Ladies, listen up! When it comes to our health, we need to make ourselves a priority.
If you don’t remember the last time you paid a visit to your gynecologist, you should def make an appointment. September is Gynecological Cancer Awareness Month and it’s important to have regular checkups to know how healthy your body is and if you need to take any immediate action.
We know that a trip to the gyno is anything but comfortable…so just think of your appointment as a physical for your lady parts! We reached out to Dr. Sharyn Lewin, Gynecologic Oncologist at Holy Name Medical Center in New Jersey, to chat about why seeing the gynecologist is crucial and what happens if we skip our appointment.
Dr. Lewin said that a recent survey conducted by Genentech and the Foundation for Women’s Cancer found that almost half of women claimed they haven’t seen their gynecologist in the last 12 months because they couldn’t find the time. These annual visits are essential in maintaining reproductive health as well as learning about the early signs and symptoms of gynecological cancers.
If you’ve recently been to the gynecologist, they might have told you that pap smears can be done every three years instead of every year. Dr. Lewin notes, “Low risk women can space out pap smears but you still need to go to the gynecologist for a pelvic exam to feel uterus and ovaries, cancer prevention, and to maintain healthy lifestyle every year.”
Dr. Lewin told us that cervical cancer in the U.S. can be prevented. “If women were getting pap smears and annual exams regularly and getting the HPV vaccine, cervical cancer could be eradicated.” Checkups with the gynecologist isn’t just for your period health, when you’re pregnant, or need birth control — it could save your life.
Check Your Genetics
It’s important to know your genetic history. Dr. Lewin suggests asking your doctor for a cancer screening if you have a history of breast or cervical cancer in your family to test for the BRC gene. The BRC gene may make you more susceptible to specific types of cancer. Genetic testing is simple and can be done via blood or saliva testing.
xx, The FabFitFun Team