A woman smiles outside.
Women’s Health

Essential Health Screenings that Every Woman Needs

Women are the pillars of their families, caring for loved ones every day. However, sometimes they neglect vital screenings necessary to protect themselves from potentially deadly diseases.

Breast cancercervical cancerheart disease, and diabetes are common health problems that impact millions of women. Diagnosing them early is essential. 

While some common conditions can be taken care of through telehealth appointments, there are still many preventive treatments and services that need to happen in person, including routine mammograms, Pap tests, blood pressure screenings, and medication evaluations.

In honor of Women’s Health Awareness Month, AltaMed is proud to help women of all backgrounds take charge of their well-being. Many screenings are covered at no charge by your health plan, so call us for details and to schedule and appointment. Read on to learn about the services you’ll need.

A woman receives a mammogram.

Why Mammograms Are a Must

You have about a 1 in 8 chance of developing breast cancer in your lifetime. A mammogram (an X-ray picture of the breast) is the best way to spot potential cancer early.

Your unique family history and personal risk factors will determine when you should start getting mammograms. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends healthy women of average risk get a mammogram once every year from age 40 to 74. Your doctor may recommend getting a mammogram as early as age 30 if you have a parent, sibling, or child who has had breast cancer.

We encourage you to regularly perform breast self-examinations to check for changes in look or feel. If you suspect something’s wrong, make an appointment to see your doctor.

Screening for Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer used to be one of the most common causes of death for women in the United States. Advances in Pap tests, including increased usage, have cut cervical cancer deaths dramatically.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends:

  • A Pap test every three years if you are between the ages of 21 and 65.
  • A Pap smear with specific HPV testing every five years if you are between the ages of 30 and 65.

Your doctor will make recommendations based on your unique health history and your family history.

Doctor Explaining the Results Analysis

Schedule Your Well-Woman Visit

Well-woman visits are essential and should be scheduled in addition to your mammograms and Pap tests. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends your first visit happen at age 13 to 15.

Because well-woman visits focus on preventive care, each visit may be slightly different based on your age and unique health needs. A visit may include:

  • Age-appropriate immunizations (for example, the flu vaccine or a TD shot, if needed).
  • Age-appropriate health screenings, which could include checking your blood pressure or a pelvic floor exam.
  • Recommendations for additional testing to screen for cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), or depression, as needed.

Your doctor will ask about your health history and any health goals; and will offer recommendations to help achieve those goals. To make the most of these visits, come prepared: think about any questions you have in advance, and take notes.

Here for Every Age and Every Stage of Life

Trust AltaMed to support your unique health needs. From primary care and specialists to dentistrybehavioral health services, and pharmacy, we are dedicated to caring for women and those they love. Schedule an appointment today by calling (888) 499-9303 or click here.

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Essential Health Screenings that Every Woman Needs