It’s easy to forget that our body requires routine maintenance every now and again but if there’s anything we have learned from one of Australia’s favourite doctors, Dr Jill Forer, it’s that there are easy steps everyone can take to get our health in check!
GET SKIN DEEP
There’s a very important, safe, small to moderate dose of sun that everyone needs, but in Australia, we often get more than we bargain for. Self-checks are beyond crucial for healthy skin and make sure to get a partner or friend to check your back. Act quickly if something new appears or if a spot changes shape, colour or texture. Remember, melanoma can be red too, not just black! Get your skin checked yearly by a GP, skin cancer clinic or specialist and always be cautious – it pays off.
ALL THE BREAST
You should know your breasts like the back of your hand and monthly self-breast checks will make sure of that. Make sure to examine them when you’re sitting or standing and lying down, as certain parts of the breast are better felt in different positions. Don’t forget to examine your armpits, which are where your lymph nodes are hiding! Get in front of a mirror and look for colour changes, shape changes and any rashes or discharge from your nipples. Lift your arms above your head and then press them firmly on your hips, looking at your skin texture – it should remain unchanged in both positions. If anything seems different, never be afraid to show a doctor.
Some things are best left to the experts, so it’s important you’re regularly paying them a visit. Cervical screenings – once called pap smears – should be done every five years beginning at the age of 25 if you’re receiving normal results, but it’s important to pop in for checks between this period to be safe and ensure clinical signs don’t get missed. This includes breast checks, skin checks, blood pressure checks and important key blood tests like checking your iron levels, which is the number one nutrient deficiency in the world, especially among women.
WATCH YOUR MOUTH
As the entry to your entire gastrointestinal tract, your mouth is integral to good health. Many diseases will show their face in your mouth like ulcers and blisters so yearly dental checks are vital. Take daily care by eating a wholefood, unprocessed diet and paying attention to oral hygiene.