You should always consult your physician to determine the appropriate screening tests and intervals. Guidelines change and your doctor will customize the recommendation to your specific case to keep you in good health. Women’s health needs can change considerably over a lifetime due to hormonal changes that take place during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. Services by our Manhattan primary care doctors and internists in NYC are adjusted to accommodate all life stages based on your age, your health history and your family medical history, and other risk factors. The purpose of these services is to help encourage a healthy lifestyle, and to help you avoid problems in the future.
Breast Cancer Screening
Breast cancer is unfortunately common, and the tests recommended are dependent on your age, your family history, and if you have received any previous diagnoses of breast cancer that could increase your risk.
Screening aims to detect signs of breast cancer even when there are no symptoms as our goal is to catch any signs of cancer as soon as possible.
Regular screening can reduce the risk of death from this disease, as early-stage breast cancers are much easier to treat than more advanced cancers, and the survival rates are much higher.
Breast cancer screening is usually done using mammography along with other testing as needed and recommended by your doctor. That said, mammograms aren’t perfect, and they can miss some signs of cancer or can detect signs that aren’t cancer (a false positive result). They may also find cancers that are very low risk, and which wouldn’t have caused any health problems if they weren’t found or treated.
What Is the Best Age to Start Having Mammograms?
Everybody is different, and there isn’t a universal age at which you are recommended to have your first breast cancer screening.
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A mammogram only takes a few moments to complete, and although it may be momentarily uncomfortable as the breast tissue is squeezed between two plates, it shouldn’t feel painful. Monthly self-checks are also useful in detecting any changes to the breast tissue that could occur in between screenings.
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Annual Gynecological Exam
Every women’s annual exam or physical checkup should include an annual gynecological exam.
A Pap test or smear is used to screen for cervical cancer. The Pap smear can be taken during your pelvic exam, removing a sample of cells from your cervix using a small scraper, spatula, or brush. The cells are analyzed by a pathologist under a microscope to check for any changes that require further investigation. The test should only feel mildly uncomfortable and is an important part of your health checkup. You will be referred to a gynecologist for this exam.
Women’s Health Guidance for Patients in NYC
Please make an appointment at one of our convenient locations in Midtown Manhattan or Upper East Side with our primary care physicians. Our general practitioners and internist doctors look forward to meeting you!
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