This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.
Still looking for a New Year’s resolution or two? How about making a trip to the doctor for routine tests and screenings part of your goals for this year? Visits to the doctor aren’t necessarily something everyone looks forward to, but regular checkups are an important part of staying healthy. By seeing your healthcare provider annually for checkups, you can detect problems earlier and start treatment sooner.
Getting medical tests can be stressful. For many patients, the stress is related to finding out the results of previous tests, worry concerning a possible illness, or concerns of a possible painful procedure during the appointment, so they delay trips to visit their health care provider or avoid going altogether. However, putting off this important visit could have dangerous consequences. “Prevention is a key to good health,” said Maggie Holloway, APRN, a nurse practitioner with Carson City Health and Human Services, “If we can find things early, we can help people live healthier, happier lives.”
Early detection saves lives, and that’s why Carson City Health and Human Services is pleased to offer a wide range of screenings for women’s health issues and STDs. Holloway points to the example of cervical cancer as a disease that can be caught early and managed with regular testing.
“If you skip that PAP smear, cancer may go undetected. Screening gives us the opportunity to detect and remove precancerous cells,” she said.
In addition to increased risk for cancer, STDs can have long-term consequences, including sterility. Even though some people may find it uncomfortable to seek testing, detection and treatment can have an important impact on their future health, including their ability to have children. Both the Carson City Health and Human Services clinic on Long Street and Douglas County community Health offer PAP smears, as well as testing for Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV. Based on risk factors, some additional tests may be recommended as well.
While most new cases of STDs occur in young people between the ages of 15 and 24, anyone who has had unprotected intercourse could be at risk and could benefit from being tested. To make an appointment at Carson City Health and Human Services, call the clinic at 887-2195. For Douglas County Community Health, call 782-9038 and press “1” for the clinic.
Don’t put off taking care of your health. Resolve to get tested this year. For more information about Health Department services, check out our website at http://www.gethealthycarsoncity.org or visit us on Facebook at Carson City Health and Human Services.