HEALTH CHECKS FOR WOMEN IN THEIR 40’s
There is nothing more important than looking after yourself and having regular check ups to ensure all is well. As you move into your 40’s it becomes more and more important to check the things you can at home and have regular check ups with your GP for things you can’t check on your own. Life is busy and before we know it that smear test you’ve been meaning to book had been sat on your to do list for weeks and you still haven’t been. All personal health checks are painless and at the very most slightly uncomfortable, they only take a few minutes out of your day and could ultimately save your life so make these a priority on your to do list not the thing that gets left until last.
So many of us now know someone who has had breast cancer in some form and regular checks at home are vital.
1. Stand in front of a mirror with your arms relaxed by your sides and look for any changes in size, shape & position and any skin changes such as dimpling, puckering, sores or discolouration.
2. Check your nipples for any discharge, soreness, peeling or change in their direction.
3. Check both breasts thoroughly for any lumps or abnormalities. Do this whilst upright, whilst leaning forward & with the other arm raised behind your head.
4. If you see or find anything that has changed or is abnormal go to see your doctor immediately.
The only thing that shocked me in my recent NHS well woman health check was that women are not invited for regular breast checks until the age of 49. I personally feel it should be earlier so it’s vital you check yourself regularly and keep a close eye on your breasts.
SKIN CANCER SIGNS
A couple of years ago both my parents had skin cancer scares. With my dad I noticed an unusual looking mole on his back, he had it checked out immediately and luckily, although it was cancerous, it had been caught straight away and hadn’t spread anywhere. Not long after my mum found a mole on her arm that had turned into a lump. Hers was also cancerous but unfortunately had gone much further and was stage 2 bordering on stage 3. She had it removed and had her lymph nodes tested which luckily it hadn’t spread to but it all gave us a bit of a shock.
It is absolutely vital to go to see your doctor if anything looks unusual, a lump appears or any moles become discoloured, itchy, sore or misshapen. As both my parents had had cancerous moles/lumps, my brother and I were advised to have a check up, which we did, but we were both fine. It’s something I keep my eye on all the time though and I check my moles regularly.
CERVICAL SMEAR TESTS
I have first hand experience just how important a smear test is and may not be here today if I’d not had my regular appointments. The week before I found out j was pregnant with my second child Max I had had a smear test. After finding out the wonderful news that I was pregnant, a few days later I had a letter to say I had abnormal cells and needed a colposcopy. However, as I was pregnant this now couldn’t be done until I’d had the baby. I was worried throughout as pregnancy can accelerate changes such as this in our bodies. Very soon after Max was born I had the colposcopy and I have had negative smear tests ever since. For ten years I had a smear test every year and have now moved to every 3 but I go religiously and would go to the doctors in between tests instantly if I felt there were any problems. I can’t stress enough the importance of all women going for regular smear tests and I personally think the age should be lowered as I think 25 is far too old. I was sadly shocked at my latest smear test to hear how many women are still not going for regular smear tests. No it’s not the most amazing experience but it’s quick, painless, very slightly uncomfortable for less than a minute and can save your life. Please please endeavour to get regular smear tests, make the phonecall to your Dr’s to book your appointment today.
NHS WELL WOMAN HEALTH CHECK
Now lockdown has slightly eased I was invited back recently for my well woman check. I advise every woman to take this up every time you are invited to go. It’s quick, painless and is vital to keep on top of your long term health. It covers BLOOD PRESSURE, BMI, LIVER, KIDNEY & CHOLESTEROL CHECKS and only involves a few questions about your general health and lifestyle, a weight check, blood pressure taken and a blood sample taken. Results come back relatively quickly and gives you complete peace of mind.
Woman so often put children, partners, parents, family, friends, work etc before themselves but, if you’re not healthy yourself you can’t help anyone. Please take just a little time each month to do personal checks and always always book yourself in for regular appointments.