Updated: 02/19/2016 4:04 PM | Print Story |  Email

Medical Screenings 101

We all have a lot of things to remember, there's our kids, school activities...hopefully a date night here and there. It can be easy to forget about taking care of ourselves. 

And just when you think you know what health screenings you should be getting, guidelines change. Here to help us understand it all, Dr. Terri Wollan from Entira Family Clinics stopped by.

1. What is a screening?
+ Screening means detecting disease or cancer without symptoms
+ Finding those who would benefit from early intervention
+ The screening test also has to be good enough to detect cancer without giving too many false- positive results

1 . Cervical Cancer
+ At what age should women start getting screened?
            - Beginning age 21

+ how often?- guidelines changed 8 years ago
            - every 3 years, if your pap test results are normal
            - if they test negative for HPV -- screened every 5 years

2 . Breast Cancer screening
+ At what age should we get this screening?
            - Beginning at 40 -- depends on family history, other factors
            - Every woman beginning at age 50 needs screening every other year

+ Who should be getting it early?
            - Women with a parent, sibling, or child with breast cancer are at higher risk for breast cancer 

3. Colorectal Cancer screening
+ At what age should we get this screening?
            - 50 to 75, African Americans starting at age 45

+ Who should be getting it early?
            - If you show specific symptoms: blood in or on the stool, change in bowel habits

+ Does everyone need this?

            - yes, there are more than 136,000 colon cancer cases per year and 50,000 deaths according to the American Cancer Society
            - if everyone over 50 were screened, 6 out of 10 deaths from colorectal cancer could be avoided

4. Osteoporosis screening - Bone Density Scan
+ At what age should we get this screening?
            - women used to be advised to get this screening right after menopause
            - now the standard is women aged 65 years and older

+ Who should be getting it early?
            - adults with specific health conditions that lower your bone density -- Vitamin D Deficiency, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Hyperthyroidism, Multiple Myeloma, Celiac Disease, Renal Disease, Cerebral Palsy, Anorexia

+ Does everyone need this?
            - Women, yes