PAP SMEAR: TEST LOOKS FOR PRESENCE OF PRECANCEROUS CELLS

A Pap smear is a procedure that screens for cervical cancer. Most women should start getting Pap smears at age 21 years and every three years after. It should be a part of your annual physical exam. The test looks for the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells on the cervix, the opening of the uterus or womb. During the procedure, cells from the cervix are scraped away. It is not painful and takes less than 10 minutes to complete. You may bleed a little after the test is completed.

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WHAT IS A MEDICARE WELLNESS EXAM?

A Medicare Wellness Exam is a preventative screening visit your provider wants you to have once a year. This visit is free and is separate from your annual physical exam (if your plan covers annual physicals). Traditional Medicare does not pay for a physical – it only covers a Wellness Exam.  What is a Wellness Exam? The visit is covered once every 12 months (11 full months must have passed since your last visit). It is designed to help prevent disease and disability based on your current health....

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ORAL HERPES

Oral herpes is an infection caused by a specific type of the herpes simplex virus. This condition, also called HSV-1 or sometimes cold sores or fever blisters, creates painful sores on your lips, gums and tongue, as well as the roof of your mouth and sometimes the inside of your cheeks. It may even affect your nose and chin. Symptoms of oral herpes include swelling in the lymph nodes, fever, tiredness and aching muscles. While the initial infection with oral herpes occurs most often in children ages 1-2 years, ….

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HPV VACCINE PROTECTS AGAINST CANCER

Most sexually active people will be exposed to HPV at some time in their life.


The HPV vaccine was developed to prevent cervical and other cancers of the reproductive system. Almost all cervical cancer is caused by HPV. Some oropharynx cancers (cancer in the back of the throat) are also caused by HPV. Traditionally, these cancers were caused by tobacco and alcohol, but recent studies have shown about 60 percent to 70 percent of these cancers may be linked to HPV. HPV is not known to cause other head and neck cancers, including those in the mouth, larynx, lip, nose or salivary glands. In general, the CDC says, HVP is thought to be be responsible for more than 90 percent of anal and cervical cancers, about 70 percent of vaginal and vulvar cancers and 60 percent of penile cancers.


Most of the time, HPV goes away by itself within two years and does not cause any health problems. Researchers believe the body’s immune system fights off HPV naturally. But there is no reason to take a chance when the vaccine is readily available and has been shown to be very safe and highly effective. The side effects of the vaccine are mild – pain, redness or swelling in the arm where

the shot was given; dizziness; fainting; nausea; and headache. It is a small price to pay for long-lasting protection. HPV infections and cervical precancers have dropped significantly since the vaccine has been in use. Talk to your pediatrician about getting your child vaccinated against HPV.

DR ASHLEY ROLLINS

Dr. Ashley Rollins is originally from Lexington, Ky. She graduated magna cum laude from Transylvania University in Lexington with a bachelor’s degree in biology in 2009. She earned her medical degree from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in 2014 and completed her residency in internal medicine at the UK Hospital in 2018. Dr. Rollins is a specialist in internal medicine and pediatrics. She can see patients of all ages, from newborns to the elderly, for any issue but has an interest in pediatrics, women’s health and preventative medicine.

more articles by Dr AShley Rollins

Vaccines protect your child before they are exposed to a disease. If you knew there was a vaccine available that would prevent cancer from developing in your child, you would certainly rush to take advantage of it. There is indeed such a vaccine.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov), human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause serious health problems, including genital warts and cancer. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. A vaccine is now available to combat it. Two doses of the HPV vaccine are recommended for all boys and girls at ages 11-12 years. The second dose should be given six to 12 months after the first dose. Children who start the vaccine series on or after their 15th birthday need to receive three shots over six months. HPV vaccination is also recommended for everyone through age 45 years if they have not been vaccinated already.


HPV infections are so common nearly all men and women will get at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives. Nearly 80 million Americans are currently infected with some type of HPV. About 10 percent of men and almost 4 percent of women have oral HPV. About 14 million Americans, including teens, become infected each year.


HPV is spread through intimate skin-to-skin contact. You can get HPV by having vaginal, anal or oral sex with someone who has the virus.