Uploaded on Jun 14, 2010
In today's world, women are often so busy taking care of their family's needs that they sometimes neglect their own. Putting off a haircut or skipping a workout won't lead to any serious consequences. But putting off important tests... that's a different story.
"Women are better equipped to care for their families if they maintain their own physical and emotional well-being," says Kimberly Bruneau, MD, an OB/GYN with Adventist Hinsdale Hospital. "Putting your health last can lead to bigger problems, such as finding a condition when it's more advanced."
Staying on top of your health doesn't have to be another task on your already busy schedule. Below, Dr. Bruneau recommends the following checklist to stay healthy:
1.Schedule annual exams. Seeing your doctor for a physical exam each year is important to stay healthy. "Here, we can make sure you receive the appropriate tests and help you maintain general wellness," Dr. Bruneau says.
2.Live a healthy lifestyle every day. Dr. Bruneau says taking time to make good choices every day will make a big impact in the long run. "Exercising regularly, eating healthful foods and nurturing your emotional health take time, but it's time worth taking," she says.
3.Receive the appropriate screenings and tests. Your annual exam is the perfect time to make sure you are up-to-date on the screenings you need. Even though routine tests are important, they can easily be put off.
Pap smears check for cervical abnormalities and can help doctors detect and prevent cervical cancer. All women should receive their first Pap smear at age 20, or three years after they become sexually active, and regularly thereafter. This test can also detect HPV or human papillomavirus, which can cause cervical cancer.
Mammograms should be a part of your annual health care regimen after age 40. For those with a family history of breast cancer, blood tests are available to screen for the breast cancer gene.
Bone density scans determine if you have osteoporosis or if you are at risk for developing it. All women should have their first test at age 50 and continue being tested based on their individual risk profile.
Colonoscopy detects abnormalities, called polyps, that can lead to cancer. If doctors find a polyp, they can remove it and prevent cancer from developing. Women should have their first test at age 50 and every 10 years thereafter.
4.Open the lines of communication with your doctor. When many people think about women's health, breast, ovarian and cervical cancer are some of the first things to come to mind. Knowing which of these conditions have affected your family, and sharing this information with your doctor, can help prevent them. "At Adventist Midwest Health, we offer women the latest advancements to prevent and treat these conditions," Dr. Bruneau says.
At Adventist Midwest Health, women can find the latest technology and procedures to treat chronic and more serious conditions. For example, minimally invasive procedures are helping women who need hysterectomies. In the past, large incisions and long hospital stays were a part of the procedure. Now, women can receive the same procedure with much more benefits. "We're using robots to perform hysterectomies to decrease post-operative pain and return women to activities quicker than traditional hysterectomies," Dr. Bruneau says. "Another benefit is patients often go home the day after surgery."
For more information or to find a physician, call us at 866-533-7968.