By: The My Medicare Matters Team
Women are often the first line of defense when protecting their family’s health, but in doing so tend to put their concerns on the back burner. These quick tips can help keep you happy and healthy as you juggle your everyday responsibilities.
1. Get breast cancer screenings every 1 – 2 years
1 in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer, making it the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women and this risk increases with age. Mammograms are the best way to screen for breast cancer, especially during the early stages. The good news is that breast cancer can usually be treated successfully when found early. Medicare covers a free yearly screening. Learn more about how to prepare and what to expect during the exam.
2. Routine pap exams are the best way to detect cervical cancer
Known as the “silent killer,” cervical cancer is one of the most common types of cancer for American women, but thanks to widespread use of the Pap test, early detection has significantly improved and boosted U.S. survival rates. Cervical cancer may not have any signs or symptoms, so it’s recommended women ages 21 to 65 get routine test about every 3 years. Medicare covers cervical and vaginal cancer screenings once every 24 months or every 12 months if you are at high risk.
3. Exercise will improve your overall health
150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate exercise a week could improve not only your physical but also mental health. Being active helps improve moods and reduce feelings of depression. It can also help manage diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis.
4. Focus on your mental health
Approximately 15% of adults aged 60 and over suffer from a mental illness, depression being one of the most common. There’s often confusion around what exactly depression is, especially since many older adults experience major changes in their life like the death of loved ones or medical problems that could cause sadness. The difference is that the feeling is only temporary. If your feelings of sadness begin to interfere with daily life and normal functioning, you may be experiencing depression. Start by speaking with your doctor and determine if a Medicare depression screening is right for you.
5. Healthy eating can prevent serious health conditions
Proper nutrition is essential for the body. As you get older you lose muscle mass, bone density, and burn fewer calories. It takes extra effort to make up for the natural changes of your body which is why eating high nutrient foods make a big difference. Decreased bone density can result in one of the major health concerns affecting about 8 million women, osteoporosis, due to calcium deficiencies in diet.
As a woman, you may have many responsibilities on your plate, but your health should be a top priority. Learn more screening and treatments offered for free or reduced costs through Medicare.