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Women's Health Week

Creekside Newsletter - May 2015
Women's Health Week

It's no surprise that Mother's Day is a big day for brunching. After all, who needs a day off more than the moms, sisters, aunts and grandmothers who traditionally fill caregiving roles? Women, in general, tend to put the needs of others before their own; and when it comes to health – ladies, you can't take care of others until you've properly cared for yourself.

On the heels of Mother's Day, National Women's Health Week, May 13-19, reminds women to make their own care a priority.

Screening guidelines for healthy women start at age 21 with an annual pelvic exam.
"Women may also be encouraged to have other tests based on their individual risk factors," says Santiam Hospital. "It's important for women to understand their individual history and how it may effect their routine exams."

Starting in your 20s

  • Blood pressure screening, at least every two year
  • Cholesterol check, every five years
  • Pap smears and pelvic exams, every two years
  • Breast exam, every three years
  • Skin self-examination, monthly; and during regular check-ups

Starting in your 30s

  • Pap smear, every three years after three normal tests in a row

Starting in your 40s

  • Mammograms, every one or two years
  • Blood glucose tests, every three years

After 50

  • Colon cancer screening, every 5 to 10 years
  • Bone density screen, at age 65

Santiam Hospital says it's never too early for women to learn to be an advocate for their own health. "Healthcare providers offer general guidelines for age-appropriate screenings, check-ups and vaccinations," says Santiam Hospital. "Young women and teens should be encouraged to take control of their own care and speak up if they need to."

It's skill that will serve women in advocating for their own healthcare as well as partners, parents and children who depend on them for guidance. According to the United States Department of Labor, women make approximately 80 percent of health care decisions for their families and are more likely to be the caregivers when a family member falls ill.

That's a lot of incentive to stay healthy.