The importance of yearly exams

Stephanie Frohman, Student Writer

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We all despise going to doctors for one reason or the other.  Some of us cannot afford it, some of us are afraid of doctors and some of us do not feel like we need to go because we are not sick, but yearly exams can be very important for women.

According to the National Women’s Health Information Center, there are several exams that every woman needs; they range from the trivial ones like a physical to the serious ones like Pap smears and mammograms.

Physical exams are important in overseeing one’s general health. These normally check weight, blood pressure, ears and eyes, immunizations, urine, cholesterol and blood glucose.

These tests are all considered routine and are recommended yearly; however, they can be performed every other year based on health care provider recommendations.

Mammograms check for any abnormalities that might be caused by cancerous cells. Cancerous cells can be removed with very little problem if detected early enough.

According to the American Cancer Society, women between the ages of 20 and 39 should have a yearly breast exam and perform regular self-examinations to check for any changes. They should also have yearly mammograms from the age of 40.

Pap smears are tests that look for changes in the cells of the cervix. These changes can show cervical cancer or conditions that might develop into cancer.

One of the major causes of cervical cancer is Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and is usually transmitted through sexual activities. It is recommended that women have a pap smear preformed yearly after becoming sexually active or after reaching the age of 18.

“I went in for an annual exam feeling fine and three days later was informed that I had to come in for more tests,” said one said one SCC student on the Lincoln campus.

“I felt fine even after the next exam and biopsies, but the results came back abnormal,” she added.  “After testing every three months for a year, the tests finally came back cancerous. I still feel fine. I am very glad that this is the one area I do not skip to save money.”

There are many places that will perform these exams for a discounted rate.

Many feel like they are healthy, but cancer does not always show signs until it is too late.

Annual exams are a reliable way of identifying a serious problem or catching it early enough to cure it.

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