The Reproductive System: Care

By Hannah Lively

Mammogram

What diseases do breast exams/mammograms screen for?

They screen for breast cancer in women just to double check that they don't have cancer. Sometimes cancer doesn't show symptoms until it's too late. Mammograms are a way to possibly find and stop the cancer before it becomes deadly. There are two types of mammograms; one is done routinely (screening) and one is done if there is a suspicion of cancer (diagnostic).


Who should be getting these exams?

Women should be getting a regular breast exam (after they turn 50) every two years. If a woman is younger than 50, she should talk to her doctor about when to get her exams.


Starting at what age should someone begin each of these exams?

Screening should begin around the age of 50.


How often should someone get each of these exams?

A screening every two years and a diagnostic whenever your doctor says.

Pap Smear

What diseases do pap smears screen for?

Pap smears are used for examination of the cervix that identify infections and even cancer. They test by collecting a sample of mucus from the cervix and sending it off to a lab to be tested. Pap smears should be repeated throughout the woman's life to make sure everything is going well.


Who should be getting these exams?

Women should begin getting pap smears around the time they turn 21.


Starting at what age should someone begin each of these exams?

Pap smears should begin 21 years old.


How often should someone get an exam?

A woman should be tested every three years.

Testicular Exam

What diseases do testicular exams screen for?

Testicular exams screen for testicular cancer and can be done by a doctor or at home. The exam is done to see if any lumps have formed, the color has changed or anything is more tender in the testicles. If anything is found, even something as small as a grain of rice is found, the doctor will need to do a light test to find out if there is something wrong.


Who should be getting these exams?

Men should be getting these exams regularly.


Starting at what age should someone begin these exams?

Testicular exams should be done throughout the lifetime of the man, but testicular cancer tends to occur most often in guys aged 20-34.


How often should someone get these exams?

Men should get these exams (along with their physical) every 3-5 years, or when they find something abnormal in their self-exam.

Prostate Exam

What diseases do prostate exams screen for?

Prostate exams screen for prostate cancer and can only be given by a doctor. These exams help diagnose early on so that it can be treated. If prostate cancer is common in your family, then it is likely that you will get it too.


Who should be getting these exams?

Men should be regularly getting these exams, especially if the cancer runs in their family.


Starting at what age should someone begin these exams?

Men ages 40-70 should be getting prostate exams.


How often should someone get these exams?

Men should get a prostate exam every four years.