You hear doctors all the time telling you that your health is important. For women, there are many potentially life-saving tests you should receive.
You should get a mammogram every two years starting at age 40 and earlier if you find a lump or your doctor recommends it for you. Don’t forget to do regular breast exams and not rely on getting one yearly at your doctor’s office. Lay on a pillow and place your right arm behind your head. With your left hand, move your fingers around your right breast in small, circular motions. Then switch sides. Don’t forget to squeeze the nipple. Notice any lumps or discharge and don’t forget to check the entire breast areas and armpits. If you find anything irregular, please see your doctor. A breast exam and/or mammogram can detect breast cancer. Early detection is key.
You should receive a pap smear every three years. Some women opt to get one every year. It may also be appropriate to get an HPV and/or STD test too. A pap smear is a screening that will detect any inflammation or infections on the cervix. It will also show abnormal cells. A pap smear is what detects cervical cancer. An HPV test can detect a sexually transmitted infection that could also lead to cervical cancer.
Most insurance companies will cover these tests at little or no cost to you, so there is no excuse not to get it done.
It is important to remember to take these tests to avoid cancer by early detection. Your doctor could find a disease or cancer that has had no physical symptoms. The earlier you find something, the better chance you have of fully recovering. Your health is no joke. These tests could save your life.
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