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Clear the Way to Better Health: Your Medical Test Guide

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Age-Specific Tests

In Your 20's

TEST: Eye Exam
WHO TO SEE: Ophthalmologist
WHY: Many eye problems, such as glaucoma and retinopathy, are detected only via exam. Plus, checkups can help pinpoint related health concerns, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
HOW OFTEN: At least once between the ages of 20 and 29 and twice between ages 30 and 39. Wear glasses or contacts? Take meds that affect your vision? Got diabetes? Go annually.

TEST: STD Screening
WHO TO SEE: Your gyno or GP
WHY: Chlamydia and gonorrhea, which can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, are on the rise, as is syphilis.
HOW OFTEN: Annually if you're 24 or younger, or if you've had sex with multiple or new partners in the past year, regardless of age. Pregnant? Get screened ASAP.

In Your 30's

TEST: Thyroid Check
WHY: Hypothyroidism, an underactive thyroid, affects women as much as seven times more than men. Undetected, it can lead to weight gain, joint pain, infertility and even heart disease.
HOW OFTEN: Once every five years starting at age 35.
FAST FACT: Up to 12 million people in the U.S. who have thyroid disease go undiagnosed, notes the American Thyroid Association.

WHY: Two types of HPV cause about 70 percent of all cervical cancers. After age 30, women are less likely to clear the cancer-causing infections.
HOW OFTEN: Request an HPV test with your Pap. If both results are normal, you may not need to be screened for another three years. But no matter how old you are, if your Pap comes back abnormal, ask your doc about getting tested.

In Your 40's

TEST: Mammogram
WHO TO SEE: Radiologist
WHY: This X-ray helps detect changes in breast tissue that can signal breast cancer.
HOW OFTEN: Annually. While a government task force recently changed their recommendation to yearly screenings starting at age 50, the American Cancer Society still urges women to get started at 40.
FAST FACT: Get a mammogram when your breasts are less tender, usually during the week right after your period.

TEST: Blood Sugar Check
WHY: Fasting glucose levels shouldn't exceed 100 to 125 mg/dL. Higher? Could be diabetes.
HOW OFTEN: Once every three years starting at age 45.

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What do you think? Review this story!
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6/18/2012 03:28:14 AM Report Abuse
anonymous wrote:

A PAP smear does not reveal endometrial cancer!!!

2/27/2012 09:41:35 AM Report Abuse
anonymous wrote:

it would be helpful to see other views on how often 65 year olds need an eye exam if their are no obvious signs of trouble ... also heard the shingles vaccine is important for any older person?

10/6/2011 04:09:48 PM Report Abuse
limam11 wrote:

Wow! Seems like some people NEED TO LEARN HOW TO READ! These are not tests for those UNDER a certain age and there is NO cut-off point on ANY of the tests mentioned ... it is reminding YOUNGER women that they need to pay attention to their health!!! OMG!

9/12/2011 10:25:57 AM Report Abuse
amy2944 wrote:

This post was incredibly informative! I was curious to see that HIV testing did not make the cut. -Amy, Fuse Pilates

8/9/2011 09:52:29 AM Report Abuse

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