By Yuna Muyindo, Community Health Blogger
As young women, ranging from 18 to 24 years of age, we tend to believe that we are invincible to common diseases. It is important to understand that the most effective method of primary prevention is getting screened regularly. An early diagnosis can lead to a better prognosis.
According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), seven percent of all breast cancer cases are found in young women. Usually, under most health insurance plans, mammograms are not covered until a patient reaches 40 years of age unless otherwise requested by a primary care physician. For this reason, it is important to understand the need for routine self-examinations and knowing your body. It is also important for women within this age range to receive well-woman exams on a yearly basis. Since breast exams are included in the well-woman exams, yearly well-woman exams are a primary method of prevention for breast cancer. Pap smears, pelvic exams and STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) testing are essential pieces of the well-woman exam that are imperative to the early diagnosis of any disease. If a disease goes untreated for an extended period of time, the disease itself can progressively get worse and in some cases become fatal. This can all be avoided if routine screenings are performed.
In conclusion, receiving well-woman exams should be a given regardless of whether or not they are sexually active. As stated by Charles Mayo “The prevention of disease today is one of the most important factors in line of human endeavor.”