MPH Blog

Screening Guidelines for Women

Women’s health is a focus at Monterey Park Hospital. To help patients, families, and friends better understand some of the major issues in women’s health today, we outline general screening guidelines for common health issues among women today.

Breast Cancer: In addition to the regular breast screenings recommended below, we suggest that all women familiarize themselves with the shape and feel of their breasts. Knowing how your breasts typically look and feel can help you more easily identify any changes or abnormalities that could arise.

  • As early as the age of 20, and every year following, women should conduct a breast self-examination (BSE) on their own.
  • Women in their 20s and 30s should undergo a clinical breast exam (CBE) every 3 years; women in their 40s should have a CBE performed every year.
  • Beginning at the age of 40, we recommend that all women undergo yearly mammogram screenings for breast cancer.

Heart Disease: Managing the risk factors associated with coronary heart disease is key to preventing cardiovascular disease altogether. For this reason, we recommend regular cardiovascular screenings that help identify risk factors in the early stages when they can still be treated.

  • While the frequency of your screenings will depend on your level of risk, generally speaking we recommend patients begin cardiovascular screening tests at around the age of 20.
  • Monitoring your body weight and testing your body mass index (BMI) during routine visits to the doctor can serve as a great preventative measure to heart disease.
  • Beginning at the age of 20, women should have a fasting lipoprotein profile taken once every 4 to 6 years to measure cholesterol levels.
  • Measuring for high blood pressure is another critical screening method for cardiovascular disease. Beginning in their 20s, individuals should have their blood pressure tested at least once every 2 years.
  • Women 45 years of age and older should also have their blood glucose levels checked at least once every 3 years. Monitoring these levels can help prevent pre-diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, and insulin resistance.

Colorectal Cancer: The key to preventing colorectal cancer in women is regular screenings beginning at the age of 50. If you’ve been identified as a high-risk patient for colorectal cancer, we recommend regular screenings beginning before age 50. Typical screenings include:

  • Flexible Sigmoidoscopy – this screening should be done once every 5 years to examine the interior walls of the rectum, as well as part of the colon.
  • High-Sensitivity Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) – this screening should be performed once a year because it checks for hidden traces of blood in no fewer than 3 consecutive stool samples.
  • Colonoscopy – this screening looks at the interior walls of the rectum as well as the entire colon and should be conducted at least once every 10 years.

We encourage you to make your doctor’s visits as regular as possible in order to main your health. When was your last check up or screening? Call us today at (626) 570-9000 or use our online contact us form if you have questions.

This article contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. The information is not intended to replace the advice or diagnosis of a physician.

If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.