Let the technologist know if:

  • You’re pregnant or think you may be.
  • You have breast implants.
  • You have any scars or moles on or near your breasts.
  • You’ve had a breast biopsy or surgery.
  • You’re breastfeeding.



The best manager of your personal health is YOU. All Indiana Health Centers, Inc. (IHC) staff will share helpful information with you about your health. Please feel free to ask us questions. But in particular, be prepared to ask your provider these three questions at every visit.

Prevention goes a long way in staying healthy. Here are a few tips to keep you healthy:
Visit Your Doctor,
Eat Right,
Don’t Use Tobacco,
Limit Alcohol and 
Don’t Forget to Laugh!

Healthy Choices to help you to live a longer-happier life:

Stop Using Tobacco
• Talk to your doctor about aids for quitting, such as nicotine patches
• Get support from ex-smokers
• Develop a plan for quitting
• Pick a quit date and stick to it
• Stay Active
• Take walks, garden, or do other activities you enjoy each day
• Do errands on foot or bike, not by car 
• Join a walking or biking club

Improve Your Diet 
• Eat fewer fried foods, fatty meats, and other high-fat foods 
• Eat at least 5 fruits and vegetables daily, especially leafy greens 
• Eat more high-fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
• Eat more vegetable protein, such as tofu
• Eat foods from the cabbage family, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts
• Limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women.

Perform Regular Screenings
• Breast (self-exam, professional breast exam, mammogram)
• Skin (self-exam, professional exam, biopsy)
• Cervical (pelvic exam, Pap test)
• Colorectal (digital rectal screening for blood in stool, colorectal exam)
• Prostate (digital rectal exam, blood test)
• Testicular (self-exam, professional exam)

Protect Yourself From Hazards
• When outdoors during the day, wear SPF 15 or greater sunscreen
• When out in sunlight, wear a hat
• Avoid outdoor activity midday when the sun is hottest
• Be aware of all hazardous substances at work or in your home
• When working with hazardous substances, wear protective clothing

Cancer prevention is important. Ladies, follow these instructions for prevention, early detection, and early treatment.

Preventive Health Screenings for Women

Be proactive about your health by staying on top of necessary screenings and health care visits. This schedule is a suggested timeline for routine screenings. Talk with your health care provider for specific personal guidance. More frequent screenings may be recommended based on your personal health history.

General Health; What, When and Why?
Physical examination
Every 2–3 years; discuss with your health care provider.
To screen for diseases; assess risk for future problems; discuss lifestyle habits; and keep vaccinations up to date.

Thyroid test
Discuss with your health care provider.
To identify an under- or overactive thyroid, both of which are very treatable and either of which can lead to more serious conditions if left untreated.

Bone Health

Bone mineral density test. At least once beginning at age 65; earlier depending on your risk factors for osteoporosis.
 There are no obvious signs of osteoporosis until you fracture a bone. Bone density screenings identify problems early, enabling you to start treatment and prevent further bone loss.

Breast Health

Clinical breast exam
About every 3 years for women in their 20s and 30s, and every year for women 40 and over.
Not all breast cancers are found on mammograms; a good clinical breast exam can also help identify cancers relatively early.

Every 1–2 years starting at age 40.
To identify possible early signs of breast cancer
Mammography is an x-ray exam of breast tissue. The image produced is called a mammogram. A mammogram can help detect problems with your breasts, such as cysts or cancer.

Before Your Test
• Schedule the test for one week after your period, when your breasts are less tender.
• Make sure your clinic gets your last mammogram if it was done somewhere else. This lets the doctor compare the two.
• On the morning of your test, wash your breasts and underarms, but don’t use deodorant, powder, or perfume.
• Wear a top that you can remove easily.

During Your Test
• You will need to undress from the waist up.
• The technologist will position your breast to get the best test results.
• Each of your breasts will be compressed. This helps get the most complete x-ray image.

After Your Test
• More x-rays are sometimes needed. You’ll be called to schedule them.
• You should be notified of your test results in writing. Ask about this on the day of your appointment.
• Have mammograms as often as your healthcare provider recommends. Also be sure to do regular breast self-exams.

Colorectal Health

Every 10 years starting at age 50. Alternatively, you may get a flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years or a double-contrast barium enema every five years or a CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every five years, but a colonoscopy will be needed if any of those results are positive.
To identify (and remove) precancerous polyps or early cancers.

Fecal occult blood test (also called stool guaiac test) or fecal immunochemical test or stool DNA test
Annually starting at age 50 for the fecal occult blood test or the fecal immunochemical test; stool DNA test may be given at intervals recommended by your doctor.
To provide an early warning sign about colon cancer. Not as good as a colonoscopy in identifying cancers or precancerous cells.

Digital rectal exam
Starting at age 50, every 5–10 years with each colon screening.
To help find early signs of colon cancer in the anal canal and lower rectum. Because of its limitations, it is not recommended as the only test for colorectal cancer.


Fasting plasma glucose test (also called blood glucose test)
Every three years starting at age 45; more often or earlier if you’re overweight or at risk for diabetes.
To provide an early warning sign of high blood sugar levels, which could mean an increased risk for diabetes.

Eye, Ear and Teeth Health

Eye exam
At least once from ages 20 to 29; at least two exams between ages 30 and 39. At age 40, get a baseline eye disease screening. Based on results, follow ophthalmologist’s recommendations until age 65. After that, complete eye exam every one to two years.
To test your vision and screen for glaucoma and macular degeneration, two common, often age-related conditions.

Hearing test
Beginning at age 18, then once every 10 years until age 50, after which it should be once every three years.
To make sure you’re hearing all life has to offer.

Dental exam and cleaning
At least once a year; twice a year is best.
To remove plaque and bacteria that could lead to tooth and gum disease; to check for tongue and mouth cancer. Problems with your teeth can indicate osteoporosis.

Heart Health

Blood pressure screening
At least every two years in your health care professional’s office.
The only way to identify hypertension is with blood pressure screenings.

Cholesterol screening
Every 5 years starting at age 35. Begin screening at age 20 if you smoke, are obese, have diabetes or high blood pressure or have a family history of heart disease.
Treating cholesterol abnormalities can help reduce your risk of heart disease.

Reproductive/Sexual Health

Why Have a Pap Test?
Early on, problems in the cervix produce no symptoms. Often, the only way to know about cervical changes is to do a Pap test. A Pap test can find cervical problems early, when they are easier to treat. Pap tests can also detect some infections of the cervix and vagina.

What Is a Pap Test?
A Pap test is a procedure that helps find changes in the cervix that may lead to cancer. (The cervix is the part of the uterus that opens into the vagina.) For this test, a small sample of cells is taken from the cervix. This is done in your healthcare provider’s office. The cells are then analyzed in a lab. A Pap test is a safe procedure. It takes just a few minutes and causes little or no discomfort.

Who Should Have a Pap Test?
Ask your healthcare provider when to start having Pap tests, and how often to have them.•
If you’re over 70 and have had 3 normal results in a row, no abnormal results in the last 10 years, and no risk factors, you may not need to continue having Pap tests.

Pap test and pelvic exam
Every three years for women ages 21-65.  Women over 30 may opt to get a combined Pap test and HPV test every five years. Screening may be stopped for women over age 65 who have been adequately screened with normal results and are not at high risk for cervical screening. If you have had your cervix and uterus removed, ask your health care provider if you need to continue screening.

Every five years along with Pap test starting from ages 30-65 (and in younger women with inconclusive Pap tests). Alternatively, women ages 30-65 may opt to get a Pap test every three years without the HPV test.

HPV test
Every 2–3 years along with Pap test starting at age 30 (and in younger women with inconclusive Pap tests).
Helps identify women at risk for developing cervical cancer.

Chlamydia test
Yearly until age 25 if sexually active; for age 26 and older, get the test if you have new or multiple sexual partners.
Prevents spread of chlamydia.

Sexually transmitted disease (STD) screening
All sexually active women and their partners should be tested for HIV and other STDs before starting sexual activity.
Prevents spread of HIV and other STDs, many of which can only be detected through testing.

Skin Health

Skin exam by a doctor
Talk to your health care provider about what’s right for you. If you have risk factors for skin cancer, your health care provider may recommend periodic skin exams.
To track worrisome moles and identify skin cancer early.

Skin self-exam
Monthly skin exam starting at age 18.
To know your own skin and be able to report changes to your health care provider.


Influenza (flu) vaccine
Annually for everyone 6 months and older.
Protection again some flu viruses (will include H1N1 starting in fall 2010).

Hepatitis A
Given in 2 doses, 6-18 months apart, to children 1 year of age and to adults at risk or who want protection from hepatitis A.
Protects against hepatitis A, a serious liver disease that can cause flu-like illness, jaundice and severe stomach pains and diarrhea.

Hepatitis B
Given to children at birth in 3 doses at 0, 1 and 6 months. Also given to children or adults who weren’t vaccinated and are at risk for hepatitis B, such as health care workers.
Protects against hepatitis B, a serious liver disease that can develop into a chronic infection.

Herpes zoster
Once only at age 60 or older.
Shingles prevention.

Human papillomavirus (HPV)
Age 11–12 or 13–26 if not previously vaccinated; 3 doses at 0-, 2- and 6-month intervals; no booster necessary.
Protects against four common types of HPV, including the two most likely to cause cervical cancer.

Once only at age 65 or older.
Protects against pneumonia.

Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Td/Tdap)
Every 10 years.
Protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.

College freshmen, military recruits and other at-risk persons; discuss with your health care provider.
Protects against some types of meningococcal disease (meningitis).

Varicella (chickenpox)
Given in two doses at 0- and 4- to 8-week intervals to those 19 or older who have not been vaccinated or had chickenpox.
Protects against chickenpox, a usually mild but highly contagious childhood disease, which can be serious in infants and adults.

Preventing Cancer

Most cancer cases are related to lifestyle. Healthy lifestyle choices decrease your risk of cancer and improve your overall health.

Warning Signs of Cancer:

•A sore that won’t heal
•A change in bowel or bladder habits
•Unusual bleeding or discharge
•A lump in the breast or elsewhere
•Difficulty swallowing
•Noticeable changes in a wart or mole
•A constant cough or hoarseness