Preventive Care

By: Noah Simcoe


A Mammogram is an x-ray photo of the breast. Mammograms can be used to check for breast cancer in women who do not show any signs or symptoms of the disease. Getting screened early can reduce the number of deaths, and it is recommended to be looked at starting at age 40. When women are ages 50-75, they should be screened every 2 years with a mammogram, just to be safe. Breast cancer occurs when some of your breast cells begin growing abnormally, and they divide more rapidly than your healthy ones, creating a mass or lump. There is no certain way of preventing breast cancer, but maintaining a healthy diet, good body weight, and a lot of physical activity may lower your risk.

Pap Smear

A Pap Smear is a medical test that helps determine a girl has any problems with her cervix (lower part of the uterus that goes into the vagina). Pap Smears can show infections and other problems, along with abnormal cells that might turn into cancer if they're left untreated. Teens do not need Pap Smears, but when a women turns 21, she should start getting check-ups every 3 years (during her 20's). Pap Smears detect cervical cancer, or Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the country. HPV cervical cancer can be obtained when a girl makes skin-to-skin contact with someone who already has the HPV infection. To prevent getting an HPV infection, you can be vaccinated for HPV Prevention. The vaccines fight the types of HPV can cause the most common cervical cancers in women.

Testicular Exams

A testicular exams is when a guy's testicles are checked, to make sure they do not have any unusual lumps or bumps on them, which can be one of the first signs on testicular cancer. Testicular cancer is actually rare in teenage guys, but is the most common type of cancer in men aged 15 to 35. Checking your testicles every month is a healthy way of keeping updated on your normal size, and knowing if something changes in the future. It is not completely clear of what causes men to get testicular cancer, but it occurs when your healthy cells are altered. The altered cells then group up and form a mass in the testicles. The best way to prevent testicular cancer is to do regular check ups, and seek medical help as soon as you find a problem.

Prostate Exams

Prostate exams are screening tests that look for signs of prostate cancer. Prostate cancer screening can help show in you have cancer early, which can make treatment most effective. Men should be the ones getting prostate exams, and it is recommended for them between the ages of 40 to 75. Studies show that it is most effective to get an exam every 4 years, to makes sure everything is healthy. Prostate cancer cannot fully be prevented, but you can have a lower risk if you stay at a healthy weight, stay physically active, and consume a variety of fruits and vegetables daily.