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Women: Health tips for your 40s

Focused on Health - August 2013

by Adelina Espat

40s women healthLife changes with every decade. And so does your body. 

Just as you set personal milestones, you should also set health goals for every stage of life. Use these tips to help you look and feel your best in your 40s.

Maintain a healthy weight. As we get older, our metabolism slows down. This is especially true for women after age 40, who may have a hard time maintaining the weight they had in their 20s and 30s.

Making healthy food choices and staying active every day can help jumpstart your metabolism so you can keep off unwanted pounds.

Schedule a mammogram. Don’t put off your yearly mammogram. You should get one every year starting at age 40. It’s one of the best ways to find breast cancer early.

Getting your first mammogram can be stressful. But it helps when you know what to expect. Use our mammogram guide – it’ll walk you through the steps.

Snuff out the cigarette. More women die from lung cancer each year than breast cancer. The cause: smoking.  Nearly 20% of women age 25 to 44 smoke.

Want to quit? You are not alone – 70% of women who smoke say they want to quit. Get help and support. If you’re still having trouble, cut back as much as possible and make your home smoke-free.

Get more health tips for all ages

“Practicing these healthy behaviors is important for all women, regardless of age,” says Therese Bevers, M.D., medical director of MD Anderson’s Cancer Prevention Center . “So take note of all of these tips — even the ones directed toward women older or younger than you.”

And talk to your doctor about other cancer screening exams, like the Pap test and clinical breast exam. Exams also are available for those at increased risk for ovarian, endometrial, lung and skin cancer.

Your doctor can help you learn about your personal risk for cancer, and tell you what exams you should get and how often.

Women's health tips for your 20s
Women's health tips for your 30s
Women's health tips for your 50s and older
Women’s screening exam by age checklist

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© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center