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Women's health screening guidelines.

These guidelines are for women at low risk for conditions associated with the screenings suggested. If you are at high risk for a condition, such as diabetes, your health care professional may recommend other screening tests possibly at more frequent intervals.

* Blood pressure. Every two years for women overage 21; more frequently if borderline high, or if there is a family history of high blood pressure.

* Bone mineral density. For all women over age 65; periodic screenings may be recommended for younger postmenopausal women who have risk factors for osteoporosis.

* Breast. If you're 20 to 39, have your breasts examined by a health care professional every three years, and once a year beginning at age 40. Women ages 40 and older should have a mammogram every one to two years.

* Cholesterol. Have a fasting lipoprotein profile every five years beginning at age 20, more often if there is a family history of high cholesterol.

* Colon cancer. Have an annual fetal occult blood test and a flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years beginning at 50. If you have a family history of colon cancer and/or polyps, discuss with your health care professional how often you should have these and possibly other colon cancer screening tests.

* Gynecological exams. Have a Pap test and pelvic exam annually until age 70 if you are or have ever been sexually active. After normal Pap test results from three consecutive screenings, Pap tests may be done every one to three years, on the advice of your health care professional.
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Publication:National Women's Health Report
Date:Oct 1, 2002
Words:253
Previous Article:Begin your healthy future today. (Lifestyle Corner).
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