Saturday, January 21, 2012

My Lovely Lady Lumps: Part 2 - Educate Yourself

Self exams are a great start.  But they're not all you should be doing.

Your second line of defense is your DOCTOR.  Some people only see the doctor when they have a problem.  The reality is, you should go for regular check-ups.

Here's the Blissie Boucher guide for your annual doctor visits:

1.  Before visiting your doctor, make a list of any and all questions or concerns you may have.  Doctor doesn't have time to sit down and speak to you before or after your exam?  You may want to consider getting a new doctor.  Nobody knows your body better than YOU do - so if you feel like something isn't right, you need to speak up. 

2.  Get your regular tests.  Yes, they're uncomfortable and downright invasive!  But.  They can SAVE YOUR LIFE.    Blood, urine, pap, mammogram, pelvic.  Suck it up and get them done regularly.  Do your research before going to the doctor, so you're aware of what the tests involve. 

What is a Pap test?

The Pap test, also called a Pap smear, checks for changes in the cells of your cervix. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus (womb) that opens into the vagina (birth canal). The Pap test can tell if you have an infection, abnormal (unhealthy) cervical cells, or cervical cancer.

A Pap test can save your life. It can find the earliest signs of cervical cancer. If caught early, the chance of curing cervical cancer is very high. Pap tests also can find infections and abnormal cervical cells that can turn into cancer cells. Treatment can prevent most cases of cervical cancer from developing.
Getting regular Pap tests is the best thing you can do to prevent cervical cancer. In fact, regular Pap tests have led to a major decline in the number of cervical cancer cases and deaths.

For more information, you can visit or use this handy link to the PAP Test Fact Sheet.

What is a mammogram?

A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray exam of the breasts to look for changes that are not normal. The results are recorded on x-ray film or directly into a computer for a doctor called a radiologist to examine.
A mammogram allows the doctor to have a closer look for changes in breast tissue that cannot be felt during a breast exam. It is used for women who have no breast complaints and for women who have breast symptoms, such as a change in the shape or size of a breast, a lump, nipple discharge, or pain. Breast changes occur in almost all women. In fact, most of these changes are not cancer and are called “benign,” but only a doctor can know for sure. Breast changes can also happen monthly, due to your menstrual period.

For more information, you can visit or use this handy link to the Mammogram Fact Sheet.

Now you know.

What will YOU do with this information?

Until next time,

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