Do you have smoke alarms installed in your home? Do you have a home security system? Do you own a car, homeowners, health or life insurance policy? Most likely, you have answered yes to many or all of these questions. All of these things mentioned above are examples of preventive measures we take everyday to protect our safety and financial security and the safety and health of our family members. However, as woman, many of us seem to take care of everyone else around us and yet neglect our own health. This is because as mothers, wives and busy working professionals, we are often pulled in many directions. In addition to our roles as mothers, wives and employees, many of us are also caring for our aging parents. This does not leave a lot of time for ourselves. Most likely, your children are up-to-date on all of their vaccinations and have visited the doctor once a year for their annual well visits. So, when was the last time you went to the doctor for a physical and pelvic examination?
When it comes to women’s health, the old saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is certainly true. As women, we are susceptible to a number of health problems that are highly treatable, if they are detected early. These include breast cancer, cervical cancer, hormonal imbalance, depression, anxiety, uterine fibroids, Osteoporosis and more. The key is to visit the doctor for your annual checkup and to receive any needed screenings at the intervals recommended by your doctor. If you have a strong history of breast cancer or have elevated risk factors for this type of cancer, your doctor may recommend that you get mammography screenings more often than someone with lower risk factors. If you are a smoker or have a thin body frame and are past the age of Menopause, your doctor may recommend that you get a bone density test to look for signs of Osteoporosis. Again, the key to treating this disease is to provide treatment before a fracture has occurred. If you have had an abnormal Pap test in the past, your doctor may recommend that you come in more often for regular Pap testing. In all these cases, early detection is the key. However, early detection cannot occur if you don’t visit the doctor.
If you have been busy taking care of everyone else and have neglected your own health, today is the day to start taking care of yourself. After all, if you are not around, who is going to take care of all the people in your life who need special care? The best gift you can give to your loved ones is to take care of your own health!
Posted on behalf of Dr. Carlos Alarcon, Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A.
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