Pap Smear….Have you had one lately?

Did you know that having a pap smear done every year isn’t necessary?

What is a Pap smear?

A Pap smear (also called a Pap test) is a screening procedure for cervical cancer. It tests for the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells on the cervix, the opening of the uterus. It’s named after the doctor who determined that this was a useful way to detect signs of cervical cancer, Georgios Papanikolaou. During the procedure, cells from your cervix are gently scraped away and then examined for abnormal growth.

If you are between ages 21 and 29, you should get a Pap test every 3 years. If you are between ages 30 and 64, you should get a Pap test and human papillomavirus (HPV) test together every 5 years or a Pap test alone every 3 years. If you are 65 or older, ask your doctor if you can stop having Pap tests.

If you are HIV-positive or have a weakened immune system from chemotherapy or an organ transplant, you may need more frequent tests because of a higher risk of infections and cancer.

If you’re over 30 and have had three normal Pap tests in a row, ask your doctor about having one every five years if the test is combined with an HPV screening. Women over the age of 65 with a history of normal Pap test results may be able to stop having Pap smears in the future.

You should still get regular Pap smears even if you’re in a monogamous relationship. That’s because the HPV virus can be dormant for years, and then suddenly become active.

There are two possible results from a Pap smear: normal or abnormal. If your results are normal, you probably won’t need a Pap smear for another three years.

If the test results are abnormal, this doesn’t mean you have cancer. It simply means that there are abnormal cells on your cervix, some of which could be precancerous. Depending on what the test results show, your doctor may recommend increasing the frequency of your Pap smears, or getting a closer look at your cervical tissue with a procedure called colposcopy. This exam uses light and magnification to see vaginal and cervical tissues more clearly. In some cases, your doctor may also take a sample of your cervical tissue in a biopsy. Reference: (www.healthline.com)

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Skin Care

  How to Keep Your Skin Beautiful

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Your skin protects your body, but that’s not all. It’s the face you present to the world. When healthy, it’s a source of beauty. The choices you make every day — what you eat, where you go, how you feel — affect how your skin looks. Use this visual guide to keep your skin youthful, healthy, and wrinkle-free.

You’ve Got Food on Your Face

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Want good skin? Watch your diet. Higher intakes of vitamin C and a lower intake of fats and carbohydrates are associated with better appearance as your skin ages. Changing your diet will help your looks. Foods rich in antioxidants, such as fish, fruits, and vegetables, seem to help protect skin. Some studies suggest that to avoid breakouts, go for complex carbohydrates (like whole grains and pasta) and healthy protein. Dairy products are also known to cause acne flares.

Eat Your Vitamins

Photo Courtesy: energeticnutritrition.com
Photo Courtesy: energeticnutritrition.com

Your anti-aging cream may contain vitamin C or E. Put these antioxidants to work from the inside, too. Eating foods rich in these vitamins, plus the mineral selenium, can help protect your skin against sun damage. They may even help reverse signs of aging, like wrinkles and skin discoloration.

Run Away From Aging Skin

Exercise benefits every part of your body — including your largest organ, the skin. Working out improves circulation, helping nourish the skin. Better blood flow brings more oxygen and nutrients and may help your skin produce collagen, which staves off wrinkles. Don’t fret about sweat — exercise will not clog your pores. Wash your face right after a workout and avoid tight headbands, which can trap sweat and irritate skin. Read more here (http://www.webmd.com/beauty/face/ss/slideshow-skin-beauty)