Women are the centre pillars of all families. The burden of sickness in a lady can alter the whole equation within a household — physically, emotionally and financially. Over the years the causes of mortality and morbidity have changed from infective diseases like tuberculosis to chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer. These diseases can be easily prevented if one understands the risk factors. If these are managed these diseases can be easily controlled. The preventive health screening for women is simple and non-invasive. These include some tests for general wellbeing and specific tests for cancers. A complete blood count along with liver function profile and kidney function profile is required to know how the various systems in the body work. Lipid profile is very essential to estimate the levels of good and bad cholesterol. A high level of cholesterol will indicate a higher possibility of atherosclerosis and blockage of the vessels. In addition to these the estimation of thyroid hormone is also essential, as it plays a role in the functioning of all the cells and tissues in the body. Women also have to be screened for cancers they suffer from and these are cervical and breast cancer. There are 2 types of tests used for cervical cancer. The pap test finds early pre-cancerous changes in the cells and these can be easily treated.
Regular pap screeningcan also find cervical cancer early and hence the treatment is better and more effective. The HPV (human papilloma virus) infection is a well-established cause of cervical cancer. Angeli Misra, Co- Founder, Lifeline Laboratory Women should begin cervical cancer screening at the age of 21. Between the ages of 21 and 29 they should do a pap test every three years. Between the ages of 30 and 65 they should do both a pap test and an HPV test every five years. Women over the age of 65, who have had regular screenings with normal results should not have to be screened for cervical cancer. Those who have had their uterus and cervix removed and have no history of cervical cancer or pre-cancer also should not have be screened. Those who had HPV vaccination should still follow the screening recommendations for their age group. The other most common cancer is breast cancer. It is strongly recommended that women with an average risk of breast cancer should undergo regular mammography starting at the age 40. Those aged 40 to 54 should be screened annually. Women of 55 and older can have biennial screening or can continue screening annually. In addition to these, tests for tuberculosis is important. Chest x- ray and a manoux skin test also need to be done at least once in two years.