I want to advise women to ignore the bad advice given by the American College of Physicians in the article “Guideline: Most healthy women can skip pelvic exam” [Health & Fitness, June 30], and to make sure that they get annual pelvic examinations.
While the statistics might show that few malignancies are detected by such exams, as one woman for whom a malignancy was in fact found on a routine visit, I will be forever grateful that I made it a point to have this kind of “well-woman” exam.
I was symptom free, but because I believe prevention is better than treatment, a fast-growing uterine adenocarcinoma was discovered early enough that I did not have to undergo radiation or chemotherapy after surgery. I suggest to those women who experience “fear, anxiety and pain” in connection with this exam that they might want to balance that against the fact that here I am at the age of 83, 13 years after surgery, and still healthy, active and enjoying life.
Bernice Kastner, Seattle