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Regular health screenings can help diagnose potential conditions before symptoms arise. The earlier your doctor detects these problems, the easier they can be treated. Here are some essential screenings to discuss with your physician at your next appointment.

Mammography: A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast that can find breast cancer before you have any symptoms. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends screening every two years for women ages 50 to 74. Other organizations, such as the American Cancer Society and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, recommend starting younger.

“Talk with your doctor about your breast health and what screenings are right for you,” advises Sharareh Bagherian, D.O., with Ocean Medical Center. “Breast self-exams, or regularly examining your breasts on your own, can also be an important way to detect any unusual lumps early.”

Glucose: Untreated, diabetes can lead to serious health issues, such as heart disease and stroke. “If you’re age 40 or older and overweight or obese, you should have your blood glucose checked,” advises Dragana Jokic, M.D., from the Joslin Diabetes Center, Affiliate at Raritan Bay Medical Center.

“If you’re a healthy weight, you may not need to start blood sugar screenings until age 45. Based on your results, your doctor will instruct you on how often you should have your glucose levels rechecked. But, outside of age and obesity factors, screening for diabetes as part of routine medical care may be appropriate if you have one or more of these risk factors: if your race or ethnicity is African-American, Hispanic American, Native American, Asian-American or Pacific Islander, or if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, history of diabetes during pregnancy or delivery of a baby greater than 9 pounds.”

Read the full article on page 31 of our September/October edition of Hackensack Meridian HealthViews!