Back to School Exams for Busy Moms
One choice could make a big impact on local moms in the East Bay Area. Remembering to make their health a priority – even just one time a year – can put parents' well-being back on the ever-growing “to do list.” Epic Care, a local oncology group, is partnering with the American Cancer Society to remind moms this August to schedule the three annual exams no woman should skip. The “Choose You” campaign challenges women to make smart lifestyle changes to prevent cancer & other health issues.
This August, Epic Care is joining the American Cancer Society’s new Choose You campaign and encouraging women to make an appointment for their own annual exams. Nicola Ally, M.D., and Amanpreet Buttar, M.D., are sharing the three tests every woman should schedule no matter how hectic the calendar gets.
“The Choose You campaign is a great reminder for women that it’s a necessity to take care of themselves, not a luxury,” explains Dr. Ally, a Radiation Oncologist at Epic Care.
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), breast cancer is the most common form of cancer for women, second only to skin cancer. The organization also says mammography is the single most effective method of early detection for the disease.
“This method, especially when combined with self-examinations, can identify cancer several years before physical symptoms develop,” says Dr. Ally.
By 20, women should be conducting monthly self-exams and having a clinical exam every three years. Women over 40 should schedule a yearly mammogram.
“If we detect the disease early enough, women can have up to a 99 percent survival rate. That’s reason enough for me schedule my own exams,” Dr. Ally declares.
The ACS estimates over 12,000 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2012 alone.
“Until the pap test became common practice, cervical cancer caused more deaths than any other female cancer,” explains Dr. Buttar, a Medical Oncologist at Epic Care. “The pap test allows physicians to catch the disease at its earliest and most treatable stage.”
“Even just 30 minutes in the sun this summer without sunscreen increased your risk for melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer,” Dr. Buttar warns.
The ACS recommends wearing SPF 15 every day to prevent sunburns and skin cancer. While it is the most common form of cancer, it is also the most preventable. It is important to watch out for new or changing moles and communicate anything suspicious to a dermatologist.
Dr. Buttar suggests, “Take five minutes a week before your shower to check moles, freckles and sun spots. It’s also a good idea to keep an annual appointment for an overall skin exam.”
Dr. Ally says women need to carve out time in their busy schedule for these exams. “It’s very easy to say ‘I’ll just do it next year’ and postpone it. But taking an hour of your yearly calendar could make a big difference in your health.”
To learn other ways to make a Choose You pledge, visit www.ChooseYou.com.