For the Adult Female (Age 18 and older)
What can you do to stay healthy and prevent disease? You can get certain screening tests, take preventive medicine if needed, and practice healthy behaviors. Tri-City Family Medicine recommends you follow the guidelines described below to stay healthy. Obviously, these guidelines cannot encompass all health maintenance guidelines, due to the various risk factors that each patient may have or may experience. We recommend you follow the guidelines described, and be sure to discuss your personal risk factors and health maintenance guidelines with your physician. We will make every effort to help you stay healthy, but the ultimate responsibility is yours.
SCREENING TESTS AND CANCER PREVENTION*
The three (3) most common forms of cancer found in the adult female are lung cancer, colon cancer, and breast cancer. Please follow the recommended guidelines described below for the early detection of these types of cancer, and other diseases. If you have certain risk factors in your personal medical history and/or in your family medical history, you may need to have screening tests performed at an early age. Please be sure to review health maintenance guidelines and cancer prevention with your physician at least annually, and when there is a significant change in your personal medical history, and/or your family medical history.
Have an exercise cardiac stress test beginning at age 50. If you have risk factors and/or a personal or family medical history significant for heart disease, you may need to have an exercise cardiac stress test earlier than age 50. Be sure to review your risk factors and medical history with your physician to determine when you should start having an exercise cardiac stress test.
Have your cholesterol checked regularly starting at age 45. If you smoke, have diabetes, of if heart disease runs in your family, start having your cholesterol checked at age 20.
Chlamydia Tests and Tests for Other Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Have a test for Chlamydia if you are 25 or younger and sexually active. If you are older, talk to your doctor to see whether you should be tested for Chlamydia or other sexually transmitted diseases.
Colorectal Cancer Tests
Have a screening test, Fecal Occult Blood Test (“FOBT”) for colorectal cancer every year starting at age 50. Have a Colonoscopy every 10 years starting at age 50.
Have a bone density test at age 50, or at onset of menopause, to screen for osteoporosis (thinning of the bones).
Self Breast Exam, Mammograms and Pap Smears
Examine your breasts every month. Report any changes to your physician. Have a mammogram every year starting at age 40. Have a pap smear every 1 to 3 years if you have been sexually active, or are older than 21.
MEDICINES TO PREVENT DISEASE
Talk to your doctor about taking aspirin to prevent heart disease if you are older than 45 and have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or if you smoke.
Menopause and Hormone Replacement Therapy
Talk to your doctor about whether starting or continuing to take hormones is right for you.
Stay up-to-date with your immunizations. Have a flu shot every year starting at age 50. Have a tetanus-diptheria shot every 10 years. Have a pneumonia shot once at age 65.
Take 1200 mg of a calcium supplement and 400 IU’s of Vitamin D, daily starting at age 40.
OTHER BEHAVIORS THAT WILL HELP YOU STAY HEALTHY
Drink alcohol only in moderation. If you drink alcohol, have no more than 1 drink a day. If you are pregnant, you should avoid alcohol.
Be physically active. Walk, dance, ride a bike, or do any other physical activity you enjoy. Start small and work up to a total of 30 minutes most days of the week.
Eat a variety of foods, including fruit, vegetables, animal or vegetable protein, such as meat, fish, chicken, and eggs, or beans, lentils, tofu, and grains, such as rice. Limit the amount of saturated fat you eat.
Stay at a healthy weight. Balance the number of calories you eat with the number you burn off by your activities.
Don’t smoke. If you do smoke, talk to your doctor about quitting. You can take medicine to help you quit. Make a plan and set a quit date. Tell your family, friends, and co-workers you are quitting and ask for their support. If you are pregnant and smoke, quitting now will help you and your baby.
If you have a significant personal and/or family medical history for certain diseases, such as heart disease, breast cancer, or colon cancer, you may need to have screening tests performed earlier than the ages recommended in the guidelines above. Please be sure to review your personal and/or family history with your physician. Upon turning age 65, have a “Welcome to Medicare Exam”, which includes an Ultrasound Screening for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm.