Early diagnosis is key to the evolution of some diseases. Ask your doctor when you should have them based on your age, medical history, history, and risk factors. Don’t risk it!
1. Blood tests : This is not a definitive test, but changes in the results may alert the doctor who will carry out other more definitive tests or suggest follow-up. For example, they could indicate an infection, a vitamin deficiency, a food allergy, an alteration in vital organs such as the liver, the kidney or an excess of cholesterol that would increase the risk of cardiovascular disease or blood sugar that could indicate diabetes.
2. Mammography: It is an X-ray image of the breast that is used to detect malignant or benign lesions of the breast. The breast is placed on a flat surface that contains the x-ray plate. It is then pressed firmly against the breast with a device called a compressor to help flatten the breast tissue. While the image is taken, which lasts a couple of seconds approximately, the patient must hold her breath. It is a bit of an awkward test but it can save many lives.
3. Pap smear or vaginal cytology: It is practiced during the pelvic exam, and it is a little uncomfortable. With a wooden spatula, a brush, or a cotton swab, the doctor gently scrapes the surface of the cervix to collect cells, and also samples from inside the cervical canal by inserting a cotton swab. The cells are sent to the laboratory for microscopic analysis. It can detect Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), a disease that can increase the risk of cancer.
4. Abdominal-pelvic and transvaginal ultrasound : They are also indicated to know the health status of women, both their reproductive system (transvaginal) and the morphology of the kidneys, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, bladder and ovaries (abdomino-pelvic ). The latter should be done on an empty stomach and with a full bladder.
5. Densitometry : It is recommended in postmenopausal women and its purpose is to detect bone mass to prevent or diagnose osteoporosis, which can cause a bone fracture. The scan uses low-dose x-rays that go through the entire body and take an x-ray of the spine and hip. There are less sophisticated devices that can measure this density at the wrist or at the heel.
6. Colonoscopy : It is an internal examination of the colon, using an instrument called a colonoscope, which consists of a small camera attached to a flexible tube. This test can detect and even remove polyps that could become cancer or diagnose colon cancer.