Pioneer HomeCare Updates
Health Talk Topic : Breast Exam and Pap Smear for Cancer Screening in Women
A breast and pap smear exam is typically included in a Well Woman Exam. These tests are done for the early detection of breast and cervical cancer. The tests are administered by a licensed professional provider.
Breast exams for women should be done at least every 3 years starting at age 20 and every year starting at age 40. It is recommended that you have more frequent breast exams if your family has a history of breast cancer. This exam is best performed after your monthly menstrual cycle as your breasts will not be tender or swollen. Your health care provider will examine your breasts in order to detect lumps or other changes. Breast exams should also be performed along with mammography because these are methods that are needed for a complete breast cancer screening.
A pap smear is a test for screening cervical cancer. It should be done first by age 21 or within 3 years after having first vaginal intercourse. Regular testing should be done because the examination will help identify if you are at high risk for having cervical cancer. Talk to your doctor about how often you should get a pap smear because it varies in different women based on age, health and previous pap smear exams.
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