There are a few screening tools that are essential during a woman’s lifetime to help catch medical conditions and cancers early. These are tests done in a healthy person before one develops any symptoms of an illness, and if done enough times can diagnose some cancers and conditions early on before damage has been done and when it is still possible to treat the condition.

Basic tests that can be done in a doctor’s surgery include blood pressure monitoring, and blood tests for sugar levels, cholesterol and thyroid dysfunction. These tests should be performed at least once a year, but thyroid function tests can be done less regularly.

At a women’s health check-up the doctor will do a breast and a pelvic examination. A breast exam can also be performed monthly by the patient at home. One year after becoming sexually active women need to start having pap smears performed and this continues until the age of 65. The doctor will send women who are over 40 year’s old to have a mammogram done at the radiologists. Mammograms should be done annually, for life or until treatment for breast cancer would be unfavourable. Most women can have all this done at a GP and only need to go to a gynaecologist if something is wrong.

Bone mineral density scans are another test that one can start going for after menopause. This is a screening tool for osteopaenia and osteoporosis. This is especially important as one gets older if one has a low body weight if one has a family history of osteoporosis or hip fractures, and if one smokes or drinks.

Colonoscopies should be routinely performed as a screening tool in men and women over the age of 50 years, once every 10 years. This is looking for bowel cancers and polyps amongst others conditions. If one has a family history of colon cancer, colonoscopies are started much earlier on, and more often (as directed by the gastroenterologist).

It is important to remember that these are all tests looking for cancers and conditions before they arise and does not apply to people who have already been diagnosed with a condition. But they can continue to do other screening tests for body systems not involved in their diagnosed condition.

 
Opening Times
Receptionist - Elaine

08h30 - 17h00

Dr Jennifer Crombie

09H00 - 11H30

Dr Ruth Ward

14H00 - 17H00

 
Pinelands Doctors
4 Mountbatten Avenue
021 531 2717
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