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Screenings Women Shouldn’t Ignore

Shawn Davis, M.D., emergency physician on the medical staff at Harris Methodist Northwest Hospital, suggests these screenings for women.


The American Cancer Society recommends that women undergo this X-ray screening for the detection of breast cancer annually beginning at age 40.

Pap smear

Cells from a woman’s cervix are examined under a microscope for signs of cervical cancer. The National Institutes of Health recommends Pap smears every three years beginning either when women first become sexually active or at age 21, whichever is first.

Bone mineral density

A bone density test is often used to screen for and detect the early stages of osteoporosis, a condition defined by a decreased density of normal bone.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends a bone density test at least once for all women age 65 and older.

To learn more about preventive tests, visit the Health Encyclopedia at

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