Reducing Your Risk

Reduce Your Risk

No matter how old you are, there are many steps you can take to stay healthy. Of course, you should exercise, eat healthy foods and avoid being overweight or using tobacco. On top of that, the Dorothy Mangurian Comprehensive Women's Center offers many preventive screenings that you should take advantage of and recommends the following guidelines:


Your body mass index (BMI) can indicate if you are overweight or obese. You can calculate yours using the Holy Cross BMI calculator.

High Cholesterol

Have your cholesterol checked regularly if you're 45 or older. If you smoke, have diabetes or high blood pressure, or have a family history of heart disease, your doctor may recommend cholesterol checks at a younger age.

High Blood Pressure

Have your blood pressure checked regularly to make sure it is below 140/90.


If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol you should have a test for diabetes.

Breast Cancer

Perform monthly breast self-exams and get a mammogram every one to two years beginning at age 40.

Cervical Cancer

Have a Pap smear every one to three years between the ages of 21 and 65.

Colorectal Cancer

Beginning at age 50, you should be tested for colorectal cancer. If it runs in the family, you should be tested at an earlier age.


You should have a bone density test at age 65 to screen for this disease. If you are between the ages of 60 and 64 and weigh 154 pounds or less, ask your doctor if you need to be tested.

Preventive Medicines

Don't forget your immunizations, such as flu shots, and talk to your doctor about other medicines that may prevent certain diseases, especially if any run in the family.


At Holy Cross, your emotional health is as important as your physical health. If you've felt down over the last two weeks, ask your doctor for a depression screening.

Chlamydia and Other STDs

Have a test for Chlamydia if you're 25 or younger and sexually active. If you're older, talk to your doctor about being tested for this or other sexually transmitted diseases.


You should be tested for HIV if you have had unprotected sex with multiple partners, are pregnant, have used injection drugs or fit into this high risk category for other reasons.