Preventative health screenings are the cheapest and simplest ways to protect your health and prevent serious diseases. For women in particular, a pap smear checks for cervical cancer, while for men a prostate exam can detect prostate cancer. Given that these conditions kill thousands of people every year, preventative screenings should be used to their full power.
A Quick Guide to Pap Smears
A pap smear is completed by scraping cells from the opening of a woman’s cervix, the lower part of the uterus, and examining them under a microscope. It’s a very quick and easy test that can be completed in under five minutes. Most women are encouraged to receive a pap smear every two to three years from the age of 21, but they are usually no longer needed after age 70 as long as three negative tests were completed within the past 10 years.
If a pap smear produces abnormal results, further testing is needed to learn more and determine if cancer is a threat. Fortunately, this procedure has helped the cervical cancer death rate decreased by more than 50 percent over the last 40 years. Since the screening can find cancer before it fully develops, the cancer can be easily cured long before it has the chance to become life threatening.
Why Do Prostate Exams Matter?
Other than lung cancer, prostate cancer poses the biggest threat to men in the United States, with one in seven men likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. A prostate exam aims to catch these cases of cancer early in men over 50. While the exam cannot directly confirm prostate cancer, it can uncover signs that point to the likelihood of cancer and indicate the need for a biopsy. When detected early, prostate cancer does not have to be a death sentence.
Whether you live around Bradenton, Northcliffe, Brooksville, or Spring Hill, Florida, IMC Family Doctor can help you obtain these preventative screenings and many more that are important for your health.
The dedicated physicians at IMC Family Doctor specialize in monitoring the health of their patients and providing the hands-on care needed to encourage wellness. Contact your local office today to schedule your appointment and potentially save your life.