PAP SMEAR: TEST LOOKS FOR PRESENCE OF PRECANCEROUS CELLS

A Pap smear is a procedure that screens for cervical cancer. Most women should start getting Pap smears at age 21 years and every three years after. It should be a part of your annual physical exam. The test looks for the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells on the cervix, the opening of the uterus or womb. During the procedure, cells from the cervix are scraped away. It is not painful and takes less than 10 minutes to complete. You may bleed a little after the test is completed.

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WHAT IS A MEDICARE WELLNESS EXAM?

A Medicare Wellness Exam is a preventative screening visit your provider wants you to have once a year. This visit is free and is separate from your annual physical exam (if your plan covers annual physicals). Traditional Medicare does not pay for a physical – it only covers a Wellness Exam.  What is a Wellness Exam? The visit is covered once every 12 months (11 full months must have passed since your last visit). It is designed to help prevent disease and disability based on your current health....

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ORAL HERPES

Oral herpes is an infection caused by a specific type of the herpes simplex virus. This condition, also called HSV-1 or sometimes cold sores or fever blisters, creates painful sores on your lips, gums and tongue, as well as the roof of your mouth and sometimes the inside of your cheeks. It may even affect your nose and chin. Symptoms of oral herpes include swelling in the lymph nodes, fever, tiredness and aching muscles. While the initial infection with oral herpes occurs most often in children ages 1-2 years, ….

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ENDOMETRIOSIS

during puberty.


Some women who have had a hysterectomy or C-section develop endometriosis when endometrial cells attach to a surgical incision. Women with immune system disorders can also develop endometriosis when the body does not recognize and destroy endometrial-like tissue that grows outside the uterus.


Several factors increase the risk of developing endometriosis. These include early onset of menstruation; shortened menstrual cycles (less than 27 days); heavy menstrual periods that last longer than seven days; and going through menopause at an older age. Women who have not given birth to a child also have a higher risk of developing endometriosis. The risk increases if some of your female relatives have had endometriosis.


Infertility affects about 30 percent to 40 percent of women with endometriosis. The disorder may block the fallopian tube, making it impossible for egg and sperm to meet. Endometriosis also seems to affect fertility by damaging the sperm or egg. Some researchers think the escaped endometrial tissue upsets the

process of ovulation. However, many women who have mild to moderate endometriosis can still conceive and carry a pregnancy to term. Doctors may advise women with endometriosis not to delay having children because the condition may worsen with time and make it harder to conceive.


Consult with your doctor about your endometriosis diagnosis and treatment. For more infor- mation, visit the Web site of the Endometriosis Association at www.endometriosisassn.org.

JENNIFER BATTEN, APRN.

Jennifer Batten, APRN, is originally from Cynthiana, Ky. She is married to her 8th grade sweetheart and has two daughters. Jennifer received her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 2004 and her master’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University in 2017. She worked for over 12 years as a neonatal, nursery, pediatric and ICU nurse. Jennifer enjoys pediatric medicine, preventive medicine, urgent care, weight management and women’s health. She can see patients of all ages. Jennifer is available for new patient visits and preventive adult visits, as well as annual physicals and routine office visits. She will see patients primarily at our Brannon Crossing office at 615 East Brannon Road.

What causes endometriosis? The search is ongoing. One theory suggests endometrial tissue moves from the uterus to other parts of the body through the lymph or blood systems. Another theory proposes that remnants of tissue from embryonic development may later evolve into endometriosis. Displaced endometrial cells may attach to the pelvic walls and the surfaces of the pelvic organs, such as the bladder, ovaries and rectum. They continue to grow, thicken and bleed over the course of the menstrual cycle in response to hormonal changes.


An alternative theory hypothesizes that during menstruation, some of the menstrual blood that contains endometrial cells backs up through the fallopian tubes, implants in the abdomen and pelvic cavity and grows. This is called retrograde menstruation. Normally, menstrual blood flows out from the uterus through the cervix and the vagina. Experts espousing the induction theory propose hormones or immune factors promote the transformation of peritoneal cells — cells that line the inner part of the abdomen — into endometrial-like cells.


Research spearheaded by the Endometriosis Association has shown environmental toxins such as dioxin and PCBs can cause endometriosis. These highly toxic chemicals act like hormones in the body and damage the immune system.


Hormones such as estrogen may transform embryonic cells (cells in the earliest stages of development) into endometrial-like cell implants