Every Woman's Life FAQ's
DO I QUALIFY FOR THIS FREE SERVICE?
YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE IF:
If you do not meet the eligibility requirements for free screenings, but still need assistance in obtaining or paying for an appointment, please call 1-866-395-4968 and our operator will share our resource list with you.
If you are from outside the Central Virginia area, call 1-866-395-4968 then simply ask for the phone number of the Every Woman's Life screening center in your area.
A Clinical Breast Examination (CBE) is an examination of your breasts by a health care professional, such as a doctor, nurse practitioner, nurse, or doctor's assistant. For this examination, you undress from the waist up. The health care professional will first look at your breasts for changes in size or shape. Then, using the pads of the fingers, the examiner will gently feel (palpate) your breasts.
Special attention will be given to the shape and texture of the breasts, location of any lumps, and whether such lumps are attached to the skin or to deeper tissues. The area under both arms will also be examined.
During the CBE is a good time for the health care professional to teach breast self-examination to the woman who does not already know how to examine her breasts. Ask your doctor or nurse to teach you and watch your technique.
A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast. A diagnostic mammogram is used to diagnose breast disease in women who have breast symptoms. Screening mammography is used to look for breast disease in women who are asymptomatic, that is, they appear to have no breast problems. Screening mammography usually involves 2 views (x-ray pictures) of each breast. For some patients, such as women with breast implants, additional pictures may be needed to include as much breast tissue as possible. Women who are breast-feeding can still get mammograms, although these are probably not quite as accurate. They can express their breast milk before the mammogram.
The Pap test, or Pap smear, is a way to check cells from the cervix (the lower part of the uterus or womb) and the vagina. This test can find precancerous changes or cancer of the cervix or vagina. A Pap test will only rarely detect cancer of the ovaries or cancer of the upper part of the uterus (endometrial cancer). It can also find some infections of the cervix and vagina.
The risks of breast and cervical cancer increase with age. Women over 40 should have a mammogram every year and a Pap test every one to three years.
Out of every 1000 mammogram, only one or two lead to a diagnosis of cancer. In the case of Pap tests, only about six percent show abnormalities. The screening tests themselves are quick, simple and provide minimal discomfort. Most important, if these tests do lead to a diagnosis of cancer, the chances for a successful treatment and a complete cure increase dramatically with early detection.