The American Cancer Society has recently reported a decrease in breast cancer-related deaths. This seems to be related to more effective medications and treatments for breast cancer.
From 1975 to 1989, breast cancer deaths increased about 0.4 percent per year. From 1989 until 2015, there was a 39 percent overall decrease in breast cancer deaths. Screening for breast cancer is more important than ever because the earlier a cancer is detected the better it can be treated. Women age 40 years and older should have a screening mammogram yearly.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recently reported that excess body fat is related to at least 13 types of cancer. This means that women (and men) who are overweight or obese have higher risk of certain cancers. The list includes postmenopausal breast cancer, uterine cancer, and ovarian cancer.
Ideal Body Mass Index or BMI (a height and weight calculation) is 20 to 25. BMI over 25 is considered overweight. BMI 30 or higher is considered obese. In the case of uterine cancer, the higher the BMI, the greater the risk of cancer. The best treatment for obesity is to eat healthy and, to exercise at least 30 minutes daily, even if it is just walking!
In other news, the CDC reports an increase in the sexually transmitted diseases gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis. The greatest increase is in chlamydia. Chlamydia does not necessarily have any symptoms so often men and women do not know that they have it. If left untreated, chlamydia can have long term effects in women including chronic pelvic pain and infertility. Screening for gonorrhea and chlamydia can be as simple as giving a urine sample and should be done every time you have a new sexual partner or if your partner has a new partner.
Your primary healthcare provider and your gynecologist keep current on all the latest healthcare news. This is why seeing your provider and following their recommendations is important. Yearly visits for well checks are recommended.
According to a recent Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, 92 percent of Americans believe it is important to get a yearly physical exam but only 62 percent of adults actually do this. At Fayette County Memorial we have primary care providers that are available to help you be the healthiest you can be. Gynecology services are also available for women’s annual exams as well as to help manage any female health issues.
Appointments are available by calling FCMH Medical Surgical Associates at 740-333-3333.