“I encourage every woman to value her health and protect it, for her sake as well as the sake of her loved ones,” Dr. Nolla said. “You only get one body for this life, so take care of it. Regular doctor visits and screenings will help you be your healthiest you, which is what we all desire.”

In observance of National Women’s Health Week May 8–14, Lake Regional Health System encourages women to get their recommended health screenings.

“A key message during National Women’s Health Week is that it is never too early or too late to prioritize good health,” said Loraine Nolla, M.D., FACOG, from Lake Regional Obstetrics and Gynecology. “Regular checkups are important for women of all ages, and health screenings can help women avoid illness to live better, longer.”

Insurance companies are required to cover many preventive services for women. Following is information on some of the screenings women should receive. These are guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the American Cancer Society.

“These guidelines are generalities,” Dr. Nolla said. “Every woman should talk to her own doctor about what is best for her.”

Osteoporosis screening. Women between the ages of 50 and 64 should discuss their risk for osteoporosis with their health care provider. After age 65, women should get a bone mineral density test at least once and then talk to their provider about repeat testing.

Breast cancer screening. The American Cancer Society recommends women between the ages of 40 and 44 learn the risks and benefits of mammograms for breast cancer screening and make a choice about whether to be screened. Women aged 45 to 54 should get a mammogram every year. Women 55 and older should switch to a mammogram every two years, or have the choice to continue annual screening.

Cervical cancer screening. The American Cancer Society recommends women get their first Pap test at age 21 and then retest every three years through age 29. Women aged 30 to 65 should get a Pap test and HPV test together every five years. Women 65 and older who have had regular cervical cancer testing in the past 10 years with normal results should not be tested for cervical cancer, unless they have had a history of serious cervical pre-cancer in the last 20 years.

Colorectal cancer screening. The American Cancer Society recommends women should start colorectal cancer screening at age 50. They should talk with their doctor about which screening test is best for them and how often they need it.

Blood pressure test. Beginning at age 18, all women should have their blood pressure tested. Women with normal blood pressure, lower than 120/80, should have it tested at least every two years. Women with blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89 should have it tested at least once a year. Women with blood pressure 140/90 or higher should discuss treatment with their health care provider.

Cholesterol test. Starting at age 20, women should get a cholesterol test regularly if they are at increased risk for heart disease. Women should ask their health care provider how often they need to have their cholesterol tested.

Diabetes screening. Beginning at age 18, women should get screened for diabetes if their blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if they take medicine for high blood pressure.

“I encourage every woman to value her health and protect it, for her sake as well as the sake of her loved ones,” Dr. Nolla said. “You only get one body for this life, so take care of it. Regular doctor visits and screenings will help you be your healthiest you, which is what we all desire.”

For a more complete screening list, visit www.womenshealth.gov.