sioux falls, sd
Few people like going to the doctor, but yearly check ups can make a big difference.
There's a new push to encourage women to keep up with those regular health screenings.
Doctors are encouraging women to keep up with their annual screenings and make them a habit instead of a chore. For Cindy Huntimer, her check ups have become just that.
"Once I did start coming, and found out how easy it was to make that yearly appointment for yourself, and I've just been coming now for every year," Huntimer said.
For Huntimer, who is now in her mid 50s, coming yearly has really paid off.
"I've been coming for 30 years now, every year to get it done. I've had some abnormal paps in the past and actually I have had some abnormal mammal too," Huntimer said.
Finding abnormalities likes these is one reason to continue with regular check ups.
"That's why it's so important to get that done so you can get the ball rolling on whatever you need to get done after that," Huntimer said.
Huntimer feels so strongly about yearly exams that she has instilled that same feeling in her three daughters.
"They all go into their yearlies because, of course, I feel it's very important to keep up on that," Huntimer said.
Annual screenings have become an important part in Huntimer's life, and doctors agree they should become an important part of all women's lives.
"We still like to see women every year to check your blood pressure, check your weight, other screening test but the pap smear can be more individualized," Dr. Ashley Briggs said.
Annual tests become even more important because you could have some diseases without even knowing it.
"A lot of these diseases don't even have symptoms. So if you aren't looking to see what your lab work looks like, then you aren't going to know that it's abnormal to do anything to change that until it's too late and then you start having symptoms when you get older," Briggs said.
Both Briggs and Huntimer agree getting a screening is key to a healthy life.
"I think making your health a priority so that way you can take care of you family," Briggs said.
"It's just something you need to do on a yearly basis," Huntimer said.
Doctors say if women ever have any concerns about their health, it's important to contact their physician as soon as possible.