Women are ambitious, beautiful, courageous, determine, generous, intelligent, powerful, selfless, strong and talented human beings.
How interesting is it that many women have the remarkable quality of being able to take care of everyone but themselves! How interesting is it that many women can work a demanding job(s), go home to meet the needs of their families, and be further greeted with a long task list of household chores? So many women go to bed exhausted, just to get up the next morning and do it all over again.
I’ve seen it across all ages and at various career stages. People who work tirelessly to ensure the well-being of their families, only to forget about their own health, and wellness. Women are known for taking care of everyone - and everything - but themselves. We’ve all been there.
But you need to know Louisiana ranks second highest in breast cancer and fourth in cervical cancer death rates – and one reason why is because women aren’t taking time for themselves. Regular screening tests can catch some cancers early, when they’re small, have not spread, and are easier to treat. That’s why it’s so important to take the time to talk with your doctor about screening for breast, and cervical cancer. Take charge of your own health and start by getting screened!
Below are the screening guidelines for average-risk women only. If you are experiencing breast symptoms or has a strong family history of breast or cervical cancer, you should talk to your doctor about when you should start screening and how often.
The American Cancer Society recommends that women 45 and older begin regular mammogram screenings. Women 40 - 44 who wish to be screened early should speak with their doctor about when to begin those screening mammograms.
When it comes to cervical cancer, although the leading health organizations differ somewhat in their recommendations regarding the frequency of a pap test routine screening, they all agree that women should begin screening at age 21 and continue through age 64.
Think: How can you best take care of your family, if you’re feeling under the weather or mentally stressed? Studies have shown that stress wreaks havoc on the mind and body. How can you tackle that assignment if you’re feeling overwhelmed? How can you eliminate the negativity in your life if you haven’t taken the time to unwind to identify it? Women are so used to running from task to task that some have forgotten to put themselves on their own list of priorities. Stop thinking that you’re being selfish. Realize there is enough time to do anything if you prioritize.
Don’t take your mental and physical health for granted. Understand and establish the connection between nutritious eating, physical activity for a healthy body weight and mind to lower your cancer risk, as well as your risk for other diseases, such as heart attack, stroke, diabetes and more.
Remember, it all starts with you by becoming an advocate for your own health. Visit LBCHP’s website at www.lbchp.org to get more information on testing locations and eligibility requirements.
Community Health Specialist