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December 14, 2007

15 Tests Every Woman Needs

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Cancer

CLINICAL BREAST EXAM
What Age: Start at age 25.
How Often: Every one to three years until age 40, then every year.
Details: Breast check by your health practitioner.

MAMMOGRAM
What Age: 40s, 50+
How Often: Every year.
Details: If you’re under 50 and/or have dense breasts, ask for a digital mammogram, which detects more tumors than traditional film mammograms. Many insurance companies cover a baseline mammogram in your 30s, though it’s not clear whether that helps with cancer detection later on.

SKIN-CANCER CHECK
What Age: 20s, 30s, 40s, 50+
How Often: Self check monthly; doc check every three years until age 40, then every year.
Details: Keep track of your self-checks with a mole map like the one on mdanderson.org

CHECKS FOR OTHER CANCERS
What Age: 20s, 30s, 40s, 50+
How Often: Every three years until age 39, then every year.
Details: Visual/Manual check for signs of cancers of thyroid, lymph glands, mouth, and skin as part of regular physical exam. Colon-cancer screenings start at age 50 (45 for African-Americans.)


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