Preventive Care

Alyssa Funderburk


A mammogram is an x-ray picture of the breast. Mammograms can be used to check for breast cancer in women who have no signs or symptoms of the disease. A mammogram is used to see if a women has breast cancer. Mammograms are not just for women but typically that is what they are for. Men's risk of breast cancer is so low that mammograms are not routinely recommended. Women 40 and about should get yearly mammograms. This recommendation was made because their is new evidence hat screening women between 40 and 50 probably did not save that many lives and only exposed women to unneeded radiation from the mammograms. The American Cancer Society recommends yearly screening mammograms starting at age 45 and counting for as long as you are in good health. Although the U.S Preventive Services Task Force recommends mammograms for women between the ages of 40 to 65 every two years.

Pap Smears

A Pap smear is a medical test that helps doctors figure out if there are any problems with a girls cervix ( the lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina). They can identify infections and other problems, including abnormal cells that may develop into cancer if they are not treated. Pap smears are only for women, because men don't have the parts to have a Pap smear. Once a girl turns 21, she should start getting a regular Pap smear as a way to monitor her health. Women in their 20s with normal Pap smear results should have the test every 3 year. Some women might need to get testes more often.

Testicular Exams

Testicular Exams are an easy way for guys to check their own testicles to make sure there are not any lumps or bumps. Testicular exams are only for men and not women. Having lumps or bumps could be a sign or lead to testicular cancer. Even though testicular cancer is rare in teenage guys, overall it is the most common cancer in makes between the ages of 15 and 35. It is always important to try to do a testicular self exam every month so you can become familiar with the normal size and shape of your testicles, making it easier to tell if something feels different or abnormal in the future.

Prostate Exams

Prostate cancer screening can help identify cancer early on, when treatment is more effective. And a normal PSA test, combined with a digital rectal exam, can help reassure you that its unlikely you have prostate cancer. In general it is recommend that men with an average risk of prostate cancer start being screened with a digital rectal exam and PSA blood levels at age 50. There is some evidence that African-American men should start being screened a decade earlier, at age 40. Men should get a prostate exam every 4 years.