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Avera Medical Minute: What to know about women’s health check-ups and screenings

Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 6:08 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Due to the pandemic many women missed or got behind on their regular check-ups and screenings. We spoke with an OB/GYN with Avera Medical Group about the importance of getting caught up.

“We’re definitely encouraging people not to forget about routine, preventive services. So I think for the most part we are in the grove of doing those annual checkups,” says Dr. Catherine Brockmeier.

Q: With those annual check-ups, when should women come in and get them if they are behind?

“If you are behind then call and make your appointment and try to get in first available. You know, obviously we all have scheduling difficulties and life circumstances and stuff. Our group has, if you can’t get in to see your physician, we have a lot of nurse practitioners and they are perfectly capable of taking care of you for routine visits as well.”

Q: Why is it so important that women don’t put it off and they do go in and get these annual check-ups?

“The annual check-up, I mean it covers so many things. It’s a nice way to update your provider about health history if there’s been any changes, if you have any new concerns, it’s a good way to revisit your family history every year because that’s always evolving time-to-time when we see you. Depending on how old you are there are routine screening services we recommend. So you might be due for a pap smear. You might need a mammogram, you might be old enough to need a colonoscopy or start screening for osteoporosis. So if you are missing those visits you are also missing an important part of healthcare.”

“The things we do at the well women visit actually have excellent tools to screen for female cancers, so it’s important not to miss those. The pap smear is designed to screen for cervical cancer, using that tool we catch it before it starts. Same with mammography, that’s a great way to screen for breast cancer, colonoscopies for colon cancer. So don’t miss the opportunity to care of your health with preventative services. That’s really what those are.”

For more information on resources for women’s health visit avera.org.

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