Whether you are a male or a female, there are fundamental things that you should do to keep yourself healthy. For both men and women, a good diet along with exercise are essential for a healthy mind and body. However, males and females are different, and there are some things that women should do that have nothing to do with men when it comes to maintaining good health. Here are two tips to stay healthy as a woman:
Regular Pap Smears
A doctor by the name of Georgios Papanikolaou invented the term “pap smear.” A pap smear is a procedure to determine if a woman has signs of cervical cancer, most often caused by the HPV virus. Using an instrument, a gynecologist gently removes some cells from the cervix and has them tested by a lab. The procedure, which is done in a gynecological doctor’s office and which begins at around 21 years of age, may be slightly uncomfortable, but never painful. If the test is normal, the patient simply needs to return at a date determined by the doctor, which is anywhere from one year to five years depending on the patient. For example, if a patient is HIV positive, a physician may want that patient to come in more frequently than a healthy patient. If the result of the exam is abnormal, further medical care needs to be done to determine if the abnormality is cancerous or not. Although younger women are encouraged to come in for regular pap smears, women after the age of 65 may no longer need to get pap smears.
Another medical procedure that every woman should have is a mammogram. A mammogram is a test that a woman undergoes to determine if she has breast cancer. A mammogram is pictures of the breast taken with an x-ray machine. The procedure is done on healthy breasts simply as part of an annual appointment, or the procedure is done if a woman is complaining of a lump or pain on her breast. Women, between the ages of 40 and 70, are highly encouraged to get regular mammograms every two years. Younger women, under the age of 40, are not encouraged to come in for mammograms unless they have a history of breast cancer or are at high risk. However, in addition to mammograms, women are encouraged to give themselves self-breast exams, because in some cases, mammograms can’t find everything. The results of a mammogram can be negative or benign, which means simply coming back for a regular checkup in a couple of years. But if the results are abnormal or malignant, it means there will be the need for a biopsy and if necessary, treatment for breast cancer.
Women die every year of cervical cancer and breast cancer. So in addition to eating right and exercising, it’s important for a woman to keep up with certain medical procedures, and those include pap smears and mammograms on a regular basis.