Lift your spirit

Women these days lead very busy lives, and somehow squuezing in that extra time to make appointments and visit doctors is not high on the priority list unless we get sick.

But here are five tests that you should not forget about and which can actually save your life.

1. Cholesterol Test
Heart disease is the leading cause of death among American women these days, yet somehow we focus our attention on other diseases and threats. Six times more women die from heart disease than breast cancer each year, and most of these cases were due to the fact that the women avoided getting the right tests.

One easy way to gauge the health of your heart is to get a cholesterol test. Remember that there is both good and bad cholesterol, but by getting a simple test your doctor will be able to inform you if your cholesterol levels are at a dangerous level. They will also test your blood pressure because high blood pressure or hypertension as it is medically known is a condition which can be very harmful, even potentially deadly.

Cholesterol tests are recommended at least once every 5 years starting at the age of 20.

2. The Mammogram
Many younger women think that mammograms are only for their mothers, women who are older aged, but this is not true. In fact, breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death around the world, and in many cases it develops in younger women, even those in their early twenties.

Women should get a mammogram at least once every couple of years, and always check for lumps in your breasts. The best idea is to check in circular motions around the area of both your breasts every time that you are in the shower. Not only does the warm water help you to relax but as well it helps you to remember to examine yourself. Breast cancer has an incredibly high cure rate as long as it is caught early, so keep on top of the situation on your own time.

Mammograms are recommended once a year for women over the age of 40.

3. Pap Smear
Many women mistakenly think that the Pap smear is just to check for sexually transmitted diseases but its main purpose is to check for cervical cancer, a major killer around the world. Cervical cancer is so dangerous because it tends to be caught late. The Pap smear is the best test to catch it early.

One of the leading causes is the Human Papillomavirus, or HPV as it is more commonly known. This is one of the leading STDs in the world, and most women do not even realize that they have the disease for years.

This test looks for any abnormalities that could lead to cervical cancer, as well as various other health conditions. In fact, the American Cancer Society recommends that the Pap test be taken by all women at least once annually until the age of thirty, and if no problems arise until that point then they can begin taking the test only once every two or three years.

4. Dermatology Test - CheckYour Skin
Every woman should visit her dermatologist from the age of eighteen, and having a skin exam every 3 years (once a year for women over 40). They will typically do an all over examination of your skin, checking for any abnormal pigmentations, red or brown spots, in particular moles that are larger than normal or irregularly shaped.

Skin cancer is something that very few women think about, even though it is one of the leading causes of death among women around the world. Even if you stay out of the sun and take proper care of your skin you can still develop skin cancer, so it is important that you stay on top of this and make sure that you do not have a problem.

5. The Katie Couric Test
So many people think colon cancer is a guy thing, but we women get it too. The American Cancer Society estimates that nearly 75,000 women alone will be diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer this year, so do not take this lightly. Colon cancer is totally preventable and treatable if found early, and the main test for this is the colonoscopy, which Katie Couric has now made famous.

The colonoscopy allows a doctor to closely inspect the patient’s rectum and lower colon, during which they will check for any signs of cancer, polyps, or even small growths that may continue to grow and eventually become cancerous. The test is quite simple, and the patient will first be given a medication that allows them to relax and not tense up, as this can make the examination of the rectum much more difficult. The scope is then inserted slowly into the rectum, and on this scope is a tiny video camera, the pictures from this which are sent to a television monitor in the room that the doctor can use to examine the rectum better.