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Doctors say despite pandemic, don't miss appointment with your gynecologist

Even if you don’t need a pap smear every year, women still need a well-woman exam which includes breast exams and looking for signs of conditions.

HOUSTON — The COVID-19 pandemic is pushing people to cancel their annual doctor’s appointment, but Dr. Yessenia Blancas with UT Physicians says if there is one appointment women should keep, it’s with their gynecologist.

“Even if you don’t need a pap smear every year, we still need to do a well-woman exam,” Dr. Blancas said.

That includes breast exams, looking for signs of conditions like abnormal uterine bleeding, or just helping patients with healthy family planning.

But since January is Cervical Cancer Awareness month, she wants to remind women that screening for this, regardless of symptoms or family history, is important.

“Cervical cancer is mainly caused by HPV, a common sexually transmitted infection,” Dr. Blancas said. “But it is preventable, so screening for it can be lifesaving.”