From emergencies to preventive screenings, your health is too important to put on hold.
Too often, women let their own health needs take a backseat to their loved ones. We know regular visits to a primary care provider and regular preventative health screenings are the best ways to stay healthy and avoid getting sick, but it’s easy to postpone appointments because of COVID-19.
It is important to prioritize regular health maintenance. These screenings provide a necessary reference point to overall health, and the earlier problems are detected, the better our outcomes can be.
“People frequently identify going to the doctor with being sick”, says Dr. Molly Parker, Medical Director for Population Health at Jefferson Healthcare. “Whole person, preventative care is our goal. We want to see you before you’re sick because it increases the options for your care and gives us a baseline for your whole body.”
Primary care providers like Dr. Parker can use personal risk factors to identify key health screenings every individual should have, such as annual physicals and dental checkups. For women, there are additional necessary screenings—such as mammograms and bone density. Conveniently, these routine screenings, which help us take better care of ourselves, can be scheduled right here in a hospital you trust.
We have created the safest possible environment of care for our patients and employees. Every person entering our hospital or clinics is screened for temperature and respiratory illness symptoms. All patients, visitors, and employees are masked. Exam rooms and waiting areas receive extra cleanings and we have created physical distancing between patients.
Jefferson Healthcare invested in advanced technologies and upgraded facilities to meet the screening needs of the community and to keep care local. 3D mammography and DXA scanning for bone density screening are among the upgrades made in 2019 at Jefferson Healthcare.
Breast cancer screenings check for cancer before there are signs or symptoms of the disease and finding cancer early means treatment is more likely to be successful. 3D Mammography is an imaging tool available at Jefferson Healthcare that can detect cancers otherwise hidden. 3D mammography finds cancers earlier and reduces false positives; it finds 27 percent more cancers and decreases the chance of being called back for another look by up to 40 percent.
Cancer continues to a leading cause of death for women in the United States, second only to heart disease. According to 2015 data from the US Cancer Statistics female breast cancer is ranked first in the diagnosis of new cancer. The risk of getting breast cancer increases with age and Jefferson County ranks No. 1 in the state for the population with the oldest median age (half higher, half lower) at 54.7 years. Those factors make access to screening and early detection of breast cancer imperative. “3D technology allows us to see breast tissue detail in a way never before possible to help find breast cancer at its earliest stages when it’s the most treatable. I am so proud we are able to offer this level of service to our community. Local, convenient access to care is so important for all of us and our families,” says Dr. Parker.
When patients have questions about radiation associated with mammograms, the mammography team at Jefferson Healthcare explain that levels are well below Federal Drug Administration standards and the harms of screenings are negligible when compared to having or dying from breast cancer. 3D mammography reduces false-positive recall rates by up to 40 percent, which reduces overall exposure. The mammography team at Jefferson Healthcare offers this advice: “Good breast care involves a combination of three important steps: monthly self-exams, an annual exam by a health care professional and mammograms.”
Another screening that detects potential health problems for women is a bone density test, especially for women at risk for osteoporosis, a systemic skeletal disease characterized by low bone mass. Osteoporosis causes two million bone fractures every year and in an aging community like East Jefferson County, education and prevention are crucial. Osteoporosis is widespread and affects 4 out of 5 women on average. Fortunately, it can be detected, treated, and prevented. At Jefferson Healthcare women can have a quick 3-minute DXA scan to measure bone density. DXA scans are considered the most useful and reliable test to diagnose osteoporosis.
Though we all have a lot on our minds right now, with these valuable screening tools available locally, there’s no reason to postpone them. Besides, knowledge is power.
Learn more about Osteoporosis, attend our Facebook Live presentation, Wednesday, October 21 at 2 pm. Physical Therapist Mary E. Breckel, DPT will present a health education seminar on healthy habits to decrease the progression of existing or potential osteoporosis. The informative presentation will focus on best practices for the prevention of the disease as well as exercise techniques to protect and strengthen the spine.