During this exam a general physical is performed as well as a clinical breast exam and pap smear. Specifically the doctor is looking for anything out of the ordinary but especially for early signs of cancer of the breast, uterus, or cervix. Early diagnosis of any suspicious signs allows for prevention and leads to much more effective treatment of these conditions.
While it is important for women to perform monthly self-breast exams, it is equally important to have an annual clinical breast exam. Your physician may find breast abnormalities that you did not feel yourself. At this time the doctor can review proper technique of breast self exam and discuss imaging options such as mammogram or alternatives to mammograms such as breast thermography.
The PAP smear is a screening test that looks for any early sign of cancer cells on a womans’ cervix. The cervix is the passageway from the vagina to the uterus. Cells from the cervix are scraped off and ‘smeared’ on microscope slide. They are then evaluated under a microscope to look for any signs of changes suggesting cancer. Regular annual testing increases the likelihood that the early stages of cancerous changes to the cervix are identified rather than the later more dangerous types. The early changes can easily be effectively treated in the clinic with nutrition, botanicals, and constitutional hydrotherapy – thus changing the course away from danger and back to health.
The pap is a lifesaving test that has allowed early and effective treatment for millions, and has reduced the number of cervical cancer cases by 50%. The Pap smear only works however if women get tested, and only works effectively when this is done every year. If you are one of our female patients – ask yourself when you had your last Annual and Pap. If it has been more than a year than you are overdue.
If you are not due for your next Annual Well Woman’s Exam until later in the year, and you would like to have Dr. Melissa perform your Annual, just send her an email and let her know what month you are due. She will make a note of it, and when the time comes, the office staff will call you to schedule.