Cervical Cancer Awareness

Support Cervical Cancer Awareness Month this January

Santa Claus isn’t the only one who needs to check his list twice. Here at AltaMed, we’d like the women in our community to take a second look at their New Year’s resolutions and make sure that cervical cancer prevention is at the top. With a simple screening and/or vaccination, this deadly cancer is almost always avoidable and curable – talk about a no-brainer way to commit to your health for 2018.

While the death rate for cervical cancer has gone down by more than 50 percent over the past 30 years, 13,000 women are still diagnosed annually, resulting in approximately 4,000 deaths. The good news is that an easy test and an even easier vaccination provide two smart ways to help you take charge of this New Year’s resolution.

The screening, known as a Pap smear, is essential not only for early detection, but also because looking for abnormal cells can identify changes in the cervix before cancer even develops. Pap smears are recommended every three years starting at age 21, but for women of average risk over 30, pap smears may be alternatively done in conjunction with HPV testing every five years.

In fact, HPV is the number one cause of cervical cancer. Nearly 79 million people in the United States have it, with 14 million newly contracting it each year. In addition to regular pap smears, it’s of vital importance that both boys and girls get vaccinated beginning at age 11. Providing this vaccination at an early age, before they are sexually active, can save their lives, as it protects against the types of HPV that cause 90 percent of cervical cancers. The vaccine is available for our patients up to age 26, so don’t hesitate to call us today for more information and to schedule an appointment.

For 2018, AltaMed is more committed than ever to providing Quality Care Without Exception, but we can’t do it without your help. Join forces with us to continue decreasing the number of women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

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New Year On the Block

There’s something inspiring about the start of a new year, which is why we feel compelled to make fresh-faced resolutions for the next 365 days to come. From exercise goals to financial agendas to travel dreams, the challenge lies not in setting promising intentions, but in keeping them.

Here are some easy guidelines to help set and stick with your positive goals for 2018.

  • Be Realistic: Start small, not only with the resolution itself, but with the number you make. Instead of vowing to hit the gym every day, aim to get physical two to three times a week.
  • Be Thoughtful: Change comes from within, so make your resolutions for you, not for someone else.
  • Be Specific: Focus on what behavioral changes you’ll need to make to reach your goal, then make a plan and write it down. For instance, if you want take a big summer trip, think about some easy steps you can take to save money, like bringing your lunch to work instead of eating out.
  • Be Inclusive: Talk to your family and friends about your intentions, and with their support, your chances of success are all the greater. And who knows? Maybe they’ll be inspired to join in the effort, and as we’ve all heard: team work makes the dream work.
  • Be Kind: The path from A to B is not going to be a straight line. You may stumble along the way, but don’t quit while you’re ahead! Celebrate your milestones along the way, both good and bad. It’s all part of the process.

AltaMed wishes you a happy and successful year to come!

Breast Cancer Awareness

Hearts Beat Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

With the color pink symbolizing hope and awareness throughout the country, it’s important that women are proactive rather than reactive when it comes to their health. AltaMed wants to help women understand that the best protection is early detection when it comes to breast cancer. At age 50, it is recommended that women receive their mammogram (an x-ray of the breast) every two years.

Many women don’t understand the significance of mammograms and how they can potentially save lives. According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, mammograms correctly identify about 87 percent of breast cancer cases, which means there is an opportunity to catch breast cancer in its early stages when it can be easier to treat.

Though there is no way to prevent breast cancer, there are things that can be done that may lower your risk, according the American Cancer Society:

  • Stay Healthy: Increased weight gain as an adult is linked with a higher risk of breast cancer after menopause. It’s recommended to stay at a healthy weight throughout your life and avoid excess weight gain by balancing your food intake and participating in physical activity.
  • Be physically active: Many studies have shown that physical activity lowers the risk of breast cancer, so it’s important to get up and exercise. Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of high intensity activity (or a combination of both) each week.
  • Limit or avoid alcohol: Alcohol also increases risk of breast cancer. Women who drink should have no more than one alcoholic beverage a day. One drink is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.
  • Other factors that might lower risk: Women who are new mothers and choose to breastfeed for at least several months may also get an added benefit of reducing their breast cancer risk.

Think Pink is honored in the month of October, but can be honored all year long! At AltaMed, we want to ensure that our patients have the proper care and education to fully understand the potential risks of not being proactive with their health. For the month of October, you’ll be seeing quite a bit of pink at our medical offices and we will be offering free AltaMed gift bags to women who complete their mammograms at one of our locations. To learn more or schedule a mammogram today, please call (888) 499-9303!

Support Cervical Cancer Awareness Month this January