Cancer screening saves lives
Our San Antonio OBGYNs encourage women to participate in cancer screening when it’s appropriate for them. Early detection makes cancer much easier to treat. There are a variety of screening tools that address women’s issues, such as breast and cervical cancer.
Mammograms are an essential breast cancer screening tool
Breast cancer screening involves three components because we recommend a multi-tier approach to cancer detection.
- Annual mammograms are best for women age 40 and over, unless they have additional risk factors that require the test earlier. Women who have a higher risk of breast cancer may benefit from a breast MRI as well.
- Clinical breast exams will take place during your annual wellness exam.
- You should practice breast self-awareness. This means that you familiarize yourself with the feel and look of your breasts so that you can note any changes and alert our San Antonio OBGYNs.
BRCA screening tests can also help save lives
BRCA genetic mutations are linked to a type of cancer known as hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome. Our San Antonio OBGYNs encourage patients who have risk factors to pursue this type of genetic testing and cancer screening. This test can help them determine whether they have this mutation, and it only requires a sample of blood or saliva.
A simple blood test can screen for Lynch syndrome
Lynch syndrome is a hereditary condition caused by a genetic mutation. This syndrome increases a woman’s risk of developing breast, ovarian, uterine and colorectal cancer. You may want to pursue genetic testing if you have multiple family members on one side of your family who have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, especially at a young age.
Pap smears can detect cervical cancer
In recent years, the cancer screening guidelines for cervical cancer have changed. However, preventing cervical cancer is just as important as it has ever been. Women no longer need to have an annual Pap smear. Instead, we follow the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists guidelines.
- If you are age 21 to 29, you will receive a Pap smear every three years as a screening tool.
- From ages 30 to 65, we recommend co-testing, which means we prefer to perform a Pap smear and a test for HPV every five years, but we can also perform a Pap smear without an HPV test every three years.
Our San Antonio OBGYNs always encourage appropriate cancer screening as part of well-woman preventative care. For more information on the cancer screening that is appropriate for you, contact us.