Women’s health carries a unique set of challenges (like social discrimination, for example), and early detection and prevention of diseases can have a significant impact on outcomes. Women’s health diagnostics play a crucial role in this effort, enabling early detection of health issues and empowering women to take control of their health.
In this blog, we will discuss five essential women’s health diagnostics that can help with the early detection and prevention of diseases.
The Top 5 Women’s Health Diagnostics for Early Detection
Here are five essential women’s health diagnostics that can help with the early detection and prevention of diseases.
1. Pap Smear
For women, getting a Pap smear is essential for early cervical cancer detection. Cells are taken from the cervix (located at the top of the vagina) during the test. Early detection of cervical cancer can considerably improve the odds of successful treatment.
The Pap smear also makes it possible for women to take preventative actions by identifying any alterations in cervical cells that may later result in cancer.
A mammogram is a women’s health diagnostics scan which uses a specific kind of X-ray to find breast cancer’s early warning symptoms. Mammograms are advised for women between the ages of 50 and 74 every two years, and earlier screening is advised for those with a family history of breast cancer.
A technician will place your breast on a plastic plate and compress it with another plate from above while you stand in front of special X-ray equipment for the process. Although you could experience some pressure, the procedure is relatively painless and short.
3. HPV Test
The HPV test is a crucial screening test for cervical cancer that detects the presence of the human papillomavirus — a common sexually transmitted infection that can lead to cervical cancer.
While the test doesn’t determine if you have cancer, it identifies the HPV virus responsible for cervical cancer development, especially types 16 and 18 (known to heighten the risk).
The HPV test is done to detect the presence of this virus in women who have had abnormal Pap smear results or are 30 years of age or older. This screening test can help detect the virus early, potentially preventing cervical cancer development.
4. Bone Density Scan
A bone density scan, commonly known as a DEXA scan, is a rapid and painless women’s health diagnostics scan that measures bone density and looks for osteoporosis using low dose X-rays. Women who are postmenopausal or have a family history of osteoporosis are advised to take it.
The results are typically used in conjunction with a fracture risk assessment to predict the likelihood of developing osteoporosis and fracturing a bone.
The scan is more successful than standard X-rays at diagnosing poor bone density. Women should begin bone density testing for osteoporosis at age 65 or earlier if they have risk factors including a low body weight or a family history of fractures.
Colonoscopy is a screening test for colon cancer and an important tool in women’s health diagnostics. A long, flexible tube with a camera on the end is used to examine the colon during the procedure.
Before 2018, only women between the ages of 50 and 75 were advised to take it. The American Cancer Society revised its screening recommendations in 2018 to suggest that those with an average risk of colon cancer or inflammatory bowel disease get their first screening at age 45.
Routine exams should continue until 75 (or occasionally 85, depending on the individual’s general health and expected lifespan).
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