Preventative Health Care
Mammograms are screenings that are done on a woman's breasts. They screen for breast cancer. There are two types of mammograms, screening and diagnostic. A screening mammogram checks for breast cancer in women where it is not already present or has developed. A diagnostic mammogram is used to check for breast cancer after a lump or symptom has already been detected.
Mammograms are only done on women. Women should begin getting mammograms done when they are around the age of 50 and have them done every 2 years until they are 74.
Breast cancer is more common in those with certain risk factors but the exact cause of the disease is unknown. Some of the risk factors include inherited and acquired gene mutations. Breast cancer cannot be prevented but there are still things you can do to catch it early like getting mammograms as often as needed and feeling for lumps on the breasts.
Only women get these exams. They should begin having them done when they turn 21 and women with normal results should get them done every 3 years.
Cervical cancer, one of the diseases a pap smear screens for, is almost always caused by human papilomavirus (HPV). The pap smear helps detect a change in cells that can become cancerous. HPV is contracted through sexual contact so one way to prevent getting Cervical cancer is to use protection or abstain.
Only men get these exams and they should have them once a month starting at the time they are in their early teen years. They can perform a testicular self-examination on themselves.
Testicular cancer is caused when some cells develop abnormalities and grow too quickly. There is no way to prevent testicular cancer but you can do regular testicular exams and check for abnormalities and catch it early if there are any signs. Also, being aware of the symptoms of testicular cancer can help prevent developing severe testicular cancer.
Only men get prostate exams and they should get them done every 4 years between the ages of 40 and 75.
Prostate cancer is caused when the PSA (prostate-specific agent) levels are elevated because the cells are producing to much of it causing it to become cancerous. Prostate cancer cannot be prevented all together but it can be stopped by catching it early by getting regular prostate exams.