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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THERAPY DOGS OFFER COMFORT AND HOPE

therapy dogs “on staff ” to help people, particularly children, deal with their grief.


Seniors in nursing homes especially seem to benefit from visits with therapy dogs. Sometimes life’s heartaches and the aging process zap a person’s energy and motivation. Loneliness is another challenge seniors often face. Alzheimer’s disease takes a grim toll as well. But studies have shown the presence of a lively, loving four-legged friend often snaps people out of their doldrums, motivating them to get up and get moving. Petting and cuddling a dog can release dopamine and oxytocin, the endorphins that make people feel happier. A visit from a therapy dog can trigger a happy memory for an Alzheimer’s patient of a canine companion from their childhood.


Children with autism take to therapy dogs quite well. Autism assistance dogs are trained to carry out specific activities for their owners, depending on where the patient falls on the spectrum. People with autism-related disorders often have poor communication and social interaction skills. The primary role of an autism therapy dog is to serve as an anchor of consistency and calmness. Studies show autistic children have fewer emotional outbursts when they’re in the company of

dogs. Some children with autism have difficulty receiving and giving physical affection, such as touches, hugs and kisses. But they often find it easier to make such contact with their dogs, and this may help them learn to better interact with people,


Therapy dogs should be certified by an American Kennel Club (AKC)-recognized therapy dog organization. Your primary care provider can help you find a therapy dog if you would like a visit.

DR. LATOYA LEE

Latoya Lee is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, ANCC Board Certified as a Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. She earned her Bachelor of Nursing degree in 2010 and her doctoral degree in 2017 from the University of Kentucky College of Nursing and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Louisville in 2006. She practiced nursing for several years in a neurological/ neurosurgical ICU at UK. She is a member of the American Nurses Association and American Psychiatric Nurse Association. Dr. Lee provides medication management for ADHD, mood disorders, depression and bipolar, psychosis, personality disorder, addiction, OCD, anxiety, anger management and trauma/PTSD.

For a wide variety of people – children with autism, veterans coping with PTSD, older people in nursing homes, people undergoing cancer treatment, people suffering from anxiety or depression – therapy dogs bring comfort and hope.


According to the Alliance of Therapy Dogs (www.therapydogs.com), dogs are one of the best therapy animals. They have an instinct for relating to humans. In their uncanny canine way, they can sense when a person is in distress and offer silent, loving support.


There are differences between an emotional support dog, a service dog, a psychiatric service dog and a therapy dog. An emotional support animal is any animal (not just dogs) that alleviates symptoms of mental or emotional stress just with their therapeutic presence. These animals are not trained to perform any tasks. Service dogs, however, are specially trained to perform specific tasks to help a person with a disability, such as a guide dog for the blind. A psychiatric service dog can help people who suffer from anxiety by anticipating an anxiety attack and providing tactile stimulation and a sense of calm to help them feel less overwhelmed by emotions.


Therapy dogs go with their owners to volunteer in settings such as schools, hospitals and nursing homes. The best therapy dogs are calm and patient. They actually seem to enjoy their work and look forward to visiting different venues. A growing number of funeral homes have