With age, our bodies begin to undergo changes that make them less able to fight off illnesses and issues that may arise. So it is important to make sure that you are getting regular check-ups to catch any warning signs early, identify any health risks and to ensure that your body is in the best condition that it can be.
Attending health screenings and identifying problems early is a great way to take charge of your health and give yourself the best chance of successful treatment. Men and women tend to require different health tests at different stages in their life. That’s why we have put together this guide to highlight the tests that every woman should have when they hit 40.
A transvaginal ultrasound is the best way to detect any issues in your ovaries. Our specialist will place a small probe into your vagina that will deliver a high-quality image of your ovaries. This test is most commonly used to detect any warning signs of ovarian cancer.
Women over 40 should have this test as it is the best way to find any warning signs of this cancer and to act quickly to treat it. At Echelon Health, we offer a transvaginal ultrasound as part of a package or as an individual assessment.
CT Bone Density
Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens your bones over time, and it means that you will be more likely to suffer a break because the bones will be more fragile. Often, this condition is only diagnosed when a break happens, so getting a CT bone density scan can help to avoid this situation in the future. You can have this scan with us as an individual assessment or as part of the Cullinan Assessment that is dedicated to women.
Breast Cancer Screening (Digital Mammogram)
Breast cancer screenings are such an important test for women over 40, as it is a simple X-ray scan of your breasts to check for any signs of breast cancer. A digital mammogram provides considerably more detail than a traditional X-ray on film would.
Women between 40 and 54 and women between 65 and 69 are at the highest risk of breast cancer, so it is vital that you get checked regularly. At Echelon Health, we provide a digital mammogram as part of our core cancer package, or you can have it as an individual assessment.
Cervical Cancer Screening
You may also know this screening by the name of the smear test. During the screening, the specialist will take a sample of cells from your cervix, which is then tested for high-risk types of HPV. These types of HPV can change the cells in your cervix and place you at greater risk of cervical cancer.
HPV is a group of viruses that is extremely common, and it can stay in your body for a very long time. It is very important that you have this test regularly, especially if you are over 40. Currently Echelon Health do not provide smear tests, but they can be regularly schedules through your GP or the NHS at no cost.
Hormone Profile Blood Test
This test looks at a wide range of different hormones in your blood. They include your oestrogen, progesterone, follicle-stimulating hormone, testosterone, and your thyroid hormones.
When you reach forty, your hormone levels will begin to change as the menopause begins. The levels of the different hormones being tested at this stage can help to warn you about a number of different health issues, including thyroid disease and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Echelon Health offers this test as an individual assessment or as part of the Cullinan Assessment package. For more information, please refer to our article on understanding your female hormone profile results.
Regardless of how healthy you are, your heart will become weaker as you get older. Your arteries will begin to constrict, and your blood vessels will not be functioning as efficiently as they used to. So, when you reach 40, you need to be proactive with check-ups. Heart disease is a huge problem worldwide, and a heart screening can pick up on early warning signs to help you make lifestyle changes to slow or even reverse the process. These lifestyle changes may include exercising more regularly and trying to eat a healthier diet, which is much easier than surgical options.
A typical heart screening will include a blood pressure test and cholesterol check, and a heart rate check. Depending on the results of these tests, your doctor may recommend that you undergo further tests, which may include an ECG, or a CT coronary angiogram which is the gold standard that Echelon Health use for assessing the health of your heat. A heart scan can test for congenital heart disease, whether your heart has sustained damage as a result of surgery or another condition, heart failure, and many other conditions.
A CT coronary angiogram is a more advanced scan which looks specifically at the arteries in your heart. This test will typically be used after the specialist has seen some warning signs on your previous heart scan, and it shows them exactly where the issue is.
It shows where fatty material called atheroma (or soft plaque) has built up, which can cause a heart attack when it hardens. It is important for women over 40 to have this scan as this is the best way to detect this issue and prevent a heart attack. This is available as part of the Cullinan Assessment package, the healthy heart package or as an individual assessment.
Full Body Mole Check
Checking for moles that are new, have changed shape, or are raised is important, especially when you are over 40. Moles can become cancerous very quickly, and a full body mole check is a visual check-up where a specialist will determine which, if any, present a risk of skin cancer. IIf necessary, the nurse will conduct further investigation.
Lung Cancer Screening (CT Chest)
If your specialist has determined that you are at risk of lung cancer, they may recommend a CT chest scan for this issue. This test will provide them with a three-dimensional image of your chest, which uses X-rays to deliver a clear picture of your lungs.
Regular cancer screenings are very important because you have a greater chance of successful treatment if you can catch it early. A CT chest scan will tell your doctor whether there is anything to worry about and how best to proceed.
The Cullinan Assessment Package
At Echelon Health, we know that it can be hard to think about different serious health issues, which is why we have created a new package specifically for women of 40 years or older: The Cullinan Assessment.
The Cullinan Assessment was built from the ground up with only women in mind, and it is designed to detect signs of early disease associated with this stage of life, along with those diseases that are the leading causes of premature death in women – coronary heart disease, lung disease, breast cancer and ovarian cancer, and osteoporosis.
This package includes the large majority tests, scans and screenings listed above to give you a clear and comprehensive picture of your health. We also offer a round trip transfer in a chauffeur-driven car to us, as well as an overnight stay at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park (including a CBD oil deep relaxation massage at their award-winning spa). Our bodies need more support as we get older, and comprehensive screenings like this help you to stay in top condition and tackle any issues before they develop.
If you have any questions about the services that we provide, the tests and screenings that we have mentioned, or if you want to talk to someone about booking the Cullinan Assessment Package, then get in touch with us today.
Echelon Health is the world’s leading provider of personal health assessments, and our dedicated team will ensure that your experience is relaxing and efficient.
Dishman, K. (2017). Health Tests Every Woman Needs. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/womens-health-tests (Accessed 02/11/2022)
BHF.org.uk (2022). Tests for heart and circulatory conditions. Available at: https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/tests (Accessed 02/11/2022)