You’ve got 15 minutes; 15 minutes to get a ‘health check’. You might only get one chance in your busy schedule to sort out what’s going on ‘under the bonnet’ (so to speak), once a year! What on earth should you ask your doctor during those precious 15 minutes, that will give you peace of mind for the year ahead? I’ve come up with a little list to get you started: boobs, butt, baby.
Unfortunately, 1 in 9 of Australian women will develop breast cancer. It’s quite a shocking statistic. Around half of breast cancers are picked up by the woman or her doctor as a new breast lump or change; the other half by screening programs. Studies have shown that routine ‘self-breast checks’ by women don’t really reduce mortality. However, being familiar with your breasts and how they feel and look is very important. If you notice a change – see your doctor. 3
For people with no immediate family history of breast cancer, get these guys checked once every 1-2 years by your doctor. My doctor is all about efficiency and likes to do a breast check every two years.
If a close relative has breast cancer, please let your doctor know, and they may schedule more frequent breast examinations for you. If you are 50 or over, with no family history, screening mammography (a type of x-ray specifically designed to examine the breast) is recommended every two years. 3,4
When I say ‘butt’ what I really mean is ‘down there’… ie your vagina and cervix!
Your cervix is a donut-shaped ring located in the top of your vagina. It’s like the gateway to your uterus. Unfortunately, the cervix is vulnerable to developing abnormal cells if exposed to certain strains of the Human Papilloma Virus (strains 6, 11, 16, 18). If left unchecked, this can develop into cancer. Unfortunately, I have seen young children lose their mothers to HPV.
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