In 2012, the revised United States Preventative Services Task Force guidelines reported that the majority of women over age 65 don’t need to undergo Pap smear tests if they had three negative tests within the previous decade. However, many women misinterpreted the statement as not needing yearly gynecological appointments. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advised that annual assessments remain a vital part of preventative medicine for a number of reasons. This article explains to Rockwall, TX, caregivers why elderly women need to see their gynecologists.
Once women reach the age of 55, the risk of developing breast, ovarian and uterine cancers increase. Having a family or personal history of cancer and a history of hormone therapy also contribute to risk factors that add to the need for annual appointments. However, ovarian and other reproductive malignancies often develop in women who do not have a family history of cancer or who do not have other risk factors. Various cancers also do not cause noticeable symptoms.
Gynecological visits can also diagnose prolapsed organs, determine reasons for sexual malfunction or urinary incontinence. A typical visit includes:
- A physical evaluation of overall health, vital signs, height and weight. By palpating or gently depressing various areas on the abdomen, physicians may detect enlarged lymph glands, organs or the presence of a mass.
- The pelvic examination entails assessing the external genitalia by visualization, and perhaps an ultrasound of the cervix and vagina for any abnormalities.
- A physical breast exam, a recommendation for a mammogram and instruction to perform self-breast examinations if needed.
- Discussing any symptoms that are causing concern. These issues might involve bladder or bowel changes, urinary leaking, vaginal dryness during intimacy or specific areas of discomfort.
According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 62 percent of endometrial cancer cases involve women over the age of 55. Cervical cancer claims the lives of 36 percent of women over 65, but encouragement from a live-in home caregiver Rockwall seniors can avoid this disease or receive an early diagnosis.
To understand the importance of regular medical exams and for help transporting your loved one to and from doctor’s appointments, turn to Home Care Assistance of Rockwall. We provide flexible live-in and hourly elder care Rockwall seniors need to age in place while boosting physical and emotional wellbeing. Call (972) 722-7833 today to learn more about our services and have an experienced Care Manager customize a care plan for your loved one.