Preventive medicine is one area of healthcare in which all women can exercise more responsibility and control over their health. Getting regular screening tests for common health problems is a simple and effective first step.
Screening tests can give you and your healthcare provider the information needed to identify health risks and take preventive measures before they become more serious problems. Getting routine tests performed even though you have no symptoms can help detect problems early and help you benefit from easier and more effective treatment. It can sometimes even prevent disease.
Two panels of tests are frequently used as general health screenings. These tests can screen for a number of health issues at the same time. Your healthcare practitioner may order these when you have a general health examination:
|Blood Test Panels||Examples of Conditions Screened|
|Complete blood count (CBC)||Anemia, infection, iron deficiency, bleeding disorders|
|Complete metabolic panel (CMP)||Liver disease, kidney disease, electrolyte and acid/base balance|
It's easy to take these tests for granted, but their power to keep you healthier longer should not be underestimated. Talk to your healthcare practitioner about getting the recommended health screenings. Learn about other screening tests that can help keep you healthy:
|Heart disease, high cholesterol||Lipid panel|
|High blood pressure||Blood pressure reading|
|Obesity||Body Mass Index (BMI)|
|Sexually transmitted diseases||Chlamydia, Gonorrhea tests|
|HIV||HIV antibody and antigen test|
|Cervical cancer||HPV test, Pap smear|
|Colon cancer||Fecal occult blood test (FOBT) and fecal immunochemical test (FIT), colonscopy|