A mammogram is an important screening tool used in the early detection of breast cancer. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death for women. Appropriate screening for this deadly disease is of utmost importance.

A woman should have her first screening mammogram by age 40. Women with an elevated risk of breast cancer need to talk to their doctor about when to have their first mammogram and the frequency of subsequent ones. Women can be at increased risk because of personal and family history of breast cancer, genetic mutations, and other factors.

If you feel a palpable lump on your breast you should discuss this with your doctor at the earliest convenience.

Papanicolaou Test (Smear Test)

The smear test is a test to ensure women are not at risk of developing cancer of the cervix (neck of the womb). Cervical cancer (cancer of the cervix) is one of the most common cancers in women and many women may have it but not realise for years. The earlier you find it, the easier cervical cancer is to treat, so it is important to get tested.

Women should not wait until they notice gynaecological symptoms before having an examination. Screening should start once a woman becomes sexually active and no later than the age of 25 and be repeated annually, until the age of 65, unless otherwise indicated by your doctor.

Bone Density Test

Osteoporosis causes a decrease in bone mass, often referred to as thinning of the bone. When this occurs, the patient with osteoporosis will have weaker bones and have a higher risk of bone fracture.

Who should have a bone density test?

  • All menopausal women
  • Postmenopausal women who sustain a fracture
  • Women who have one or more risk factors for osteoporosis, such as family history of osteoporosis
  • Women who regularly take cortisone, or thyroid medication.