We know that diet and exercise are important for staying healthy, but how many of us are behind on one or more of our regular health screenings? Regular health screenings can help give you and your medical provider a picture of your overall health. If any health problems are spotted, most conditions tend to be more easily treated when detected early, so it’s worth making sure that you are checking all the boxes when it comes to annual screenings.
This may include monitoring your blood pressure and conducting lab work to evaluate any risk factors related to heart disease, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Based on other factors such as your family history, age, and other factors, your doctor can determine what screenings should be done to best monitor your health and provide appropriate and timely follow-up, diagnosis, and treatment.
For women, Cervical cancer screening is also important. Thanks to the Pap test and the highly effective HPV vaccine, the rates of cervical cancer deaths have decreased in the United States, which used to be one of the most common causes of cancer-related deaths. Regular screening can prevent cervical cancer by finding abnormal (precancerous) changes in the cervix cells, allowing for treatment before they become cancerous. This early detection allows for successful treatment. A pap test can also be done at the same time as an HPV test, and your provider can advise how often the HPV test needs to be done. Here at Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic, we can help women in Sevier County with this vital screening process, and help women connect with other resources if other treatment is needed.
Breast cancer screening is also particularly important, as this type of cancer ranks only behind skin cancer as the most common cancer among women in the U.S. Early detection is key, and a mammogram can detect breast cancer long before it can be felt and is usually done at the radiology department in your local hospital or imaging center. The American Cancer society advises women to receive a mammogram every year between the ages of 45-54, then every 2 years after the age of 55, and our medical staff can help coordinate the appointment for our patients. With only 76% of females receiving a breast cancer screening, increasing these breast cancer screening rates will be key to preventing breast cancer deaths in women. If you have a family history of breast cancer, as your medical provider about genetic counseling for breast and ovarian cancer.
Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic has served the uninsured of Sevier Country since 1999 and will continue to reduce barriers to health care for our residents. If it’s been more than a year since your last health screening, or if you have other health concerns, please contact us at (865)774-7684.