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Top Health Concerns for Young Women

Many women take for granted that they have no health concerns as younger people. However, there are several issues that young people, women especially, should keep in mind when considering the state of their health.

Human papillomavirus is one of the things that young women should be vaccinated if possible. HPV can cause cervical cancer, making vaccination an important safety precaution. However, not all women have access to the vaccine. These women need to undergo screenings on a regular basis. There’s also an HPV test for women to take at home if they’re more comfortable completing this screening at home. These do not completely replace the recommended annual pap tests and other gynecology screenings, but they can provide additional peace of mind for young women regarding their health. These screenings not only allow for early detection of HPV, they consequently provide tools to detect cervical cancer, as well as breast cancer, at their earliest stages, when recovery is more likely.

Women in their late-20s and early-30s should also consider mental health screenings. Schizophrenia is a disorder most often diagnosed in women at this age. It is especially important when there is any kind of mental disorder in a young woman’s personal or family history, including depression and anxiety disorders. It’s important not to wait until life is feeling out of control to seek out assistance. There are some effective treatments for a variety of emotional and mental diagnoses. Mental health wellness checks also help provide tools for stress management and resources when a woman is feeling “off,” like something isn’t quite right. There is nothing wrong with taking the utmost care of one’s physical and psychological health needs.

Younger women should also be mindful of the health of their skin. Melanoma, a serious form of skin cancer, is sometimes diagnosed at this age. This is especially true of women who spent a great deal of time in the sun, who spend time tanning, whether outdoors or in a tanning bed, as well as anyone with a childhood history of repeated sunburns. Skin cancer detected in the earliest stages is highly treatable. If there is a medical history of skin cancer, it’s vital to protect against future sun damage by using proper UVA/UVB blocking sunscreen. If no such history exists, using proper sunblock can protect against potential skin cancers in the future.

In the 20s, it’s easy for women to forget that the habits they have today will come to affect their future selves. While liver disease and lung cancer are unlikely to directly affect a woman in her 20s, those bad habits that cause those conditions are likely to begin during this decade. Excess drinking and any smoking in a woman’s 20s will increase the risk of her developing liver and lung conditions from age 40 onward. Now is the time to look at those drinking and smoking habits and adjust behavior to safeguard her health later. It only takes about 60 days for any bad habit to “stick,” so to speak. This means if tackled head-on early, it is not too hard to get these behaviors under control. Quit smoking and reduce any heavy alcohol consumption while still young.

While the 20s are generally a period of good health, keeping in mind the issues most apt to affect health in later years is critical to long-term wellness. Likewise, keeping in mind those things that are most likely to strike in the 20s means catching them early, increasing the odds of successful recovery with treatment.