Reproductive Health

Olivia Dorothy

Pap Smears

A pap smear is a medical test that helps doctors figure out if there is any problems with the cervix. Pap smears can identify infections and other problems, including abnormal cells that may develop int cancer if they are not treated. The test is preformed by a doctor who wipes a sample of mucus from the cervix, the sample is then sent to a lab where it is checked for cells that are not normal. When a woman turns 21 it is recommended that they get a pap smear and continue to get one every 3 years unless a doctor advises you otherwise.

Testicular Exams

A testicular self examination is an easy way for guys to check their own testicles to make sure there aren't any unusual lumps or bumps which can be the first sign of testicular cancer. This type of cancer is most common in males between the age of 15 and 35. Self examinations should start at age 15 and continue every month so that the male can become familiar with the normal size and shape of the testicles, making it easier to tell if something feels different or abnormal in the future. Lumps or swelling may not be cancer but they should be checked out by your doctor as soon as possible. Testicular cancer is almost always curable if it is caught and treated early which is why it is very important to do self examinations every month.

Prostate Exams

Prostate testing helps identify prostate cancers at their earliest stages. There are two types of prostate exams, one is a digital rectal exam. This test includes the doctor examining your prostate through the rectum, if any abnormalities are found in the texture, size or shape of the gland then more tests will need to be done. Another test is the prostate specific antigen, this is when a blood sample is drawn from a vein in the prostate gland and analyzed for PSA. Most medical organizations recommend that men get prostate cancer screening in their 50's or even earlier for men that that risk factors for prostate cancer. It is encouraged that a man gets a prostate exam every four years.

Mammograms

A mammogram is an x-ray picture of the breast that can be used to check for breast cancer in women who have no signs or symptoms of the disease. There are two types of mammograms, one is a screening mammogram which typically involves two images of the breasts, and these pictures make is possible to find tumors that cannot be felt. A diagnostic mammogram is a type of mammogram that can be used to determine if cancer is present after a lump or other symptoms of the disease is noticeable. Mostly women are the ones that receive mammograms and it is a very helpful test when determining if breast cancer is present. It is recommended that a woman starts getting a mammogram at 45 and continues to get one every two years as long as the woman is in good health.