- Women’s Health
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- Nurse Barb
Why is this important?
What is a Pap Smear?
When a woman has a Pap smear, a very small amount of cells are collected from her cervix. This is usually painless and takes less than a minute. The cells are then evaluated for any changes that could indicate a pre-cancerous or cancerous condition. The cells can also be checked to see if they’ve been infected with HPV, Human Papilloma Virus, which can lead to cervical cancer.
How often should a women have a Pap Smear?
These are the Guidelines from the American Cancer Society
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Disclosure: I am working with Hologic, the providers of Thin Prep Pap smears and the Aptima HPV assay.
Yearly Fearly Mammograms
I have a mammogram every year because I’m at high risk for breast cancer. As many of you know my mom had breast cancer when she was 32. I was 5 at the time and remember being cared for by relatives as she recovered.
Fortunately, she recovered after having a radical Halstead mastectomy and was free from Breast cancer for the rest of her life. I’m fairly certain that I chose nursing as a profession in small part because of the glowing way she described the nurses who cared for her. Growing up with the knowledge that there were many women in my mom’s family with breast cancer, including my own mother who found a small hard lump in the shower in her early 30’s absolutely adds to my anxiety every spring when I have my annual mammogram.