By Sajjan Rajpurohit
Women aged between 40 and 49 years are at higher risk of developing cancer because of the subtle changes that their body goes through during that age. These need to be identified and addressed before they become critical and irreversible. Especially women who experience early menopause/complications during menopause or have family history of cancers, need to stay alert and take appropriate preventive measures.
Here are a few tests for cancer that you may want to discuss with your healthcare provider:
Mammogram: Indian women are diagnosed with breast cancer every four minutes, which accounts for 14% of all cancers among Indian women. Regular mammograms are required for women over the age of 40 in order to detect early signs of breast cancer because the number of cases of the disease is on the rise in both rural and urban India. If there is a history of cancer in the family, BRCA gene testing is also recommended.
Pelvic Examination and Pap Smear: The third most common type of cancer in India is cancer of the uterus and cervix. Because it is more common in women in their 40s, they should have a full pelvic smear once every three years after turning 40. Serotypes 16 and 18, which account for 70% of cervical cancer, are prevented by the HPV vaccine.
Colonoscopy: One of the most common ways to detect colorectal cancer is by regular colorectal cancer screening. Colon cancers starts as polyps mostly which are small growths on the lining of the rectum or colon. Screening can make the process of treatment easier by detecting early colon cancer. Certain screening tests can help in finding and removing polyps before they become cancerous which inturn can also aid in the prevention of colon cancer.
Full Abdomen UltraSound: Due to the numerous hormonal changes that a woman’s body goes through after the age of 40, the likelihood of developing tumors and growths in her abdomen increases. An abdominal ultrasound is used to examine the organs and blood vessels in the belly. An ultrasound scan can quickly and easily identify any growth or abnormality. Every woman should get an ultrasound once a year to make sure the abdominal area is completely safe.
Thyroid Test: Some of the common problems women over 40 face are weight gain, hair loss, brittle nails, and weariness, Hypothyroidism, is a prevalent cause for the same. T3, T4, and TSH are hormones secreted by this gland that are in charge of regulating the body’s metabolism. Due to the significant hormonal changes that the body goes through during this period because of pregnancy, birth, nursing, and menopause makes women more susceptible to this. After the age of 40, women
should have this test performed every three years.
(The author is a Director-Medical Oncology, BLK-Max Super Speciality Hospital. The article is for informational purposes only. Please consult medical experts and health professionals before starting any therapy, medication and/or remedy. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the FinancialExpress.com.)