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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SJSU chapter.

Is it time for your annual check-up exam? Well, it’s extremely important to make an appointment with your doctor to schedule that yearly check-up. Exercising, eating well and annual checkup routines are things that we as women should keep in mind in order to detect any early signs of illness. Also, breast self-exams are essential and can be done each month to see if there’s any abnormal irregularities or lumps in your breast.

A few years ago, I did a self-breast exam on myself and I felt a small moveable circle shaped lump on my left breast. This really freaked me out, so I decided to make an appointment with my OB/GYN. My doctor was able to feel the lump on my breast, so they ordered an ultrasound and found a small mass. My doctor decided to operate me and remove the small mass he sends it to the pathology department. The results came back as a benign breast cyst. I was very relieved that it was not cancerous. Moreover, I was able to uncover the problem because of the self-exam I did each month which helped me determine that there was an anomalous issue going on with my breast.

Some of the exams that should be included in your annual checkup should be:

1. Blood work that would include; A1C, STDs, cholesterol levels, liver, and kidney checks.

2. Pap smears

3. Breast exams that would include ultrasounds

4. Body mass index

5. Check Up on your weight

6. Blood pressure

7. Dental checkup

8. Eye exam to determine if eyeglasses are needed or contacts

9. Immunizations; this can include the flu shot, any vaccines needed for your age, human papillomavirus (HPV). This is important especially for men and women between the age of 18-26.

10.  Skin self-exam this exam is for your doctor to check your skin for any signs of cancer especially for patients that have family members with skin cancer.

Having yearly exams will help you identify any issues early that may arise, and this can give you enough time to be aware of it and see your OB/GYN or your general doctor. I know that we don’t make time to schedule appointments for annual checkups since we live in a fast-paced world and other things are a priority but setting time for your health is extremely important and should not be taken likely because that can make a difference in your life.


Shellise West is the current campus correspondent at San Jose State University. Majoring in journalism with a minor in radio, television and film she plans to not fall short of fulfilling her dream as a sports reporter. A Bay Area native her hobbies include singing, dancing and listening to music. Follow Shellise on Twitter @SoulfulPenned.