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8 Essential Screenings for Women

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It’s always better to be early! That adage was likely drilled into your head as a little girl by your mother. However, it holds true, particularly when it comes to catching certain women’s diseases—such as cervical and breast cancer, osteoporosis early.

Oftentimes, the quicker you catch an issue; the easier it is to treat before it becomes a more serious illness. The following screening tests are considered essential for women—especially because many of these eight tests can diagnose a problem before you even show signs of symptoms…

1. Pap Smear

Pap smears examine the cervix (the tunnel that links the uterus (or womb) and the vagina (the birth canal) for abnormal cells that can become cervical cancer. During a pap smear, your doctor will scrape your cervical cells for human papillomavirus (HPV), an STD and the main cause of cervical cancer as well as examine the passageway for any abnormal cells  (i.e., endometriosis) and send them to a lab for analysis. Most women begin yearly paps at age 21 and then, if healthy, get them biannually (every 2 years) after.

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