Most of us hate to think about it, but screenings are a way to keep us healthy. You are probably afraid that something bad may be found, but if you think about it, early detection is a good thing.

So what are the 10 health screenings every woman should ask her doctor for? First of all, have your blood pressure checked. I think every time I go to the doctor, no matter what it is for, I get my blood pressure checked. You can have it checked at local pharmacies if nothing else.

It may be harder to get your cholesterol checked, but just as important. Out of control cholesterol leads to heart disease. If your reading is high, don’t panic, just set your mind to making positive changes in your diet and start exercising.

Going hand in hand with the blood pressure and cholesterol screening is the blood glucose test. I have a family history of diabetes, so this is especially important for me. While I may not be able to avoid becoming diabetic, I certainly hope to starve it off as long as possible.

While you may hate thinking about it, you should also have a BMI (body mass index). Yes, none of us want to know we are fat, but hearing someone tell you that you may be at serious risk for heart disease or diabetes often gets you set on the right track to healthy living.

Skin examinations are important too. We’ve probably all spent too much time out in the sun with too little protection. If you see a spot that has changed in some way, point it out to your primary care manager.

Perhaps the most dreaded screening by women is a pap smear and pelvic exam. Yes, it is often uncomfortable, psychologically if not physically, but very important, so just put on your big girl panties as they say, and have it done.

Another uncomfortable test is a mammogram. Women with small breasts complain that it hurts, but so do women with big breast. But women who have lost their breasts to cancer might wish they had that pain back. If you are 40 or older, you should have a mammogram once every year or two.

Once you turn 50, you should begin having colon cancer screenings. Fortunately, this only needs to be done once every 5 to 10 years. Once you turn 65, you should get a bone density screening. After the age of 65, we become susceptible to osteoporosis and this screening will so any risks that you may have.

Finally, the last thing many people hate to have done is to visit the dentist. You might be surprised how your dental health can affect the rest of your health.

Just remember the old saying – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

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