Women

Knowledge Is Power

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The dental check-up

How often? Between three months for those with active disease and two-years for those with a very healthy mouth.

What happens: your dentist will look at your neck and face and feel under your jaw. They’ll examine your mouth and check your teeth have no signs of decay, erosion or damage, and that previous work is sound. You’ll also be checked for signs of gum inflammation or disease. Then they’ll explain any treatment, your options and the cost. ‘the outcome of a check-up is usually less than people expect,’ Dr. Carter says. ‘it may just be a scale and polish and possibly small fillings.’

Between three months for those with active disease and two years for those with a very healthy mouth.

Between three months for those with active disease and two-years for those with a very healthy mouth.

Take control: make sure you eat before you go to avoid feeling faint in the chair. Listening to music while you’re having treatment may help.

Don’t put it off because...

Gum disease has been linked to cancer, heart disease and pregnancy complications, ‘regular check-ups will also reduce the risk of needing expensive restorative work later in life,’ says Dr.  Carter.

The smear test

How often? Routine smears are recommended every three years for women who are over 25 and every five years for women who are over 49.

What happens: a cervical smear takes about 10 minutes. You lie on the couch and the doctor or nurse will ask you to bend your knees up and let your legs flop out. They will then insert a plastic instrument called a speculum, which is usually covered in lubricating jelly. This is opened up and they’ll brush a tiny brush on the cervix to collect cells. If you need sti swabs, these can be taken at the same time.

Routine smears are recommended every three years for women who are over 25 and every five years for women who are over 49

Routine smears are recommended every three years for women who are over 25 and every five years for women who are over 49

Take control: go mid-cycle and don’t worry if you haven’t had a wax! ‘we aren’t bothered that you haven’t shaved your legs or aren’t in your best pants,’ says Dr. Mckenna.

Don’t put it off because...

Cervical cancer has no symptoms in its early stages, and women tend to dismiss common signs. A study by Jo’s cervical cancer trust found that just 33 per cent of women would see a gp if they experienced a symptom of cervical cancer, such as irregular bleeding or painful sex.

The skin check

How often? About once a year, and preferably in winter when you’re less likely to have a tan.

What happens: the check starts with some background history to assess your risk. You’ll then change into your underwear to allow the nurse to check your skin from top to toe. ‘we photograph any lesions that don’t meet nice guidelines,’ explains Rebecca max well, a screening nurse at the mole clinic (themoleclinic.co.uk), ‘then we’ll go through guidelines on preventing and detecting skin cancer.’ you’ll receive your results via email or post one to three days later.

About once a year, and preferably ¡n winter when you’re less likely to have a tan

About once a year, and preferably in winter when you’re less likely to have a tan

Take control: nervous? Don’t be shy. ‘ring beforehand to ask any questions you have,’ tips Rebecca.

Don’t put it off because...

Skin cancer has more chance to spread the longer it’s ignored, and if left untreated, it can be fatal.

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