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Q&A - Screening Guidelines for Women


Fowzia Ghouse, MD Family Medicine, Edward Medical Group

What are screening guidelines for women?

Heading off potential health problems before they become too serious is not only smart, it’s a strategy that can keep you alive and well.

“Regular screenings will help keep your health in check and are important to discuss with your physician as part of your annual physical,” said Fowzia Ghouse, MD, a Family Medicine physician with Edward Medical Group. “Staying informed about your health can give you peace of mind.”

Women who are juggling work and family duties may not put health screenings and check-ups at the top of their to-do lists – but they should.

Recommended screenings that start in your 20s:

  • An annual physical exam, with check of height, weight, BMI and blood pressure.  Also check for signs of cancers of the thyroid, oral cavity, skin, lymph nodes, cervix and ovaries.
  • Vision and eye exam every two years
  • Pap smear every one to two years from age 21, earlier if sexually active; annual breast exam starting at age 25

In your 30s, add:

  • Cholesterol/lipid profile every five years
  • An HPV DNA test every three years over age 30
  • Annual hearing loss screen

In your 40s, add:

  • Annual mammogram, starting at age 40. When you schedule your mammogram appointment, get your cholesterol and blood pressure checked too.
  • Routine electrocardiogram –and, if you’re a smoker, obese or have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or a family history of heart disease, an Ultra Fast heart scan and stroke screening at age 45.
  • Glucose screen every three years, starting at age 45, earlier if you have hypertension and high cholesterol.  Diabetics have the same risk of having a heart attack within five years as someone who has already survived a heart attack.

In your 50s, add:

  • Colonoscopy every 10 years, starting at age 50
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy or double contrast barium enema, every five years
  • Annual fecal occult blood test

In your 60s, add:

  • Bone density test at age 65 – age 60 if at high risk for osteoporosis.

Dr. Ghouse is a board certified family practice physician practicing at Edward Medical Group’s office at 2132 Deep Water Ln. in Naperville. Dr. Ghouse is accepting new patients. 

To schedule an appointment, call (630) 922-1400. For more information, visit www.edwardmedicalgroup.org.


(630) 527-3000

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801 S. Washington, Naperville, IL 60540 • (630) 527-3000

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