Hey Ladies!! I’m fresh out of the See, Test, & Treat event put on by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) Foundation!! Although I had to pop in, speak, and leave quickly to be able to make it to the Texas Association of Family Physician’s Annual Session & Primary Care Summit in Galveston, I was able to speak to a group of about 30 women about Sexual & Reproductive Health that’s pertinent specifically to women.
See, Test & Treat is a free cancer screening and health education program that brings the power of diagnostic medicine to underserved communities. Their signature program:
- Saves women’s lives through early detection
- Empowers families through preventive health care
- Connects communities with their healthcare providers
In a single-day, culturally appropriate program, women receive a pelvic and clinical breast exam, a Pap test with same-day results, a screening mammogram with same-day or prompt results, connection to follow-up care, interpretive services, translated educational materials, and a healthy meal.
Because I only had an opportunity to field a few questions before I had to leave, I felt it would be great if I could add this to my blog for people to share! It isn’t 100% inclusive of the conversation that we had at the event but I think it will plant some seeds!
In this talk, I educate about Safe Sex Practices, STDs/STIs, Cancers that affect Women majorly, Well Women Exams, Contraceptives, & General Tips that you should regard.
I do realize that our reproductive systems are usually either a touchy subject or a private matter in general, but there are a few things that you can do to protect yourself or catch things early. One of the biggest things you can do is pay attention to your body and really become familiar with it.
You can do personal breast exams (feel for lumps/hardness/tenderness, check for dimpling around the nipple, don’t ignore pain in the breast or armpit area) at home. Masses in or around your pubic area could be just a hair bump or could be something worse. Go get it checked out. Post-menopausal menstruation is always reason for a doctor’s visit.
If you aren’t that familiar with everything or you can’t see certain parts of your body, 9 times out of 10, your partner is!! Have them do regular checks of your body or ask them to even mention when they notice a change outside of those checks.
Lastly, especially for those that are sexually active, regardless of your sexual preference or whatever he/she says, ALWAYS USE PROTECTION and always inquire about status/get tested!! Herpes, HPV, & HIV are nothing to play around with. HPV is one of the most associated diseases of Cervical cancer. No amount of fun or spontaneity is worth your happiness, livelihood, or life. & if something does happen, go get treated.
Embarrassment shouldn’t be a reason to possibly infect others. If you don’t know of ways to protect yourself, ask your physician, DM me, or if all else fails, there’s always a quick Google search that can fix that! Condoms & dental dams are only two great examples!
Breast cancer is definitely a detrimental disease to women (& men alike) but there are definitely other prevention/screening techniques that need our attention as well. Take the time out to protect yourself, make an appointment with your Ob/Gyn, and get tested. I’m not only speaking of HIV when I say, “KNOW YOUR STATUS!”
Remember: EARLY DETECTION SAVES LIVES
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AWARENESS IS KEY!
If you have questions, feel free to comment here because 9 times out of 10 someone else has the same question. If you don’t feel comfortable commenting here, shoot me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org!!! Everything people discuss with me stays private!!!
SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!!! This could save someone’s life!!