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Communication

Dr. Jessica Snider Explains the Importance of Cancer Screenings

Dr. Jessica Snider of Mercy hospital talks the importance of cancer screenings and gives advice for busy working women.

by Rae Swan Snobl

Jun 01 2021 at 8 a.m.

Dr. Jessica Snider
Photo courtesy Dr. Jessica SniderDr. Jessica Snider, DO is Medical Director of the Cancer Service Line and Section Chair of Medical Oncology at Mercy Clinic Cancer and Hematology–Chub O'Reilly Cancer Center

Biz 417: How can women work on cancer prevention?
Dr. Jessica Snider: Reduce your risk of getting cancer with simple healthy choices such as avoiding tobacco, protecting your skin, keeping a healthy weight and limiting alcohol. Prevention can also be in the form of vaccines such as the HPV vaccine which decreases the risk of cervical cancer and some other HPV associated cancers.

Biz: What are some recommended screenings for women?
Dr. Snider: Women should talk to their doctor to find out the screening timeline recommended for them. Pap smears (HPV testing) , mammography, and colonoscopy are all recommended for women at certain ages. Sometimes the recommendation is influenced by family history. Lung cancer screening tests are recommended for high risk individuals who meet certain criteria. Screening is necessary to find cancers earlier when there is a higher likelihood of a cure.

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Biz
: How can women keep their families on track for screenings and prevention too?

Dr. Snider: Model the importance of a healthy lifestyle from a young age. We know young children should have a well child check every year but these are important for teens and young adults too who are eligible for the HPV vaccine/Hepatitis B vaccine which are cancer prevention. Don’t forget our significant others and all the people we love. Encourage your people to take care of themselves with regular checkups and screenings.

Biz: How can busy women make time for cancer screenings?
Dr. Snider: Making time for ourselves is every woman's challenge. Scheduling online is a fantastic way to do this. Mercy has online scheduling for mammograms, primary care and OBGYN physicians. You should also pick a time to check yourself. Every March on my birthday I think about what health screenings I need to do this year and try to schedule them.