Being proactive about health screening tests can help keep you healthy and you medical bills down.
Getting the regular healthcare screenings you need shouldn't be expensive. Check out our list of how to get low or free checkups:
- Breast and cervical cancer screening: For information on the low-cost exams available, go to cdc.gov/cancer/nbccedp. Healthy women should screen for cervical cancer every one or two years until they reach age 30, then every three years. Women with weak immune systems might need to test more often. To find a free or low-cost mammogram—a screening women 40 or older should get every year (or potentially sooner if you have a family history)—visit komen.org.
- Skin cancer screening: Everyone should have this exam annually. May is Melanoma Detection and Prevention Month. To find a free skin cancer screening in your city during this time, visit aad.org/public/exams/screenings.
- Colon cancer screening: Every woman older than 50 should have this test every 10 years. You should have one earlier if you are black or if you have a bowel disorder or a family history of the disease. For information on free and low-cost testing options, visit cdc.gov/cancer. Or call the National Cancer Institute at 800-422-6237.
- Eye exam: Vision USA, coordinated by the American Optometric Association (AOA), provides free eye care to uninsured, low-income people and their families. Visit aoa.org/x5607.xml. A woman with no known vision problems should be sure to have an eye exam once every two years until age 60, then yearly after that.
- Dental exam: Make it a priority to see your dentist at least twice a year. Go to nidcr.nih.gov. You’ll see the link to state dental organizations (which sometimes offer programs for people with low incomes) and a list of dental schools (which often provide reduced-cost care).