Let me be honest. I don’t make it a habit of going to the doctor and getting checkups on regular basis. I rarely feel sick. I try to prevent illness as much as possible with a pretty healthy diet and an exercise program.
However, as relatively intelligent person, who watches the news and reads a variety of health information sources, I know that anything can happen despite my best efforts and sinister cells can be lurking in my system wreaking havoc without my knowledge, so when I read about National Women’s Checkup Day, the concept hit home.
What the Heck is National Women’s Checkup Day?
This year, May 13th is National Women’s Checkup Day. Part of the National Women’s Health Week Celebration coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health, Checkup Day was established for two very important reasons:
• To encourage women to call and visit health care professionals to schedule and receive checkups.
• To promote getting regular checkups as critical to the early detection of serious conditions including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, mental health illnesses, sexually transmitted infections, and many others.
Why Should We Participate?
According to the Office of Women’s Health, regular checkups provide a number of benefits for women:
• Screenings and routine care can help women lower their risks for many health conditions, including heart disease.
• Screening tests, such as mammograms and Pap tests, may help to detect some diseases early, when they are easier to treat. Some women need certain screening tests earlier or more often than other women do.
• Women can now receive these types of preventive screenings without copays, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. (If this is true, I am certainly going to check this out ASAP.)
How Can We Participate?
Wherever you live, you can participate in National Women’s Checkup Day by:
• Visiting the National Women’s Health Week website to learn more details
• Getting in touch with your health care professionals to schedule checkups or to get important screenings.
• Discussing which screenings and tests are right for you, and when and how often you should have them.
• Learning which screenings and immunizations they recommend and at what age to get them.
• Reviewing the list of 22 preventive services for women covered under the Affordable Care Act.
• Taking the Checkup Day Pledge and pledging to schedule at least one preventive health screening during May 2013.
The Checkup Day Pledge
As a participant in National Women’s Checkup Day, I will:
• Visit my current health care professional to receive a checkup or call to schedule a checkup.
• Discuss with my health care professional which screenings and tests are right for me, when I should have them, and how often.
• Schedule at least one preventive health screening during May 2013.
(See a list of the 22 preventive services for women covered under the Affordable Care Act.)
• Use the interactive screening chart to learn what screenings I need and at what age.
Everyday Should Be “Checkup” Day!
Of course, you and I both know that everyday should be a “personal health checkup day”! Ideally, we should be intimately aware of our own bodies: what’s normal, what’s not, how we look, how we feel, what’s new, what’s different. And most important of all, I think we should try our best to make healthy choices, and practice “prevention” as a lifestyle. But we are not experts and we should know which health professionals to contact for our checkups, screenings, to answer questions or to seek professional help.
It’s National Women’s Checkup Day. Show yourself and your doctor some love!
Download a copy of the National Women’s Checkup Day fact sheet to share with friends and loved ones.
What do you think about National Women’s Checkup Day? What are your feelings about checkups, screenings and immunizations? Share your comments with us below.