“What you don’t know doesn’t kill you”, does not apply to your health. You don’t have to wait till you are sick before you get your health checked. There are specific times when you should see your provider. These visits can help you avoid problems in the future. Here are some essential medical tests you need to do if you fall under the age group 18- 39.
BLOOD PRESSURE SCREENING
- You need to get your blood pressure checked every 2 years.
- If the top number is 130 or greater or the bottom number is 80 or greater, schedule an appointment with your provider to learn how you can reduce your blood pressure.
- If you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you may need to have your blood pressure checked more often, but still at least once a year.
CERVICAL CANCER SCREENING
Cervical cancer screening is essential especially for sexually active women. This should start at age 21.
- Women ages 21 through 29 should have a Pap test every 3 years. HPV testing is not recommended for this age group.
- Women ages 30 through 65 should be screened with either a Pap test every 3 years or the HPV test every 5 years.
- If you or your sexual partner has other new partners, you should have a Pap test every 3 years.
- Women who have been treated for precancer (cervical dysplasia) should continue to have Pap tests for 20 years after treatment or until age 65, whichever is longer.
- If you have had your uterus and cervix removed (total hysterectomy) and you have not been diagnosed with cervical cancer you may not need to have Pap smears.
BREAST CANCER SCREENING
Women are advised to do a monthly breast self-exam. However self- exams are not sufficient enough to detect breast cancer. If you are age 18 to 39, you need to do a clinical breast exam.
- Contact your provider right away if you notice a change in your breasts, whether or not you do breast self-exams.
- If you have a mother or sister who had breast cancer at a young age, consider yearly mammograms. They should begin earlier than the age at which their youngest family member was diagnosed.
- If you have other risk factors for breast cancer, your provider may recommend a mammogram, breast ultrasound, or MRI scan.
SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIOUS DISEASE SCREENING
- Women who are sexually active should be screened for chlamydia and gonorrhea up until age 25. Women 25 years and older should be screened if at high risk.
- All adults ages 18 to 79 should get a one-time test for hepatitis C.
- Depending on your lifestyle and medical history, you may also need to be screened for infections such as syphilis and HIV, as well as other infections.