While unusual types of medical issues tend to get a lot of publicity, it's important for women to get scanned for the common medical issues that affect their peers. Here are three medical tests to schedule.

Pap smears 

Pap smears need to be continued until you turn 70 unless you have a full hysterectomy (including cervix removal) before this age and have never had an abnormal pap smear result. As the risk of cervical cancer increases with exposure to HPV (Human papillomavirus), if you are having unprotected sex with someone with HPV this can increase your risk of cancer as you get older and the majority of cervical cancer deaths still occur in women over 50 as shown in the previous link. If you have a clear pap smear and test negative for HPV you may be able to reduce the frequency of pap smears. A doctor can review your risks factors such as HPV status and the results of previous smears to work out the best frequency for you. 

Blood pressure and cholesterol

While cancers may be more well known as a cause of death for women, heart disease is the largest cause of death for women. Its' important to regularly review blood pressure and cholesterol as these are important indicators of heart disease and can be treated with lifestyle changes (such as quitting smoking, diet and exercise) and medications. This risk increases after menopause so it's important for menopausal women to keep a particular focus on their heart health. 

Breast scans

Women's risk of breast cancer increases as they hit menopause, in part due to their increasing age. Hormone treatment for menopause may increase these risks, as well as changing the texture of the breast in ways that make detecting cancerous lumps by self-examination more challenging. Scheduling regular professional mammograms can help to detect abnormalities early on for the best possible outcomes. A family doctor can help to identify the best possible schedule for scans depending on your risk factors and medical history. 

If you have hit menopause it's important to keep an eye on your health, particularly for common health risks which can be increased by reaching menopause. If you or a loved one are reaching menopause it is a good idea to make regular appointments with a doctor to review these issues. Finding a bulk billing medical centre can help to keep these appointments convenient and affordable for menopausal women.