We need to be getting certain tests regularly in order to preserve our good health. We can’t keep putting off doctor’s appointments and figuring that we have nothing to worry about. Check out the two tests that you should be requesting from your doctor:
1. A Colonoscopy
For this procedure, your physician looks at your colon using a slim, flexible tube called a colonoscope to search for polyps, ulcers, tumors and areas that are bleeding or inflamed. The exam is your best bet against colon cancer, which is the third most common cancer in both women and men. While other tools exist to check the colon, including sigmoidoscopy and fecal blood tests, a colonoscopy is thought of as the best way to go. According to director of endoscopy Seth Gross, MD, colonoscopies don’t only diagnose; if the physician sees possible precancerous polyps, also known as adenomas, she or he can remove them right then.
When To Get the Procedure:
The first procedure should occur when you turn 50- earlier if you some have other risk factors, like a family history, or if you notice suspicious symptoms, such as blood in your stool. If your test comes back negative, you should proceed with getting one every 10 years.
The procedure should cost between $1,100 to $2,800. Your insurance should pay for the test every 10 years for people ages 50 to 75.
2. A Dexa Scan
A dexa scan is an X-ray exam that measures your bone density and is recommended for all women at the age of 65. However, you may want to get one around your time of menopause, when your estrogen levels are decreasing, elevating your risk of developing osteoporosis. Experts suggest women under age 65 be checked if they have risk factors, such as smoking, not ingesting enough calcium, being at a low weight or having family history of osteoporosis.
When To Get The Scan:
You should get the scan as soon as menopause rolls around if you have any of the risk factors. If your results are normal, you won’t need another screening until you reach 65 years of age, which is a nice, long time not to have to worry about colon cancer.
Cost of the scan should be between $60 to $385. Your insurance should pay the tab for women age 65 and up and often for younger women who are postmenopausal; however, you may need pre-approval if you are going in for this exam at a young age.
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