There are certain steps a woman should take over the course of her life to protect her overall health and wellness, including undergoing routine preventative screenings with a women’s health clinic. Continue reading to learn which female preventative screenings are essential to maintaining your health.
Clinical Breast Examination
A clinical breast examination or CBE is an important test as it enables your physician to assess your breasts for abnormalities in size, shape, or texture. Using the pads of their fingers, your physician will gently palpate or feel your breast tissue to check for any lumps, masses, or other signs of cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, a clinical breast exam should be completed every three years for women in their 20s and 30s and annually for women over the age of 40.
In addition to a clinical breast examination, women are recommended to begin undergoing yearly mammograms at age 40 and continue to do so as long as there are in good health. However, many physicians recommend that women undergo a baseline mammogram at age 35 to develop an initial reading of their overall breast health. During a mammogram your breasts will be placed between two special x-ray plates in order to create detailed images of the glandular tissues and fat cells within your breasts.
One of the most important preventative screenings women should undergo is a pap test, also known as a pap smear, in which your physician takes a sample of cells from your cervix to identify the presence of abnormal cells or infection. Pap smears are especially important because they can diagnose cervical cancer during the earliest stages, increasing the chances of successful treatment. All women should begin having an annual pap test starting at age 21, after which point women who are 30 years of age or older with three normal Pap tests in a row may not require as frequent examinations.
Make sure you’re staying on top of your feminine health by contacting the Lovejoy Surgicenter in Portland at (503) 715-3509. We also offer abortion services, counseling, and Plan B.