Simple Tests That Can Save Black Women’s Lives

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black woman white docBy Staff Blogger

Getting a pap smear done regularly is something that all women should do, but many forget to have done. Skipping a regular pap smear can increase your risk of not detecting cervical cancer in time. On average it takes abnormal cells in the cervix to develop into invasive cancer. Gynecologists recommend that women who are sexually active or over 18 years of age get yearly pap smear screenings. Once you have had screenings that have been normal for three consecutive years, talk to your gynecologist about getting them done less frequently.

Another cancer you don’t want to ignore is breast cancer. This can be detected by getting a yearly mammogram. Doctors recommend that women should get a baseline mammogram between the ages of 35 and 40, and then a yearly one after 40 years old. It is a five minute test that can detect any abnormalities in the breast tissue. Breast cancer is more common in Caucasian women, but African-American women are more likely to die from it.

Colon cancer is another concern for women. This can be caught by getting a sigmoidoscopy after the age of 50. If the baseline test is normal, getting one done every three years is sufficient.

There are many different ways to be screened or tested for abnormalities before it is too late. Just a simple blood test can tell you your cholesterol, blood sugar, blood thickness, and iron count for example. A two minute blood pressure check could save your life. Getting screened by your doctor at an annual physical is something that doesn’t take much time, but could end up saving you.

People need to take their lives into their own hands. They are responsible for getting tests done to screen for these different things. They should become more active with their health, eat the right foods, exercise, and quit smoking so that the risk of having a bad test is reduced.

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