Women Often Neglect Health When Prevention is Most Important
Feeling fine? No troublesome health problems? Another year to skip an annual doctor visit?
Many women in
midlife forgo a yearly physical examination, or they rely on an Ob-Gyn
visit to provide comprehensive care, according to women's health
specialists at Mayo Clinic.
lives are filled with the same work stressors as men, but they
generally have more household and family responsibilities," said Dr.
Deborah Rhodes, medical director of the Mayo Clinic Women's Executive
it difficult to justify using personal time for health maintenance and
prevention, yet any time spent attending to health is time well spent,"
Dr. Rhodes advocates that women actively manage their health. She offers the following suggestions:
- Take time
each year for a thorough medical checkup, including age-appropriate
screenings. A young woman may need only blood pressure measurement and
a pelvic exam, but as you age, your doctor will recommend a mammogram,
colorectal cancer screening, cholesterol profile, bone density
screening and other important diagnostic tests.
- Create a
dialogue with your doctor in which you ask questions and, together, lay
out health options and goals. Be sure to cover every concern, from
psychological health to sexuality, to your family medical history.
- Focus your
checkup on prevention. You can help prevent heart disease, the number
one killer of women, as well as cancer, stroke, emphysema and diabetes,
by making healthful nutrition choices and meeting even minimum exercise
To keep on
top of women's health topics, get a free copy of the Mayo Clinic
Personal Health Planner. Write to Women's Health Offer, Mayo Clinic,
Ozmun East 6, Rochester, MN 55905.
Source: Mayo Clinic, www.mayoclinic.com