From bone density testing (dexa) to a stereotactic breast biopsy, there are a number of health concerns that specifically effect women, particularly as they begin to age. These conditions, ranging from breast cancer to osteoporosis, will need to be tested for on a regular (typically an annual) basis once a woman reaches a certain age – or if it has been found that she has certain risk factors. Tests such as bone density testing (dexa) can help to make a huge difference, as early treatment can be crucial in preventing or at least slowing down the progression of any given disease.
Aside from the need for bone density testing (dexa), women of a certain age should regularly get a mammogram, at least once a year, because breast cancer is all too prevalent all throughout the United States. In fact, one out of every eight women here in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her life time, meaning that each and every woman has a breast cancer risk of just under twelve and a half percent. For some women with strong genetic ties to the genes associated with breast cancer, this risk can be even higher. If a woman has a parent, a sibling, or a child that has developed breast cancer at some point in their life time – even if this breast cancer was treated and has gone into remission relatively easily – their risk of breast cancer can as much as double.
This breast cancer risk only increases as you age, with the chance of getting diagnosed with breast cancer rising by one and half times for women who are now classed as post menopausal, particularly in those who are also overweight. In obese menopausal women, the chances of contracting breast cancer increase by two times, doubling. For these reasons, exercise is important throughout a woman’s life, and those women who exercise on a regular basis can even lower their breast cancer risk by as much as ten percent to twenty percent, a number that certainly is far from insignificant.
Regular screening for breast cancer and for other conditions (such as with the bone density testing (dexa)) is essential for fighting these diseases. This is because the early detection of a disease like breast cancer can save a woman’s life and the use of mammograms, a breast cancer detection tool, has even been linked to lowering the risk of dying from breast cancer by no less than twenty percent and as much as forty percent on a case by case basis. Getting an annual mammogram done typically starts once a woman reaches the age of fifty, but this diagnostic screening test will begin earlier for some women who have an increased risk of developing breast cancer for whatever reason. For these women, yearly screening is likely to start between the ages of forty and forty four and typically not significantly after. Other diagnostic tools include the use of an ultrasound to detect suspicious breast cancer as well as an ultrasound guided breast biopsy, used to sample potentially cancerous tissue and come back with a firm diagnosis and potentially the beginnings of a treatment plan for the woman who has been affected.
Osteoporosis is another condition that primarily effects older women, and bone density testing (dexa) can help to prevent the progression of the disease. By using bone density testing (dexa), women can begin to treat their falling bone density early on in the disease, potentially mitigating some of the more advanced side effects. For this reason, bone density testing (dexa) is especially important for women who have reached a certain age, when the risk of developing osteoporosis grows considerably.
From bone density testing (dexa) to breast cancer screening through the use of a mammogram, there are many reasons that you should pursue regular screening, typically on an annual basis, if you are a woman who has reached a certain age. Aging can increase your risk for certain conditions, but screening can considerably improve your chances of survival.