Prevention is better than cure.
For you to be healthy, various systems in your body need to work together and work well. The problem is that you can’t always judge how healthy you are by how well you feel. Take control of your health with routine screening tests like your yearly health check, a Pap smear every three years and, after 40. A mammogram every two years.
When you go for routine screenings tests, you’re rewarded with better knowledge about your health and a chance to improve it.
Screening tests for cancer
Breast cancer and cervical cancer are two of the most common cancers among women in South Africa. Luckily, there’s a good chance of recovery if you catch them early. By knowing your body, what’s normal for you and going for regular screenings, you can prevent cancer from sneaking up on you.
Pap smears can detect cervical cancer early
Early cervical precancers or cancers often have no signs or symptoms, which is why having a pap smear every three years is so important.
Pap smears can detect precancerous cells and cervical cancer. An abnormal cervical screening test does not mean you have cancer. Most abnormal results are caused by an infection or the presence of treatable precancerous cells, rather than cancer itself.
Mammograms reveal breast lumps that could be breast cancer
Women often detect breast lumps themselves before a doctor does. That’s why it is so important to examine your breasts each month for abnormalities. If you are younger than 40, you only need to go for a mammogram (breast X-ray) if you have a family history of breast cancer or feel a lump.
Catch other conditions before they start with the Health Check
You can ward off certain conditions before they take hold. A general health check measures your blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol and calculates your body mass index (BMI). These screening tests determine your risk for conditions like chronic high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity.
If you get a regular health check done and it shows you are at risk for developing certain conditions, you will be able to act and change your lifestyle where needed.
Don’t delay. Have your screening tests to catch conditions early before they have the chance to catch you.
South African Government. Women’s Month 2021.
World Health Organization. Human rights and health.
Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA). What you need to know about cervical cancer.
CANSA. Women & cancer.