Regular checkups are essential for a woman. Many common illnesses, like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and stroke, can be prevented or treated if caught early enough. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends the following schedule of checkups and screenings for women at average risk of developing the above diseases. If you feel you are at greater risk, consult with your physician about how often you need to be tested.
Mammogram – every one to two years starting at age 40.
Pap smear – every one to three years starting at age 21 or when you become sexually active.
Cholesterol – starting at age 45 and then every five years. If you smoke, have diabetes, or have a history of heart disease in your family, you should get checked starting at age 20.
Blood sugar test for diabetes – starting at age 45 and then every three years.
Dental exam – one or two times every year.
Vision exam – every two to four years starting at age 40.
Hearing test – every 10 years starting at age 18.
Blood pressure – at least every two years starting at age 21.
Colorectal cancer screening – starting at age 50.
Bone density test (for osteoporosis) – at least once, starting at age 65 (earlier, if recommended by your doctor).