MAKE A WISE ENERGY INVESTMENT IN 2018

Happy New Year, friends! For many of us, this is an important time of year as we work on making changes and accomplishing new goals. I hope you are very successful in whatever you choose to work on in 2018. I have some things I want to work on personally. One of my goals may be something you’ll want to consider.  One thing I want to do is maximize my investments, especially in terms of my energy. The goal in any investment is to expend the resource in such a way as to have a return that is greater....

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QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE HAVING SURGERY

Before undergoing any surgery, you should ask your doctor how to prepare and what to expect afterward. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (www.plasticsurgery.org) says you need to communicate your goals and expectations to your plastic surgeon. And, of course, you should choose someone who is board certified by a reputable association such as the American Board of Plastic Surgery or the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery and who has a good amount of training and experience….

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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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PAP SMEAR: TEST LOOKS FOR PRESENCE OF PRECANCEROUS CELLS

doctor slowly inserts a device called a speculum into your vagina. The speculum keeps the vaginal walls open and provides access to the cervix so your doctor can collect the necessary cell samples from it.


The samples are sent to the lab to be tested for the presence of abnormal cells. If your results are normal, this means no abnormal cells were found. Abnormal test results do not mean you have cancer. It only means abnormal cells were found on your cervix, and some of them could be precancerous. Your doctor may recommend doing a colposcopy to take a closer look at your cervical tissue. During a colposcopy, your doctor will use light and magnification to see the vaginal and cervical tissues more clearly. In some cases, your doctor may also take a sample of your cervical tissue to do a biopsy.


For patients over age 30, if you have HPV testing done and both the Pap test and HPV test are normal, you can be tested every five years. You may need more frequent Pap smears if you are HIV positive or if your immune system has been weakened by chemotherapy. You may not need to have a Pap test if you have had a total hysterectomy. Women over the age of 65 years who have had three negative tests within the past 10 years may be able to stop having Pap smears. Be sure to discuss stopping with your primary care physician.


SHELBY RIGGS, APRN

Shelby Riggs, APRN, recently joined Family Practice Associates. After working for nearly 10 years as a hospital RN, Shelby decided to further her education and graduated as a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner in August 2017 from Indiana Wesleyan University. Shelby’s experience in pediatrics and endocrinology and her personality make her an excellent fit for FPA. She enjoys women’s health and pediatric issues but can see any patient from child to adult. She is available for new patient, well- child and preventive adult visits, as well as routine office visits.

more articles by shelby riggs

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. Tell your doctor if discomfort or bleeding continues the day after the test.


Most cervical cancers can be detected early if a woman has routine Pap tests. This means treatment can start before the cancer spreads and becomes a serious problem. The Pap test also screens for human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus that causes genital warts and cervical cancer. All sexually active women are at risk for contracting HPV. HPV types 16 and 18 are the primary causes of cervical cancer. The HPV virus can lie dormant for years and then suddenly become active. If you have HPV, you may have an increased risk for developing cervical cancer. The Pap smear does not detect other sexually transmitted diseases.


To prepare for your Pap smear, do not have sexual intercourse, douche or use spermicides the day before your test. Let your doctor know if you are menstruating; this may affect your results, so you may need to reschedule your test. Relax by taking deep breaths as your