Functional Medicine & Wellness

A Preventive Care Checklist For Women

Healthcare today involves a lot of talk about the importance of preventive care but unfortunately, does not involve enough action to ensure the proper steps are actually being taken (just one of many shortcomings in America’s current healthcare system). Omnia Health is doing our part to change that by providing personalized comprehensive care to patients. We make sure to be thorough in the questions we ask and the tests we run. Equally as important is the knowledge we impart, allowing individuals to make educated decisions when it comes to their health and well being. This brings us back to preventive care screenings – a cornerstone of maintaining good health that helps to monitor and prevent conditions that are common.

Regular screenings can lead to early diagnosis, more effective treatment, and better outcomes overall. We’ve put together this list of essential preventive care screenings that every woman should be aware of and schedule for themselves.

1. Breast Cancer Screening

According to, about 13% of women in the United States (or 1 in 8) will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Early detection through regular screening significantly increases the chances of successful treatment. The primary methods of screening for breast cancer include:

Mammograms are X-ray images of the breast that can detect tumors before they can be felt. Women between 40 and 44 have the option to start screening with a mammogram every year and it is recommended that those who are 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year. Women 55 and older can switch to a mammogram every other year, or they can choose to continue yearly mammograms.

Clinical Breast Exams (CBE) is a physical exam of the breasts and underarm area performed by a trained healthcare professional to check for lumps or other changes. CBEs can help detect breast abnormalities or evaluate patient symptoms that can be crucial for diagnosing and managing breast diseases. These exams are recommended every three years for women in their 20s and 30s, and annually for women 40 and older.

A breast self-exam is a step-by-step method women can use to examine their breasts. By looking at and feeling your breasts regularly, you are more likely to notice changes or detect when something feels different. While not a substitute for professional screenings, women should become familiar with the normal feel and appearance of their breasts and report any changes to their healthcare provider.

2. Cervical Cancer Screening

Cervical cancer can often be prevented with regular screenings including Pap smears, which are recommended every three years for women 21 – 65 years old. This test involves collecting cells from the cervix to detect precancerous or cancerous cells.

Women should also be diligent about getting HPV tests, which are often done in conjunction with a Pap smear from women aged 30 and older. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a group of more than 200 related viruses that can cause skin, genital, and throat issues. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI), and it can be spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sex, or through other intimate skin-to-skin contact. If both tests (Pap smear and HPV) are normal, they can be done every five years.

3. Bone Density Test

Osteoporosis, a condition that weakens bones and makes them more prone to fractures, is particularly common in postmenopausal women. A bone density test (also known as a DEXA scan) measures bone strength and is recommended for women aged 65 and older. It is also a good idea for younger women to consider this screening if they have osteoporosis risk factors such as:

  • Family history
  • Low body weight
  • Use of certain medications

Of the estimated 10 million Americans with osteoporosis, about eight million or 80% are women. Approximately one in two women over age 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis. In addition to having the proper testing, it’s important to get enough calcium, vitamin D, and protein each day.

4. Blood Pressure Screening

High blood pressure is a significant risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Regular screening is essential because high blood pressure often has no symptoms. Women with normal blood pressure should have it checked at least every two years. For women with high blood pressure or those at risk for cardiovascular disease, more frequent checks are necessary.

Many people wrongfully believe that high blood pressure rarely affects women when the reality is that nearly half of all adults with high blood pressure are women. In fact, women that are just 20 pounds or more overweight, have a family history of high blood pressure or have reached menopause are more likely to develop issues.

5. Cholesterol Screening

High cholesterol can result in heart disease, which is the leading cause of death among women. For this reason, cholesterol levels should be checked every 4 to 6 years for women aged 20 and older. Women with risk factors for heart disease such as diabetes, smoking, or a family history of heart-related issues should schedule more frequent screenings.

6. Diabetes Screening

Screening for diabetes typically involves a fasting blood sugar test or A1C test. This screening is recommended for women aged 45 and older, or younger women with risk factors such as obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, or a family history of diabetes. Here are three ways the effects of diabetes is different for women:

  • Having diabetes doubles men’s heart disease risk. But for women, the risk increases even more.
  • Women are more at-risk for urinary tract infections, a very common complication of diabetes.
  • For many diabetic women who take insulin, their bodies may respond differently to insulin throughout their hormone cycle.

Diabetes is a growing health concern, especially with rising obesity rates. Diabetes is caused by high blood sugar levels in the body, either because your body doesn’t make insulin (type 1) or because your body is resistant to insulin and can’t make enough (type 2). More than 90 percent of people with diabetes have type 2.

7. Colorectal Cancer Screening

Colorectal cancer screening is crucial for early detection and treatment. Various screening options are available including a colonoscopy, which is recommended every ten years for women aged 50 and older. Other tests, such as stool tests or sigmoidoscopies, may be done more frequently depending on risk factors.

8. Skin Cancer Screening

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. In addition to proper sun protection, women should perform regular self-exams to check for any new or changing moles or spots. Additionally, it is important to have a dermatologist perform annual skin checks—especially for those with a history of sun exposure or skin cancer. That said, it’s a good idea to start regularly seeing a dermatologist by age 25. Experts recommend scheduling an annual appointment by this age in order to have the best chance of catching any problems early.

Last but not least, put yourself FIRST.

In a society where women tend to prioritize the health needs of others before their own, it’s important to remember that you can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself. The preventive care screenings we mentioned above are essential for maintaining your health and detecting potential issues early. By staying informed and adhering to regular check-ups, all women can take proactive steps to safeguard their health and well-being.

Always consult with a healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate screening schedule based on individual risk factors and health history. Also, remember to trust your gut. No one knows your body better than you.
At Omnia Health, we take your health concerns and goals seriously. It’s just one more reason to schedule your schedule your initial consultation today




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