What is a Cancer Screening?
Cancer screening involves having your body checked for cancer before you have symptoms. It’s important to talk with your doctor at Louisiana Women’s Healthcare about the timing of your cancer screenings, as frequency often depends on your medical and family history and any previous results.
How Often Should I Be Screened for Gynecological Cancer?
The gynecological cancer screenings available include:
- Cervical Cancer: You should begin cervical cancer screenings around age 21. Between the ages of 21 and 29, cervical cancer screening should occur every three years. When you reach age 30, screenings decrease to every five years, as long as your results have come back typical, until you reach age 65. Screenings stop at that point, as long as you’ve not had abnormal results.
- Uterine Cancer: When you begin menopause, your doctor at Louisiana Women’s Healthcare informs you of the risks and symptoms of uterine cancer, including abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge, as well as pelvic pain and pressure. Some women require yearly endometrial biopsies.
- Ovarian Cancer: While there aren’t any cancer screening tests available for ovarian cancer, your doctor checks your ovaries during your pelvic exam. Additionally, the doctors at Louisiana Women’s Healthcare rely on the common symptoms of bloating, abdominal pain, and a change in your urinary symptoms to help them detect ovarian cancer.
- Vaginal and Vulvar Cancer: Like ovarian cancer, there are currently no cancer screening tests available for vaginal and vulvar cancer. Therefore, the best way to find out if you have these types of cancer is to get regular check-ups, which include a pelvic exam that allows your doctor to look for lumps or changes in your vagina, as well as changes in the skin of your vulva.
Why Have Gynecological Cancer Screenings?
It’s important to undergo regular cancer screens because treatment works best if your cancer is caught early. Moreover, there’s no definitive way to know who is more likely to get any of the different types of gynecologic cancer and each type has its own unique set of risk factors.
If you need a cancer screening whether it’s time or because you’re experiencing symptoms, call or make an appointment online today at Louisiana Women’s Healthcare in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.