Why is screening important for women’s health?

9th May 2022 By Phoenix Hospital Group

The Importance Of Health Screening For Women

Keeping up with the demands of everyday life can often result in a detrimental impact on your health. As a woman, it’s essential that preventative care becomes an integral part of your regular self-care and well-being health regime.

An annual female health check can be beneficial in detecting early symptoms of breast cancer, heart disease, bone mineral density problems, and the treatable early stages of other health conditions. The type of health screening, exam or test that is recommended for you will depend on your age and your personal and family health history.

What Is A Female Health Check?

Unlike the GP appointment that you may make when you have a persistent cold or flu, a female health check involves screening that monitors your unique overall health.

The health check that offers the most comprehensive screening package will establish a baseline for your general health, update vaccinations, and assess your risk of future medical issues. Preventative screenings for breast or cervical cancer can also be included.

A woman’s health screening needs will naturally evolve from the reproductive years, to perimenopause, menopause and beyond. During regular health checks, you’ll be able to build a trusted relationship with your health care provider and receive tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Early Symptoms Of Breast Cancer

In the UK, about 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. Although most women diagnosed with breast cancer are aged over 50, younger women, and men, can get breast cancer too. If the early symptoms of breast cancer are diagnosed at an initial stage, there is a better chance of recovery.

The first and most common noticeable symptom of breast cancer is a lump or area of thickened breast tissue. Although not all breast lumps are cancerous, it’s important to have them checked by a health care provider. Other typical symptoms include a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts, a lump or swelling in either armpit, dimpling on the breast skin, nipple rash, a change in the appearance of the nipples, or nipple discharge that contains blood.

Breast Cancer Screening

Breast cancer screening involves clinical examinations and screening mammograms. During your annual female health check, your breasts will be visually and manually checked for differences in size or shape, lumps, dimpling and rashes. If you have a history of breast cancer in your family, you will be screened to check if you are at higher risk of developing breast cancer that is linked to certain genes (BRCA1 or BRCA 2).

For breast cancer to be considered treatable, it is vital that it is caught in the earliest stages, so that the cancer is less likely to spread to organs or lymph nodes. As the risk of breast cancer increases with age, women aged 50 -70 are invited for breast cancer screening every 3 years.

Cervical Cancer Screening

Cervical cancer screening involves a Pap smear to check the health of the cervix, and to identify any abnormal cells. During a Pap smear, your health care provider will take a scraping of cells from the cervix. This sample will be checked for the HPV virus that causes cervical malignancies.

Colorectal Cancer Screening

Malignancies of the colon and rectum arise from abnormal growths (polyps) that occur on the inside of the large intestine. If the growths are malignant, they can spread to other parts of the body.  A Virtual Colonoscopy scans for problems in the colon and can ensure that any abnormalities are identified and treated early.

Bone Density Screening

As a woman ages, she loses bone mass and her risk of developing osteoporosis increases. The loss of bone density causes weak, fragile bones that are prone to fractures.

During bone density screening, a DEXA (DXA) scan (short of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) measures the strength of bones. The results of the test can indicate the presence of osteoporosis before bone fractures or breaks occur.

Women who have chronic kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, an eating disorder, low body weight, early menopause, or other health conditions may be predisposed to low bone mineral density.

High Blood Pressure Screening

Blood pressure (BP) typically increases with age and is commonly associated with high-risk conditions like cardiovascular disease, stroke, heart attack and diabetes. High blood pressure can also damage the kidneys, eyes, and other vital organs.

If you have heart health risks, your health care provider will recommend frequent high blood pressure screening.

Diabetes Screening 

Most people who have type-2 diabetes (T2D) are usually unaware that they have the condition. Blood glucose screening measures the average blood sugar levels via blood and urine tests and provides a preventative method for detecting the early stages of diabetes.

Cholesterol Health Screening

While it’s healthy to have a certain amount of cholesterol to maintain good health, excess levels of the fatty molecule in your blood can increase the potential for hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Clogged blood vessels in the arteries may lead to a heart attack or stroke, and the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Female Health Screening at Phoenix Hospital Group

At Phoenix Hospital Group we offer a number of Female Health Screening Packages. Prices start from £995.

To book an appointment, please call 0207 079 2100 or email: [email protected]