Dr. Sandhya Dhankhar
Female Health Checkup: Important Diagnostic Tests For Women
In this video our expert radiologist Dr. Sandhya Dhankhar will talk about Female Health Checkup and Important Diagnostic Tests For Women. Also, she will answer some important questions that people usually ask like:
- Who should get these health checkups?
- Which tests should be done in the health checkups for women?
- Why do young girls require a health check?
- How frequently should health checks be done?
Health checkups are done as a regular check-up for your health-related problems, like diabetes hypertension. Along with this, it gives you early detection of cancer.
Who should get these health checkups?
There are no gender criteria. I think both men and women should undergo these tests. And there is not a particular age group. That people in these age groups should do a health check-up. It starts as early as 12 years and as late as 90 years.
But what kind of health checkup you should undergo depends on many factors. One is your age. So, according to age, the number of test types of tests become different. Because at different ages, we need to detect different things. Maybe at an early age, we detect hormonal problems more. And in the late ages, we detect more for cancer.
Which tests should be done in the health checkups?
Depending upon gender, in males, there are different tests to be done because their health-related problems are different. And in females, different tests should be done. You cannot give the same package to both males and females.
So today, I think we’ll focus more on the women’s health packages, and in this, there is another myth that only just doing blood tests are just doing their health checkups. Many people call the lab people at their home, they do the home collection, and they think all the tests have been done. And that’s a complete health checkup that is being done. But that’s a myth. Doing only blood tests will not tell whether you are absolutely fine because blood tests are just a part of the health checkup.
Health checkups include your medical history, physical examination, blood pressure examination, ECG, maybe a pap smear, mammography, ultrasound test, chest x-ray, your body mass index, and different other parameters depending upon your clinical history and family history.
Suppose you have a strong family history of heart disease. So maybe doing an echo TMT along with the rest of your profile adds to the value of your health check-up. Or maybe if you have a family history of breast cancer, then doing mammography as early as 40 years of age is important. It indicates that you should undergo these tests and what should be done for a particular patient.
So just categorising a health package or a premium package does not mean that it suits you. Every patient or individual needs a different kind of test according to their requirement, family history, and percent history.
So it is important to understand that health checkups mean that you have to undergo a clinical checkup or your body checkup to know whether your body parameters are normal. The rest of the things are normal. It is not only a blood test.
Why do young girls require a health check?
Because, as we see nowadays there are many hormonal problems which come up in young women. Which leads to irregular periods. Menstrual problems from pain during periods. It also has other aspects of body weight gain, falling of hair. We have seen so many cases of PCOS in our daily routine now. So there is something related to health at each and every step. So it’s not that only elderly women should undergo a health check. Rather, I would say at every age you need a health checkup.
How frequently should health checks be done?
Usually, it is done every year. But if you have any other problem, the tests can be done early, or they can be done in two years. But it is better to do at least two early, if not early.
Who requires a Pap smear, and what is a Pap smear test?
It is done in women above 20 years or 30 years of age. And usually, a pelvic examination is done before the pap smear by the gynaecologist. They usually recommend it. But it is done as a protocol in the health checks of those women who are above 40 years of age. So we recommend mammography and pap smear as a part of their health checks above 40 years of age as a routine.
Then, in cases of women who are under 40, they can undergo breast ultrasound tests rather than doing breast mammography because mammography has radiation. So it is better not to do this under the age of 40 unless there is a specific indication for it.
If you have any other specific problems, you should tell your doctor. Visit a doctor before undergoing a health checkup. Doing a blood test that will not include the complete checkup of your body is false assurance that you are healthy, even if you are not healthy.
So it is not only that we see the early detection of cancer, we do detect early signs of diabetes, heart disease, and other hormonal-related problems. As we see, many times, just by knowing Vitamin D score in their blood parameters, people assume to be healthy. But it is, it becomes important to do a DEXA scan to see which category you are falling in. Whether it is just osteopenia or osteoporosis, it means less deficiency of vitamin D or calcium, or it is more deficiency. Whether you need treatment for that particular vitamin deficiency or not. So these are important things which you should all be aware of.
You are already spending money, you are getting tests done. Do it in a proper way, so that you get a complete report of your health and not just the blood parameters. So that you are at least assured about your health for at least the next one or two years. So it is important. And it is not for patients or women who already have some disease. But it is for healthy people to know that your health is absolutely perfect. With this, I would like to thank you all for listening.