Prevention of disease is the goal for everyone. Women account for two-thirds of all health care expenses. Women need an annual exam yearly. This exam includes a breast exam, PAP smear, and a bimanual exam to evaluate the size of the uterus and ovaries. Blood pressure and weight should be measured yearly. The thyroid should be palpated for nodules and the heart auscultated for irregular beats and murmurs.
A complete examination of the skin should be performed looking for abnormal skin growths. A rectal exam checking for fecal occult blood should be performed yearly starting at age 40. A colonoscopy is the gold standard for screening for colon cancer and should be done every 5-10 years starting at age 50. A mammogram should be done yearly starting at age 40. A blood test should be performed every five years evaluating cholesterol, thyroid function, fasting glucose, kidney and liver function, and complete blood count (CBC). A tetnus-diphtheria shot should be given every 10 years and an influenza vaccine should be given yearly after age 55.
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends not screening for ovarian cancer because nothing has been proven to be cost effective. A pelvic ultrasound is the best screening test. A Ca125 blood test is commonly used but it can have a lot of false positive and false negative results. Lately full-body scans are the rage. There are two huge problems with this procedure. This procedure often detects abnormalities that are benign normal findings such as scar tissue. Additionally the radiation exposure is 100 times that of a mammogram.