This month signs of various forms have been bringing me messages. Crocuses popping up indicating spring is truly here. Ducks literally walking down the middle of the road reminding me to slow down. An oriole pecking at my window, then my front door reminding me to get outside and put bird food out 😊. Other messages have been more obvious in the form of letters – ‘now that you’re 50 you are eligible for breast screening’. ‘Just a reminder you are due for your routine Pap test’. The most important ‘signs’ or signals are blatantly obvious or subtle. Are you paying attention to your signs?
Women are often the last to take care of themselves or pay attention to the body signals begging for attention. For breast and cervical health, screening exams are important to keep up to date. I always ask patients ‘Do you know your breasts?‘ Blush, squirm, giggle….it’s a valid question. No-one should know your breasts more than you. You or your partner often are the first to notice subtle changes…a little lump, a dimple, skin color change, unusual discomfort, nipple discharge. These are signs that need to be investigated – early detection is key.
The same goes for vaginal health. Do you know what is normal for you? If there are any changes with discharge, odor, discomfort during sexual intimacy, or pelvic pain in general, please get it assessed. No question is off limits…no question is embarrassing. And keep up to date on your PAP test. Cervical cancer is preventable – 15 minute examinations are way easier to tolerate than perhaps a lengthy illness or hospitalization or worse.
So please pay attention to the ‘signs’ your body is sending you. I am happy to provide women’s health assessments/Pap tests to anyone that does not have a provider. Please contact the office to book an appointment or if you have further questions.
www.knowyourlemons.org for information on signs of breast cancer
www.choosingwiselycanada/paptests.org for more information
Dana Clay, NP