This is an issue that is pretty close to me right now.  A friend of mine is dealing with precancerous cervical cells. Thanks to her yearly pap smear, her doctors were able to detect these cells before they could develop into full blown cervical cancer, which is in most cases relatively asymptomatic or silent in its early (and most treatable) stages.

i may have commented on how hipster my cancer is
you know, since it doesn’t even exist yet
–the person to whom I am dedicating this post

Click to expand the post for image credits and me soap-boxing.

If you have a cervix, you should go get a yearly pap smear, or as frequently as your physician deems it necessary. If you have genitals and you have sex with people regularly, you should get a yearly health exam to ensure you and your partners are safe and clean and A-Okay. This is the responsible, grown-up thing to do, people, for you and anyone else you like to do naughty things with. Currently, these services are available across the country at Planned Parenthood clinics as well as many other general health clinics. If you have health insurance or a primary care physician, they can often perform these tests or refer you to other doctors who can.

For more information on pap smears, the wiki article is as good a place to start as any. You can find more information from the FDA here as well.  Image credits to Pitchfork.com (what I based the fake papsmear.com website off of) and the bullet vibe found here.

I’m sorry this is perhaps not as funny as usual, and maybe touches close to home for some of you as well. Please share this image as you see fit (as a joke for your hipster friends, or as a serious message to the people you care about).

–m

P.S. To finish this post: I am not an M.D. or Ph.D. of any kind and have no medical training or background. I’m not being paid by anyone to post this message. I do not have control over the contents of any website I have linked to. If you have questions about these topics, you should contact your healthcare professional.