It’s so easy to put off things we know we “should” do. It’s especially easy to just let the months and years go by without scheduling doctor appointments when we feel pretty much fine.
But, it’s time to stop procrastinating. Take control of your health this Women’s Health Week and do what you need to do to be your healthiest self.
When is the last time you had a physical? If it’s been more than a year, it’s time.
If you are 21 years old or older, something high on your “to do” list should be getting a well woman’s exam and a pap smear. This exam will include a pap smear, pelvic exam and breast exam. These exams can detect abnormalities that may indicate breast cancer or cervical cancer.
Early detection can make all the difference in treating cervical cancer and breast cancer – so make time for yourself to visit a clinic for this appointment.
Wondering what’s recommended for you? If you’re sexually active you may also need STI screening, no matter your age. See detailed recommendations about STI screening and pap smears.
First Care Clinic provides pap smears that include pelvic exams and breast exams free of charge in Madison, Wisconsin. To schedule your pap smear/exam or to find out when you’re due to have one, call or text us at 608-259-1605.
You may not think that it can happen to you – but it can. An abnormal result can make life feel more challenging for a time but finding out about it can also save your life.
Recently in our clinic, we’ve seen women whose pap results come back abnormal. This does not always mean cancer, but it often means that further testing is recommended.
Here’s one example of what can happen.
“Sherry” came to our clinic and had an abnormal pap result at our clinic. Our medical director personally reviewed Sherry’s case. Sherry’s result indicated that further testing was recommended.
Sherry was shocked and overwhelmed with many feelings. What do I do next? What does this mean? Where do I go from here? Can I afford further testing and whatever treatment is recommended?
Fortunately for Sherry, there is a clinic that can provide follow up testing free of charge. Our medical director referred Sherry to Share the Health Free Gynecology Clinic to get the testing she needed.
Now Sherry had her next step determined but she was still feeling overwhelmed. Sherry’s nurse spent time with Sherry. She helped answer Sherry’s questions and made sure Sherry understood her next steps. Sherry appreciated the support. The nurse followed up with Sherry by phone to check in and see how Sherry was doing.
We don’t yet know what Sherry’s long-term prognosis will be, but she is now getting the care that she needs.
No one wants to get the result that Sherry received, but delaying testing would only make Sherry’s prognosis worse.
If you have never had a pap smear and breast exam, or if it’s been several years, you may be overdue for your check-up. Commit during Women’s Health Week to setting up an appointment to get the care you need to be the healthiest you.
Find out more about cervical cancer and it’s prevention.
Read stories from women who are survivors of cervical cancer.