Doctor Oz gave a list of 5 medical test that every woman needs to get to help screen for and prevent a variety of horrible medical problems including oral cancer, Ankle-Brachial Index, Depression, Skin Cancer and Glaucoma. Make sure to send this article to every woman you know!
5 Medical Tests Every Women Needs
1. Oral Cancer
Did you know that of all types of cancer, oral cancer has the lowest rate of survival over a 5 year period? Most of the reason for this low survival rate is because it is not detected until late in the game. If you can detect Oral Cancer early, then you improve your change of surviving by 90%. You can get an Oral Cancer screening test at your dentist office, so make sure to ask at your next dentist appointment!
What causes Oral Cancer? Often, oral cancer is caused by severe inflammation. When you get screened for Oral Cancer, your dentist uses a multi-spectral device which uses 3 types of light to see lesions in your mouth. If your dentist sees anything abnormal, he will do a biopsy. We had a scare in my family when our dentist saw an abnormal discoloration in my brother’s mouth… but after the biopsy the dentist decided that it was because my brother was letting hard candy or cough drops dissolve near his gum, which made a discoloration that looked similar to Oral Cancer.
You should also look for strange looking white patches or ulcers in your mouth, especially ulcers that do not heal. The best time to examine your mouth is when you brush your teeth and floss.
How can we prevent Oral Cancer? Try to keep alcohol and tobacco use to a minimum, and eat lots of antioxidant rich foods and alkaline foods – such as green vegetables (spinach, broccoli, etc.) and garlic!
2. Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI)
You can detect peripheral arterial disease early, which is when your arteries harden, by taking an Ankle-Brachial Index test. You should particularly get the Ankle-Brachial Index test if you smoke or have a family history of heart disease or diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
How does the Ankle-Brachial Index test work? ABI works by comparing how strong a pulse is near your ankle compared to a pulse in your upper arm near your heart through the use of a Doppler device. If the pulse in your leg is lower than the pulse in your upper arm, then you may have a build-up of plaque in your arteries in your legs.
You can fight against hardened arteries and blockages by exercising, eating a healthy diet and not smoking.
Depression can cause us to act in destructive manners like turning to alcohol or drugs. Dr Oz said that if you think you are depressed ask yourself these questions: “Over the past few weeks, do you take pleasure in doing things?” and “Have you been feeling down or hopeless?” If most of the time you feel this way, then you have a 75% chance of being depressed and 38% chance of having a major depressive disorder. Dr Oz said that 19 million Americans suffer from serious depression each year and depression tends to decrease our life span and increase our chance of heart disease and possibly even cancer.
4. Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is the top cancer people get in America, but if you find skin cancer early, you increase your chance to survive by 600%… now that is a HUGE number! You have the highest risk of getting skin cancer if you have a family history light skin or fair complexion, too much exposure to sun or extreme sunburns when you were a child. You should go to a dermatologist every year to be checked for skin cancer and look all over your body (including your scalp, between fingers and toes and under your nails) every month to look for signs of skin cancer. Here are the ABCDE’s of melanoma, which is the deadliest type of skin cancer!
ABCDE of Skin Cancer:
Asymmetry – if half of a mole or mark looks different than the other half
Border – if the edges of your mole or mark is blurred, notched, irregular or ragged
Color – if the color of the mole is several shades and not consistent throughout the mole
Diameter – if the mole is over 6 mm in diameter
Evolution – if the mole changes over time
In a previous episode, Dr. Oz said that we should make sure to use sunscreen that contains zinc oxide and titanium oxide whenever we go outside, even if we are just going to be driving to the grocery store.
5. Tonometry – Glaucoma Test
Glaucoma is the number one reason that people become blind in the world. Glaucoma is actually a collection of several diseases that all damage your eye’s optic nerve, which in turns causes you to lose your vision and go blind because the fluid pressure in your eye increases.
Risk factors for Glaucoma include coming from African American heritage and being near-sighted (or having a family history of near-sightedness).
A doctor can test for Glaucoma by using a test called a tonometry, which involves numbing your eye and then checking the intraocular pressure. An opthalmoscope is used to examine the optical nerve for signs of damage, because an opthalmoscope can look at the back of your eye from the pupil.