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When to Get What: Screenings and vaccinations for women

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HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Preventative screenings play a vital role in maintaining overall wellness, especially for women. Starting at age 21, women are supposed to begin getting regular pap smears to screen for cervical cancer. While the recommendation for frequency of pap smear screenings vary based on individual health history and age, women are still recommended to get yearly gynecological exams. Women are also recommended to begin getting mammograms at age 40 to screen for breast cancer and colonoscopies at age 50 to screen for colorectal cancer. However, it is important for women to discuss their personal and family health history with their doctor, as this may factor into the age at which the screenings should begin, and how frequent.

Getting recommended vaccinations is also essential to overall health and wellness. Women, as well as men, between the ages of 9-26 years old, are recommended to get the HPV vaccination. A new HPV vaccination, which protects against ten different strains of HPV, will be available to patients within the next few months. Individuals are also encouraged to get a yearly flu vaccination, especially pregnant women. Beginning at age 60, women are encouraged to get the Shingles vaccination and after age 65, it is recommended to get vaccinated for pneumonia.

Mid-life is an especially important time for women to open up to their healthcare providers about their personal and family health history, discuss preventive health methods and risk for developing certain diseases, in order to detect and treat disease in its earliest stages. Fortunately, Cone Health has an exceptional network of OB/GYN’s, primary care providers and other related healthcare professionals dedicated to educating and caring for women throughout the community in order to promote overall wellbeing and good quality of life.

Spokesperson Background:

Dr. Myra Dove is an obstetrics and gynecology specialist at Cone Health Women’s Hospital OB/GYN Faculty Practice. Dr. Dove completed medical school at West Virginia University School of Medicine. She completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Charleston Area Medical Center.