Women: Take Care of Yourselves!
Women can do incredible things – for instance, carrying and delivering a baby. However, with these incredible natural abilities can also come some special health problems. Fortunately, there are some ways to catch these problems early. Read on for some information about what kind of women’s health service exams you should get and when you should get them.
This important exam screens for cervical cancer. It used to be suggested that women get this done every year, but recently that has changed to every 3 years, as long as you have a history of normal Pap smears. If you have ever had an abnormal Pap smear, you will need to have this exam done more frequently. You should have this exam starting at 21 and on through age 65.
As the name implies, this should be an annual event. Even though it may not be your year for a Pap smear, you will still need a breast and pelvic exam so that your doctor can check for any abnormalities. Your doctor will also take this time to assess your health in general. It is suggested that girls get their first gynecological exam between the ages of 13 and 15.
Women should get mammograms every year from ages 45 to 54. Women 55 and older can switch to having a mammogram every 2 years. However, if you have a family history of cancer, your doctor may have a specific recommendation for how often you should have a mammogram.
It is a relief when your doctor does a breast exam and finds nothing wrong. However, this is one exam you can do on your own – studies show that 40% of breast cancer is detected by self-exam. Breast self-exams should be done at home once a month. Ask your doctor the best way to do a self-exam and what you should look out for.
If you have any questions about your health or if it is time for one of these important exams, Katayoun Motlagh, MD, in Palmdale, can help. Call (661) 947-6400 to make an appointment – and take care of yourself!