The age of 40 is when life begins yet again for a woman. With a few decades of experience under her belt, she is now more knowledgeable about what she wants out of life and how to get it. If you have hit this age already or are about to turn 40, chances are that you must be striding high in your career, having travelled to a few countries and having perfected the art of parenting.
Perhaps you are eagerly attempting new adventures that you may not have tried during your younger days or are focusing more on fitness activities and getting your nutrition right. Dr Gowri Kulkarni, Heads of Operations, DocsApp suggests that apart from the regular health check-ups, women must take the following medical screening tests to detect and prevent many diseases at their formative stage:
This is yet another lifestyle health disorder many Indian women have been facing lately. Women post 40 and sometimes even before that age start complaining of weight gain, hair loss, brittle nails, exhaustion and much more. Blame it all on an active thyroid or hypothyroidism. This gland secretes hormones T3, T4 and TSH, which are accountable for regulating the metabolism of the body. Any modifications can produce serious changes in the body.
Complete Breast Examination & Mammogram:
One of the leading causes of deaths in India is breast cancer. You may be self-examining your breasts at home regularly and also getting them examined annually from the gynaecologist but at a crucial age like 40, it is always ideal to get a mammogram done. The risk of breast cancer increases with age, which makes the test necessary for every woman during this age period.
Bone Mineral Density Test:
Being a woman automatically puts you at a greater risk for Osteoporosis as compared to men. This condition occurs due to declining levels of the hormone ‘estrogen’ which contributes to bone health in women. Women tend to lose bone mass more quickly as they age, which leads to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a deteriorating condition of the bones, where vital minerals like calcium drop from the bones, making them weak and brittle. Thus, all women in their 40s must get their vitamin d, serum calcium, parathyroid and other hormone tests done for a clear understanding of their bone health.
Pelvic Examination and Pap Smear Test:
If you are sexually active, you need to take a complete pelvic examination and Pap smear test for the detection of HPV. A Pap test looks for changes in the cells of the cervix that show signs of cervical cancer or conditions that may develop into cancer whereas a pelvic examination lets the doctor examine the cervix, uterus, and the two sides of the lower abdomen where the ovaries and fallopian tubes are located.
All those years of travelling and healthy tanning might be resulting in something not so healthy. Over time, one’s chances of developing melanoma and skin cancer increase. Those who have had bad sunburns before the age of 18 or have a close family member with melanoma are also more likely to get skin cancer. While you can definitely do a self-exam every month by looking for moles that are irregular, abnormally large, or have an irregular border or colour, it is recommended to visit a specialist annually for a proper screening.
Sugar and cholesterol test:
The chances of getting diagnosed with diabetes and cholesterol increase with age and aggravate due to unhealthy eating habits. Women in their 40’s must take care of their sugar and cholesterol levels and follow a diet chart accordingly. These two can prove fatal and increase the risk of heart disease. Thus, it’s important to have a blood test done to check for diabetes and cholesterol as part of your annual body check-up or more frequently if your cholesterol levels are already high.