I Am a Woman between 40 - 49
Taking Care Of You
No matter what your age, taking care of yourself is always important. Choose your age category to learn what is important for you.
Screening Guidelines for women between 40 - 49
Blood pressure reading at least every two years. (For early detection of high blood pressure (hypertension), this can put you at greater risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure and kidney damage.)
Mammogram and clinical breast exam every one to two years.
As part of a clinical breast exam, your doctor examines your breasts and armpits, looking for color changes, skin irregularities and changes in your nipples, as well as lumps and enlarged lymph nodes in your breasts or armpits. Mammograms and other imaging techniques can detect calcification, breast lumps or other suspicious changes when they are too small to be detected by physical examination.
Pap test at least every three years to detect cancer and precancerous changes of your cervix.
Colon and rectal Cancer
Screening is usually recommended starting at age 50, but consider screening earlier if you are high risk for colon/rectal cancer. For example, you have a personal or family history of colon/rectal cancer or polyps or if you have inflammatory bowel disease. Common screening tests include barium enema, colonoscopy, fecal occult blood test, flexible sigmoidoscopy to detect cancer and benign growths (polyps) on the inside wall of your colon that may become cancerous.
Lipid test every five years. This simple blood test measures the level of cholesterol and triglycerides (the lipids). Undesirable levels of lipids (fats) raise your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Dental checkup annually to detect tooth decay, gum disease and oral cancer.
Undergo a fasting blood sugars test if you’re at increased risk of diabetes. You may be at increased risk if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or triglycerides, obesity or a family history of diabetes. Your results will indicate how often you need this testing.
Eye exam every two to four years.
The 40s can be a time of increased comfort with self, but “sandwiched” between the additional challenges in raising children/teenagers, and caregiving responsibilities with aging parents. As children leave home, the experience of the “empty nest” results in adaptations to the marriage/partnership. Perimenopause/menopause results in a spectrum of symptoms affecting self-image and mood.
Measure your height and weight to determine your BMI (body mass index). People who are overweight are more likely to have type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and risk factors for other diseases.