Women receive conflicting information about when it’s best to start breast and cervical cancer screenings. The reason why the information is conflicting is that circumstances can affect the age to begin the screenings and how often women should get the screenings. Thankfully, Eagle’s Landing OB/GYN has experienced staff who can recommend the best age to breast and cervical cancer screenings and who can make adjustments depending on a patient’s genetics and medical history.
Breast Cancer Screenings
Unless you have a history of breast cancer in your family, women shouldn’t worry about mammograms until they enjoy their 40th birthday. Physicians may recommend breast cancer screenings begin earlier for those with a family history of breast cancer or for breast cancer survivors. Before your 40th birthday, make sure to conduct breast self-exams each month after you turn 20. We can show you how to do a self-exam here at our medical offices.
Once you begin your breast cancer screening test, you shouldn’t need to have a mammogram again for another two-to-three years. We might recommend you get an annual mammogram if breast cancer runs in your family or we find a cyst in a previous mammogram. We may also recommend 3D mammograms if we find unidentifiable masses. As an aside, men should also have breast cancer screening done if breast cancer runs in their family.
Cervical Cancer Screenings
We know cervical cancer screenings aren’t fun which is why we wrote a blog post with tips to make your annual pap smear easier. Well, we just let the cat out of the bag in terms of duration: You should have a pap smear once a year. When should you begin getting pap smears, though? The general rule is to start getting pap smears after your 21st birthday, but this is definitely not set in stone. The bottom line is this: Get pap smears once you become sexually active because HPV causes cervical cancer.
As with breast cancer screenings, your family history and your medical history will play a role in your cervical cancer screenings. If you have a history of cervical cancer in your family, we may opt to start screening for the disease early and often. If you have had cervical cancer, again, the screenings will increase to make certain it doesn’t come back. Finally, help prevent cervical cancer by having your daughters vaccinated against HPV when they’re old enough.
We are Eagle’s Landing OB/GYN and we’re located in Stockbridge, GA. Call us today to schedule your breast and cervical cancer screenings. Our number is 770-474-1919.