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Women's Health Week: Screenings Recommended to Stay Healthy

Women’s health, a topic that is important year-round, takes the spotlight during National Women’s Health Week. The observance, which takes place on May 12 - May 18, 2024, shines a light on health issues and priorities affecting women and girls across the lifespan.

Women face unique health challenges but are often overlooked. Let’s empower every woman to be their self-advocate for better health.

The 2024 theme is “Empowering Women, Cultivating Health: Celebrating Voices, Wellness, and Resilience,” which aims to support women and girls to feel empowered in their health journey which includes physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Let’s focus on self-care, preventive screenings, and healthy habits. Let's support each other in prioritizing our physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Here is a list of preventative screenings recommended for women:

Mammograms: A mammogram is an x-ray picture of the breast that can be used to check for breast cancer in women who have no signs or symptoms of the disease or after a lump or other symptoms are found. The X-ray images often make it possible to detect tumors that cannot be felt. Besides a lump, signs of breast cancer can include breast pain, thickening of the skin of the breast, nipple discharge, or a change in breast size or shape; however, these signs may also be signs of benign conditions. Buncombe County’s Breast And Cervical Cancer Control Program provides free mammograms, chest and cervical exams, pap smears, and HPV testing to women and transgender people. Click the link above to learn about eligibility requirements which include those with no insurance and those with incomes below 250% of the federal poverty level. 

Colonoscopies: The American Cancer Society recommends that women (and men) who are at an average risk for colon cancer begin screening at age 45 and then receive a colonoscopy once every 10 years until age 75 if they are in generally good health. A colonoscopy is a procedure a doctor uses to look at the inside of the colon and rectum with a colonoscope, which is a long, flexible tube about the width of a finger with a light and small video camera on the end. Click this link to learn more. 

Women’s Health Exam: It is recommended that women schedule a well-woman visit with their doctor or nurse every year as it is an important way to help them stay healthy. The visit includes a full checkup and focuses on preventive care for women, which may include vaccines, screening tests, and education and counseling to help you make informed health decisions.

Skin Cancer Screening: Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. Screening is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms. This can help find cancer at an early stage. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat. By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have begun to spread. Screening tests are given when you have no cancer symptoms. During a skin exam, a doctor or nurse checks the skin for moles, birthmarks, or other pigmented areas that look abnormal in color, size, shape, or texture. If a screening test result is abnormal, you may need to have more tests done to find out if you have cancer. These are called diagnostic tests. Schedule a screening test today if you have not had one in a year.

Here's to strong, healthy women everywhere!

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Updated May 16, 2024 02:10 PM
Published May 13, 2024 11:00 AM

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