Disease Prevention in Women

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Quick GuideHeart Health: Symptoms of Heart Disease and Heart Attack

Heart Health: Symptoms of Heart Disease and Heart Attack

Bladder cancer

Screening tests

  • Initial  screening for bladder cancer  is carried out by determining if there is blood in the urine (hematuria). This may be done using a dipstick that is placed in the urine. If positive, the urine is examined under the microscope.
  • Alternatively, the urine may be visualized microscopically without the dipstick being used.
  • Bladder cancer can cause gross hematuria (a large amount of blood in the urine), or microscopic hematuria (the blood can only be seen with the aid of a microscope).
  • Bladder cancers is only on of many causes of hematuria.

(Note that bladder cancer is only one of many causes of blood in the urine.)

Who to test and how often

All people who are current or former cigarette smokers or who have a history of occupational exposure to certain chemicals often such as those used in the dye, leather, tire, and rubber industries should have a urine examination for blood periodically after the age of 60 years.

Benefits of early detection

Early bladder cancer may produce no symptoms and no gross blood in the urine. However, the blood is almoist always visible microscopically.

Treatment can be effective if the cancer is detected early, and survival is strongly associated with the stage of disease at the time of initiation of treatment.

Cessation of cigarette smoking is always advisable.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a condition with abnormally elevated intra-ocular pressures (pressure within the eyeball).

Screening tests

  • Measurement of intra-ocular pressure should be a standard component of a comprehensive eye examination.
  • Note that a check up for vision does not always measure intra-ocular pressure.
  • Intra-ocular pressure should be measured by eye care specialists.

Who to test and how often

The American Academy of Ophthalmology's recommended intervals for eye exams, including glaucoma screening, are:

  • Age 20-29: Individuals of African descent or with a family history of glaucoma should have an eye examination every three to five years. Others should have an eye exam at least once during this period.
  • Age 30-39: Individuals of African descent or with a family history of glaucoma should have an eye examination every two to four years. Others should have an eye exam at least twice during this period.
  • Age 40-64: Every two to four years.
  • Age 65 or older: Every one to two years.

Although there is no formal screening recommendation for healthy subjects with normal risk, everyone over 60 years of age should have periodic intra-ocular pressure measurements periodically, perhaps yearly.

Benefits of early detection

Glaucoma can cause extensive damage of the retina, as well as irreversible loss of vision without warning symptoms and before the individual becomes aware of a loss of vision.

There is good evidence that treatment of elevated eye pressure from glaucoma can prevent blindness.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/13/2016

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Women's Health Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors