Women: Make Time for Preventive Care

Your work commitments. Your son’s soccer game. Your dog’s vet appointment. Your sister’s birthday. With all the commitments on your calendar, it may feel impossible to find a moment for yourself—let alone for your healthcare.

Still, the fact remains: There’s no better way to maintain your health and detect illness early than by practicing preventive care. So, just for a few minutes, put yourself first and talk to your doctor about the preventive screenings below.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends women age 40 and older get a mammogram every one to two years. Your doctor may recommend a different schedule depending on your personal medical history.

Because your breasts are typically tender the week before your period, you’ll want to schedule the exam the week following. Also, don’t put on deodorant, talcum powder or lotion under your arms on the day of your mammogram as they may look like calcium spots on the X-ray. Gwinnett Medical center offers all-digital mammograms that offer clearer images and better patient care. To schedule an appointment, call 678-312-3444 or click her to learn more about our spa-like breast imaging centers.

Pap Test
The Pap test is remarkably effective at finding precancerous cells on the cervix, which makes it an invaluable tool for preventing cervical cancer. You should get this exam at least every three years. To get the most accurate results, get your Pap test one to two weeks after your period, refrain from sexual intercourse 24 hours before, and don’t douche at least three days prior. Looking for a board-certified OB/GYN, click here.

Bone Density Screening
A bone density test measures how many grams of bone mineral—including calcium—exist in a segment of bone. A higher number is a better result because it indicates your bones are strong. Routine screenings should begin at age 60 for women at increased risk for osteoporotic fractures, according to the USPSTF.  Bone density tests are quick and painless, and generally require no preparation on your part. Gwinnett Medical Center Imaging has multiple convenient Atlanta-area locations in LawrencevilleHamilton Mill and Duluth. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call 678-312-3444.

Don't Forget About Your Heart

Heart disease remains the No. 1 killer of women in the U.S. In fact, 43 percent of deaths in women are due to heart disease or stroke, according to the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease.

While there’s no single screening to detect heart disease, getting your blood pressure, cholesterol levels and weight checked regularly can help you and your doctor gauge your risk for developing cardiovascular disease. 

If you think that you may be at risk of heart disease, Gwinnett Medical Center's Imaging department offers calcium scoring. Cardiac calcium scoring is a quick, painless exam done without any X-ray dye (or contrast) injections that measures the calcium buildup within the coronary arteries of the heart using advanced computerized tomography technology. The goal of calcium scoring is to determine if coronary artery disease is present in those patients who may not have symptoms but may be at risk for the disease. Most often Calcium Scoring is suggested for patients 45 or older. To learn more about calcium scoring or to schedule an appointment, call 678-312-3444.


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