Gynecologists Encourage Women to Get Regular Gynecological Cancer Screenings

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) – Gynecologists are encouraging women to get regular gynecological cancer screenings.

Each year in the United States, nearly 90,000 women are diagnosed with gynecological cancers and more than 29,000 die from them, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“You should start having pap smears at age 21,” said Dr. Evon Schexnaydra, obstetrician-gynecologist for Aspirus Health.

Dr. Schexnaydre said women 21 and older should get checked in for a pelvic exam every year.

“And then we do smears every 3 years after that,” Dr. Schexnaydre said.

The OB/GYN said these tests are essential for preventing and detecting gynecological cancers, or cancers that start in a woman’s reproductive organs.

“It’s the ovaries, the uterus, the fallopian tubes, the vagina. Anything in the female pelvis,” Dr. Schexnaydre said.

She said there are warning signs women can look for to detect gynecological cancers.

“Vaginal bleeding, pelvic pressure, changes in bowel habits, pain with intercourse, bleeding after intercourse,” Dr. Schexnaydre said.

The goal is to educate women about warning signs and the importance of early detection.

“Usually postmenopausal women are at higher risk for gynecological cancers,” Dr. Schexnaydre said.

Dr. Schexnaydre said there are certain preventive measures that women can take to avoid getting gynecological cancer. One of them is to live a healthy life.

“So you don’t want to smoke. You want to try changing your diet. You want to try to have a healthy diet,” Dr. Schexnaydre said.

She also said maintaining a healthy weight and exercising can help reduce the risk of cancer.

“You want to eliminate unhealthy things. Things that have a lot of chemicals in them,” Dr. Schexnaydre said.

Dr. Schexnaydre said if your family has a history of gynecological cancers, you can get checked out to see if you are predisposed to a certain type of cancer.

“So if you’re a carrier, we can tell you in your lifetime that you should have,” Dr. Schexnaydre said.

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