test and human papillomavirus (HPV) test together every 5 years or a Pap test alone every 3 years.

Colorectal Cancer Screening
Tests look for cancer in the colon or rectum by checking for blood or for –tissue growths called polyps. If you don’t have any extra cancer risks, you should start getting screened at age 50 and continue until you’re 75. There are different screening tests that may be right for you. Fecal occult blood tests (FOBT) should be done each year. Sigmoidoscopy, in which your doctor checks part of the colon with a lighted tube, plus FOBT, should be done every 5 years. Colonoscopy, in which the doctor examines the entire colon with a lighted tube, should be done every 10 years.

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