Cancer screenings, including screenings for breast and cervical cancer, can be an important part of preventive care, and are covered by your health insurance benefits; these benefits are covered at 100% if considered preventive.
Why get cancer counseling and screenings before trying to conceive?
Waiting for cancer-screening results can be unsettling, but wouldn’t you rather begin your pregnancy knowing the status of your own health? Trying to conceive, staying strong during pregnancy and delivery, and raising a child requires energy and a healthy body able to take on these responsibilities.
Breast cancer screenings
Check your breasts regularly for lumps or masses and contact your doctor if you find anything unusual. Keep in mind that 90% of tissue lumps are benign, meaning they aren’t cancerous and won’t negatively impact your health.
Look for the following symptoms when self-examining your breasts:
- A lump or thickening in an area of the breast
- A change in the size or shape of a breast
- Dimpling of the skin
- A change your nipple, particularly if it turns in, sinks into the breast, or has an irregular shape
- A bloody discharge from the nipple
- A rash on a nipple or surrounding area
- A swelling or lump in your armpit
Cervical cancer screenings
Doctors recommend that all women over age 21 get cervical cancer screenings before trying to conceive (or at least once every three years)—especially those who have had abnormal pap smears in the past. Schedule your screening for mid-cycle, about 14 days from the start of your last menstrual period, to get the most accurate results.
Again, the presence of any of these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean that you have cancer, but talk to your doctor to be sure. It’s better safe than sorry when it comes to cancer screenings.
Through your medical plan with Cognizant, you have access to coverage for preventive care. For more information about the details of your benefits, contact Grand Rounds at (844) 252-3056 or grandrounds.com/Cognizant.