Health test recommendations for women of different ages

Apr 07, 2011

Certain health tests are recommended for women during the different stages of their lives.

Women have different medical needs with each subsequent stage of their lives. Here is a list of the specific exams appropriate for certain age groups as recommended by MSNBC and other health outlets.

For women in their 20s, overall exams and pap tests to screen for cervical cancer are essential. Women around this age should also get tested for STDs and see a dermatologist annually to screen for melanoma, if skin cancer runs in their family.

Women in their 30s should focus on getting tested for Human Papoloma Virus. HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer, which caused 4,210 deaths in 2010, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Those in their 40s should begin testing for high cholesterol, MSNBC recommends. According to the American Heart Association, people with levels of cholesterol at or above 240 miligrams per decileter are at a high risk for developing heart disease.

Finally, women in their 50s should get mammograms and colonoscopies to screen for breast and colorectal cancer, respectively. A recent study in the American Journal of Roentgenology found that earlier annual mammograms may reduce deaths from breast cancer by 71 percent.

Regular doctor visits may play a role in early diagnosis and treatment, but they are no guarantee against developing terminal illnesses. Life insurance remains essential for providing for one's family after death.  

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