Joycelyn Curtis, PhD, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker/ Patient Advocate for a nationwide community–based organization.
Q. Dr. Curtis, why is it important for women to know their own bodies?
Women are the experts when it comes to their own bodies. They are the only ones that can effectively communicate with their health care peroviders when something is wrong with them physically. Women are the only ones that can share with their physicians the symptoms, concerns and desires, regarding their health. Also, it is important for women to know their own bodies because knowledge is the first line of defense in staying healthy and prevention.
Q. Why is age appropriate screening vital to women’s overall health and wellness?
Age appropriate screenings are tools use in early detection and prevention in the quest to maintain health and wellness. Also, screening assist healthcare providers in making appropriate assessments, recommendations for diagnosis and treatment. Some recommended screenings by health experts in the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force http://www.ahrq.gov/ppip/healthywom.htm) for women are:
- Cancer (breast, cervical, colon)
- Cholesterol Check
- High Blood Pressure
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Q. What should women do when they perceive that something is wrong physically wrong with their bodies?
A. Women should not panic, if they perceive that something is physically wrong with their bodies. They should contact their health care provider for a appropriate assessment. If their condition is an emergency they should take appropriate measures to get their concerns addressed immediately (Call 911).
Women should write down all of their symptoms, how often and how long they have had their symptoms and any concerns in order to share with their health care providers.
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