Be a slave to your screen­ings

Prima (UK) - - Health Report -

When a let­ter ar­rives invit­ing you to a health screen­ing, it can feel like one more thing to add to a never-end­ing to-do list. But cer­vi­cal screen­ings (pre­vi­ously known as smear tests) are thought to save around 5,000 lives a year in the UK and pre­vent eight out of 10 can­cers from de­vel­op­ing, while mam­mo­grams save 1,300 lives a year.

The most ob­vi­ous ad­vice is to go for your screen­ings when­ever you’re called, but aside from that, keep an eye on wor­ry­ing symp­toms. When it comes to check­ing your breasts, check your armpit and up to your col­lar­bones for lumps, swelling or thick­en­ing of the skin. The more you know what’s nor­mal, the more con­fi­dent you’ll be to spot dif­fer­ences, like a change in size or shape. Al­ways see your GP about un­ex­plained, con­stant pain in your breast or armpit, too. Eight out of 10 lumps are not can­cer­ous, but you only know by check­ing.

Other signs to look out for when it comes to fe­male can­cers are pelvic pain, un­usual dis­charge or bleed­ing – such as af­ter sex – changes in bath­room habits, per­sis­tent bloat­ing and itch­ing or burn­ing ‘down there’.

‘Los­ing as lit­tle as 10% of body weight re­duces the risk of a wide range of ill­nesses’

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