October 22, 2015 --
It’s Women’s Health Month and making health a priority helps women stay in optimum shape and keeps illnesses and disease at bay.
Regular screenings and prevention are keys for maintaining good health.
Annual well-woman exams are essential. At this exam, the patient’s primary care manager will conduct a physical exam, as well as document health habits and history, discuss recommended screenings and immunizations, and provide education and counselling to help individuals make informed health decisions.
Some common health issues for women include heart health, breast disease, cervical cancer, diabetes and stress.
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the U.S. Risk factors include high blood pressure, obesity and physical inactivity. Patients should know risk levels and coordinate with their PCMs on actions for reducing those risks
Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the U.S. However it is on the decline due to increased awareness, screenings and improved treatment. PCMs can educate patients on which tests are needed and when to have them. Mammograms are recommended every two years for women, ages 50 to 74.
Women should begin cervical cancer screening at age 21, regardless of sexual activity, and continue through age 65 — at which point they can stop as long as prior results didn’t show precancerous changes. Women, ages 21-65, should have a Pap test every three years with human papillomavirus testing every three years for women, ages 30-65. These can be completed during well-woman exams if needed.
Other actions women can take to live a healthy life include:
· Maintain a healthy weight;
· Exercise for a least 30 minutes, at least five days a week;
· Limit alcohol use;
· Quit smoking;
· Practice safe sex;
· Get seven to eight hours of sleep per night;
· See your health care provider every year;
· Get appropriate screenings as recommended by your health care provider.
Remember, it’s important to get recommended screenings, especially if an individual is at a higher risk for certain diseases. Talk with assigned PCM about family, emotions, stress and non-physical concerns as well. Some life events can bring higher stress with symptoms of anxiety, depression and sleep difficulties.
To schedule an appointment with your PCM at Naval Branch Health Clinic Albany, call 229-639-7884.
For additional health and wellness information, call Health Promotions at 229-639-9535.