Well-Woman Program Specialist

Beach Obstetrics and Gynecology Medical Group

Gynecology & Obstetrics located in Huntington Beach, CA

No matter your background, age, or finances, in order to stay healthy, you need to regularly receive cervical cancer screenings and breast cancer screenings. To make sure that every member of their community has this opportunity, OB/GYNs Anne K. Narayan, MD, and Jeffrey Illeck, MD, at Beach Obstetrics and Gynecology Medical Group, with locations in Huntington Beach, California, offer free Pap smears and mammograms via the well-woman program. Don’t let anything hold you back from your health. Book your appointment for screenings online or over the phone today.

Well-Woman Program Q & A

What is a well-woman program?

A well-woman program is a program that provides free cervical cancer and breast cancer screenings for underserved members of the community. 

No matter your financial standing, no matter if you have insurance or not, you deserve access to these screenings. When you detect cell changes and precancerous lesions, you can stop cancer before it starts.

What is cervical cancer?

Cervical cancer is a cancer of the cells in the cervix. The cervix is narrow and located in the lower section of the uterus. Cervical cancer often presents no symptoms until it has advanced. Symptoms of cervical cancer include:

  • Bloody, watery vaginal discharge that may be foul smelling and/or heavy
  • Pelvic pain
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Vaginal bleeding in between periods, after menopause, or after intercourse

Cervical cancer used to be the most prevalent gynecological cancer in the United States. Today, however, it’s much rarer. The decline in cervical cancer occurrence was caused primarily by the creation of HPV vaccines and early screenings.

HPV is a common STD that contributes to most cases of cervical cancer. You can test for HPV via a Pap smear, which is a procedure during which you physician swabs your cervix and tests the cells for abnormalities.

Am I at risk for breast cancer?

Anyone can develop breast cancer, but some people have a higher risk of developing it than others. You have an elevated risk for breast cancer if you:

  • Have a personal or family history of breast cancer
  • Inherited gene mutations
  • Are obese
  • Are female
  • Are advanced in age
  • Have been exposed to radiation
  • Started your period before age 12
  • Started menopause at an advanced age
  • Gave birth for the first time after the age of 30
  • Have never been pregnant
  • Have undergone postmenopausal hormone therapy
  • Use alcohol

You’re also at a higher risk for breast cancer if you have a general history of breast conditions.

How often do I need cancer screenings?

How often you need to go in for screenings depends on your age and your health history. 

Generally speaking, you need to get screened for cervical cancer:

  • Every three years from 21 to 29
  • Every five years from 30 to 65

Note that, in your 20s, doctors recommend you get tested for cervical via a Pap smear only, but between 30 and 65, you should receive a Pap smear and an HPV test during the same visit. After 65, it’s not as important to get tested for cervical cancer.

You need to get tested for breast cancer via mammogram:

  • Every year from 45 to 54
  • Every two years from 55 to 74

If you would like to get screened for cancer, but your finances are holding you back, reach out to Beach Obstetrics and Gynecology Medical Group for information about the Well-Woman Program today. Get in touch with the practice by sending a message via the online booking tool, or calling either office.

Teenage Healthcare

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends that teenage girls have an initial exam with a specialist in gynecology. They feel that establishing care with a gynecologist will make teenagers more comfortable discussing their healthcare. PAP smears are not needed until patients are 21 years old so frequently, these early exams do not require a pelvic exam. Important topics discussed include STD prevention, birth control, body image, stress and other issues that teenagers face today. Our nurse practitioners extensive experience managing teenage issues.