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Time To Get A Checkup

Monday is National Women's Checkup Day. It's an effort by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to coordinate sites all around the country offering a variety of different services for women.

The Early Show medical correspondent Dr. Emily Senay reports some of the services offered range from routine health checks, like blood pressure and cholesterol, and health counseling about individual needs and concerns, to immunizations and, in some cases, disease screening for conditions like diabetes and cancer.

In most locations these services are either free, discounted, or covered by insurance. Not all women need to be screened for all types of diseases, but this whole day should serve as a reminder that women need to take care of themselves.

Some women don't always take the time to take care of themselves, and this day is a chance to do that. A new report shows that the nation as a whole and the individual states fall short of meeting national health goals for women in many categories.

To find out what services are available in your area, visit www.4woman.gov. If you don't have access to the Internet, you can also call 1 (800) 994-woman for information on what's going on in your area. Even if you can't find something in your area, let this serve as a reminder to talk to your own doctor about what you need.

It's important to get checked out regularly for the early signs of the serious diseases that kill hundreds of thousands of women every year.

A cholesterol test can reveal a risk of heart disease, a blood sugar test can reveal diabetes, and of course a screening test like mammogram or a colonsocopy can detect early signs of cancer. There are many other important tests and screening available for other conditions, depending on age and other risk factors: Osteoporosis, thyroid disease and sexually-transmitted diseases. Women need certain screening tests earlier, or more often, than men.

During their check-ups, women should discuss with professionals which of the tests are right for them, when they should have them, and how often.

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