Women and Health: Take Time to Care for Yourself
It’s National Women’s Health Week. Do you or the women in your life prioritize their health, or put it on the back burner? Being proactive about your health can help prevent disease and illness. It may also help you catch medical problems before they become serious. TRICARE covers preventive health care for women, including immunizations and screenings.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading causes of death of females in 2015 include heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease and stroke. Early detection can increase your chances of surviving treatable illnesses. Medical professionals can detect many “silent symptoms” like high blood pressure and high LDL cholesterol. The symptoms of heart disease are often silent. Regular heart, cholesterol and blood pressure screenings may take place at well-woman exams and Health Promotion and Disease Prevention exams, which are covered annually for females under age 65.
Take steps to reduce your risk for illnesses by scheduling regular visits to your health care provider. These visits will help you navigate common health issues and stay healthy. At a well-woman exam, you may get the following no-cost screenings:
- Breast exams: Women age 40 or older and women age 30 or older who are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer should have annual breast exams.
- Pelvic exams: All women should begin cervical cancer screenings at age 21.
- Pap test: Women aged 21-29 should have a Pap test at least every 3 years.
- HPV DNA testing: Performed in conjunction with a Pap test for women age 30 and older.
It’s important to also talk to your health care provider about your emotions, stress, mood, anxiety, sleep patterns or any other mental health concerns. These issues are just as important as concerns about your physical health. Learn more about TRICARE mental health services and invest in preventive health to help you take command of your health.