5. Vaginal cytology
This test, also known as a Pap test, is the most widely used technique to detect cervical cancer and precancerous lesions early. It is considered a fundamental screening test to reduce the incidence and mortality of this type of cancer, the impact of which has diminished enormously since its popularity.
This is a simple , painless test that is done during routine gynecological exams. Cells are obtained from the bottom of the vagina and the ectocervix , and cells from the inside of the neck are taken with a small rounded brush. All these samples are sent to be analyzed in the laboratory.
The AECC recommends that women between the ages of 25 and 65 , who are or have been sexually active, undergo this test every three years.
6. Screening for colorectal cancer
Colon cancer is the third most common, but the second in mortality. That is why it is vitally important to detect it early. Although colonoscopy – that is, the introduction of a small camera in the anus, to explore the intestine for polyps or other indications that something is not as it should be – is essential to make a definitive diagnosis, there is a less aggressive test than increasingly it is applied over first barrier for screening: the t est fecal occult blood (FOBT).
This test has been included in the basic portfolio of services and it is recommended that it be carried out by all women (and in this case also by men ) between 50 and 69 years of age, although if they have a family history it should be done before.
7. Bone densitometry
This test is used to determine the mineral density, or bone mass, of the bones. It is performed with a special x-ray apparatus that allows to know the state of the same and thus determine the risk of fractures and the possibility of suffering from osteoporosis , a disease characterized by a progressive loss of calcium and a decrease in bone mass.
The disease is characteristic of postmenopausal women, so it is recommended to undergo this test from the age of 45 or if it meets any other risk factor such as early menopause, family history, prolonged use of corticosteroids or if they have been suffered minor trauma fractures.