Screenings can find illnesses before a person has any symptoms. There are two screenings that can catch the cancers that affect women. They are breast cancer and cervical cancer screenings. These screenings save lives. They can find the cancers before they spread. The earlier an illness is found, the easier it is to treat.
Screenings For Breast Cancer.
A mammogram is a special kind of X-ray of the breasts. They help find breast cancer early. Women over 40 years old should get them, even if they have no signs of breast cancer. They are also recommended for younger women who have symptoms of breast cancer or who have a high risk of getting it.
A health care provider should examine your breasts at least once a year. It is also important to examine your breasts yourself once a month. You may find it is easiest to do this at the same time each month, like when your menstrual period ends.
Get Checked For Cervical Cancer.
The cervix is the lower end of the uterus, which connects with the vagina. Cancer of the cervix develops slowly. It has no symptoms at first. Many women may not know they have it.
But regular Pap tests can prevent cervical cancer. They find cells that can be treated before they become cancer. Pap tests can also find signs of cancer early enough to stop it from spreading. Pap tests can save lives.
Who Should Get a Pap test?
A Pap test is part of a routine pelvic exam. The health care provider takes a small sample from the cervix. The sample is then tested at a lab. Women 18 to 65 who have ever been sexually active should get a Pap test every one to three years. How often depends on your risk factors and past test results. It is required to get follow-up care if you have a test that shows something unusual.
Are You Safe From Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). It is the most common STD in the United States. People how have it often do not feel sick at all. You can get it by having sex without using a condom. You should get tested if you:
- Are 15 to 25 years old and sexually active
- Have had an abnormal Pap smear
- Have a new male sex partner or have more than two partners in a year
- Do not always use a condom
Ask your PCP about women's health. Your PCP can answer your questions and make sure you get the screenings you need.
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