We women have a tendency to ignore our health very often, sometimes due to lack of time, many a times due to our lethargy and more often than not, because we don’t take its seriously as the severity of the ailment is not known until later.
But as our fitness is directly proportional to the fitness of our families, we have to proactively walk that extra mile and get these essential health checkups done, as a matter of prevention and early diagnosis, than wait for the day when its too late.
This list contains 8 must-do health checkups, which are essential alongwith the routine checkups that your medical center provides you with. These tests must be done bi-annually.
A Test to examine the Breast
Name of the Test: High Resolution Mammography Ultrasound
Detects: A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast that is designed to detect breast cancer. The test uses a special x-ray machine to take pictures of both breasts. The results are recorded on x-ray film or directly onto a computer for a radiologist to examine.
Why should one get it done: It is actually advisable to have a breast check done now, to prevent breast cancer later. Through a mammogram the doctor can have a closer look for breast lumps and changes in breast tissue and the mammogram can show small lumps or growths that a doctor may not be able to feel when doing a clinical breast exam. It is said that mammography” is the best screening tool that doctors have for finding breast cancer, hence, one can take this test. Also, by early diagnosis a woman has a better chance of surviving the disease and more choices for treatment.
Who should get it done: Women above 40 and in the post menopause stage are advised to undergo the test.
Cost: Average range is between Rs 2500 – Rs 3500/-
A Test to check the health of the Cervix
Name of the test: Pap Smear test
Detects: The Pap smear test tracks the health of your cervix. Cervix is the lower part of the uterus opening into the vagina. This test is done to detect if there are unhealthy cervical cells that can lead to cervical cancer.
Why should one get it done: Frequency of sex as well as multiple partner sex can lead to the possibility of the HPV virus entering the female body and affecting the cervix. The symptoms of cervical cancer are not known until several years. By conducting a Pap test, that is examining cells from the cervix one can find and treat changing cells before they turn into cancer.
Who should get it done: Women who are 21 years and older and those who are below 21 years but have been sexually active for a year must get themselves tested. Preferably, the test must be conducted twice each year in a gap of 6 months. Women with multiple sex partners are also recommended to get thePap test done.
Cost: Rs 1500 – Rs 2000/-
A Test to check Anemia, Blood cell count, Hemoglobin
Name of the Test: CBC Blood Test (routine examination) complete haemogram
Detects: The CBC (Complete Blood Count) test gives inputs on various counts relating to the blood, including red blood cells count, white blood cells count and platelet counts.
Why should one get it done: If you feel fatigued and weak even after a small activity, chances are that your hemoglobin count has gone down. If you are constantly being attacked by viruses thereby falling sick, chances are that your WBCs that fight germs have gone down in numbers. Hnce, in order to keep fit and active, one must get the routine CBC checkup done. A high WBC count may signify an infection, while a low WBC count may point toward other problems. A low red blood cell count may suggest anaemia, while a high red blood cell count may include bone marrow disease or low blood oxygen levels.
Who should get it done: While there is no such age limits prescribed for undergoing blood test, it is recommended that you get one done when your family physician recommends. And while undergoing the regular complete body check-ups a blood check proves to be highly beneficial.
Cost: Rs 200 – Rs 300/-
A Check to know the state of your Stomach, Lower Abdomen
Name of the Test: Ultrasound Sonography
Detects: Ultrasound is that imaging technique available to doctors with which a doctor is able to peer inside of one’s body to check for anomalies.
* For pregnant women, ultrasound helps in knowing whether the inner mouth of the uterus is closed and if all is fine in the womb.
* Also, with ultrasound to bank upon, we can gauge the shape and size of the uterus and check for abnormalities and fibroid growth.
* Ultrasound helps in gauging possible pregnancies, tubal diseases and ovary growth and diseases.
* Helps in assessing abdominal pain and in diagnosing growths or tumors of the ovary, uterus and fallopian tubes.
Why should I get it done: As Ultrasound gives us a complete picture about the health of the abdomen and the lower abdomen and is especially beneficial to check the state of the fetus, it is highly recommended.
Who should get it done: Those who suffer from regular abdominal pain, pregnant ladies, and women who counter lower abdominal problems
Cost: Rs 150 – Rs 450/-
A Test to check the strength of the Heart
Test: Stress test or Treadmill test
Detects: Stress tests help in determining the amount of stress one’s heart can manage, in determining if enough blood flows to the heart muscle, and in checking if there are blockages in the heart.
Why should I get it done: The stress test helps you in knowing if there is adequate blood flow to your heart during increasing levels of activity, in assessing the effectiveness of your heart medications to control various problems, in estimating the likelihood of having coronary heart diseases and in identifying abnormal heart rhythms. Also by going through the treadmill test, you can develop a safe exercise program.