Fredericksburg Parent

October 2017

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www.FredParent.NET 15 Sponsored Material Join us for the live conversation on Courtney Miller will be joining us for our Facebook live chat, Ask The Expert, this month! Watch our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook feeds for details! a sk t h e e x p e rt Q: At what age am I supposed to start getting mammograms? What is that process like? The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends: • Women ages 40 to 44 should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screen ings with mammograms if they wish to do so. • Women ages 45 to 54 should get mammo grams every year. • Women 55 and older should switch to mammograms every two years, or can continue yearly screening. • Screening should continue as long as a woman is in good health and is expected to live 10 more years or longer. Q: Can you tell us what is involved in the genetic testing for breast cancer and who should have it done? BRCA testing is a genetic test for patients with a family history of breast and/or ovar- ian cancer. This test is appropriate for patients who: • Have had family members under the age of 50 with breast cancer, or have three or more relatives of any age with breast cancer. • Patients with a family history of ovarian cancer, at any age. • Or if the patient has a personal history of breast and/or ovarian cancer. Q: Knowing your family cancer history is important. For those who are unable to get that history due to a closed adoption, separation from family, etc., would genetic testing be a good idea? It may be helpful. Each patient's personal history (such as a history of an abnormal mammogram and/or breast biopsy) is different. It would depend on the patient's symp- toms, medical history and whatever details they would possibly know about family. Q: We hear more and more about HPV and cervical cancer. Is this some- thing I should be worried about for my teen? I don't think you should be worried, but rather be informed about options. Every teenager in the U.S. (both boys and girls) has the HPV vaccination series avail- able to them, which they can obtain from their pediatrician or primary care office. Most health departments also offer HPV vaccinations. This is the first step in prevent- ing of the spread of HPV, which is a cause of cervical c ancer. At the age of 21, women start cervical cancer screening in the form of Pap and HPV testing. This should be performed yearly or as directed by your health care provider. Taking these preventative steps can greatly reduce the chances of your teenager, or you, developing cervical cancer. Q: If a Pap smear comes back abnormal, does that mean I am at a higher risk for cervical cancer? There are many different types of abnormal Paps and many different strains of HPV. If you have been told your Pap is "abnormal," take the steps in following up with your pap. There are cases where patients will come in multiple times over the course of 1–2 years following an abnormal pap. Be sure to get all your information about what abnormal Pap you had, and how your gynecologist would like you to follow up. Q: Do all strands of HPV cause cervical cancer? No, there are over 100 types of HPV and only a handful can cause cervical cancer. For more information on non-invasive procedures, including BRCA testing, please see us at Elite Women's Health by calling for an appointment at 540-940-2000. A mammogram itself only takes about 10 minutes and there is no recovery after. A mammogram is relatively painless procedure.

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