Breast Cancer Screening
Have you had a Pap Smear this year?
A Pap smear is a screening test for cervical cancer. It is extremely important to have one done annually once you are sexually active. It takes 5 minutes and you will only experience slight discomfort!
This helps to detect abnormal cells and cancer of the cervix early when management options are still possible.
Make an appointment for your annual pap smear today!
How is a Pap smear done?
Pap smears are meant to be quick and painless. A speculum (pictured below) is inserted into the vagina. This helps to visualise the cervix aka the mouth of the womb.
The cervix is cleaned and a brush is used to collect some cervical cells.
The pic on the left shows what the cervix looks like through a speculum as well as cells being collected with a brush.
The head of the brush is then put into a specimen bottle or cells from the brush are smeared onto a glass slide.
This is then sent to the lab where a pathologist looks at the cells under a microscope.
Contraceptive tablets & Injections
Hormonal contraceptives take 2 main forms. Either they contain oestrogen and progesterone OR progesterone only.
Combined Oral Contraceptives
There are many contraceptives on the market at the moment; the most popular being the oral contraceptive pill.
This is a mix of Oestrogen and Progesterone, the 2 female hormones. These are used for birth control, acne, and to regulate abnormal menses.
Not all patients experience side effects. Some common side effects include:
Nausea which resolves after your body gets used to the hormone
Increased risk of clots especially if you are a smoker and >35yrs old
Progesterone only contraceptives
Some contraceptive tablets contain progesterone only. E.g.: Provera
Contain progesterone only. These are Depo provera and Nur-isterate. These are given 3 or 2 monthly. We offer these at our practice.
Side effects of progesterone only injection are:
It is common for people to forget to take their pill regularly and fall pregnant as a result. Patients may also miss their 2 or 3 monthly injections.
A newer contraceptive that is quite effective is called Implanon®. This is a small rod that is injected just beneath the skin of the upper arm. It provides contraception for 3 whole years.
A local anaesthetic injection is given first so the procedure is painless.
It must be inserted and removed by a trained professional.
We offer this service at our practice.
The Implanon must be ordered in advance.
Book a consultation if you would like more info or have an Implanon inserted.
Self breast exam
The best time to do a breast exam is a few days after your monthly period.
Follow these steps:
Stand in front of a mirror with your shoulders straight
Look for changes in size, shape, colour
Raise your arm and feel around your entire breast in a circular pattern moving from the outside to the centre
Check the entire breast and armpit area
Repeat on opposite breast
Make self exams part of your monthly routine.
A Mammogram is a type of X-ray specifically for the breast. It is used as a screening test for Breast cancer.
A mammogram can detect lumps and micro calcifications within the breast tissue.
How it works:
You will have to remove your top and bra
The breast will be placed on a flat plate and be compressed slightly by another plate
X-rays pass through the breast
A top and side view is taken
A digital image will be produced
This will be repeated for the other breast
Wear a easily removable top and bra on the day of your mammogram
Low density tissues, such as fat, will appear translucent (dark grey).
Dense tissues, including connective and glandular tissue and tumours, appear white.