October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This is a good time to review steps you can take to reduce your risk of breast cancer. Just a few of them can make a big difference.
* Check your breasts each month. If you know what your breasts normally look and feel like, you are more likely to spot changes.
* Schedule your mammogram. Talk with your provider about what mammogram schedule is best for you, and what kind of mammogram to have. There are some new technologies that work best for women with dense breasts.
* Exercise! Exercise does wonders for your heart, lungs and overall health. It also helps keep you at a healthy weight, and obesity has been linked to breast cancer.
* Reduce your alcohol intake. Your doctor can provide some guidelines, but again, heavy alcohol use can increase your breast cancer risk.
* Don’t smoke. Smoking puts you at risk of for many kinds of cancer, including breast cancer.
* Eat a healthy diet rich in whole grains, veggies and lean proteins.
* Know your genetic history. Breast cancer can run in families, so make sure that you, and your doctor, know of any family members who have had breast cancer. If this is the case, your doctor may recommend more frequent screenings.
The HPV Vaccine: Why It’s Important
If you are a young adult, or have a pre-teen or young adult in your family, then the HPV vaccine should be part of your immunization program. Simply stated, the HPV vaccine (Human papilloma virus) is a vaccine to prevent cancer. The HPV vaccine prevents infection from the strains of HPV that cause more than 70 percent of all cervical, anal and oropharyngeal cancers, precancerous cervical lesions and genital warts. It is available for boys and girls ages nine to 26. Most doctors recommend that children receive the vaccine around age 11 or 12. It is a three-shot series given over the course of six months. Your child must complete the three-shot series for maximum protection from cancer. If you have questions about the vaccine, talk with your physician. Partners for Women’s Health also has a doctor on staff who specializes in pediatric and adolescent girls. If you would like to see Dr. Caron, contact our office. To read more about Dr. Caron’s background, visit the Staff section of our website.
Get connected with Partners for Women’s Health through our Patient Portal
The Patient Portal is an online service that provides you with a fast, reliable, easy to use method of communicating with your physician’s office any time it’s convenient for you. With Patient Portal, you can connect with your doctor during office hours through a convenient, safe and secure method.
The Patient Portal allows you to do the following:
1) Request Appointments
Even receive appointment reminder emails!
2) Email Your Doctor’s Office
No more playing phone tag. Simply send a message!
(NEVER use email in an emergency or if you need immediate assistance.)
3) Manage Your Medications
View dosage information and request a prescription refill!
4) Care for Your Entire Family May Be Possible
If your family member is also a patient of Exeter Hospital Core Physicians, you may be able to combine accounts. You would then have one location for your entire family’s upcoming appointments, medications and more.
If you want to enroll in the Patient Portal, simply call or visit our office, or complete our online Patient Portal (NextMD) Enrollment Form. After validating your information, we will notify you of your temporary enrollment token number. You will also receive an email with instructions on how to use this token number to complete your patient portal enrollment.
What You Should Know About Zika
Zika is a virus that is spread by mosquito bites. It causes fever, rash, joint aches and conjunctivitis or “red eye.” It is currently occurring in Central America, northern South America (especially in Brazil), and in the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In most people, Zika is not of great concern, with symptoms usually abating in a few days to a week. However, in pregnant women or women trying to become pregnant, Zika is a more serious issue.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report that Zika is transmitted from the mother to the unborn child and can cause serious birth defects, including microcephaly, and termination of pregnancy. For this reason, pregnant women in any trimester are advised NOT to travel to any regions where Zika is being reported. The CDC also cautions that women trying to become pregnant, and their partners, should also avoid areas where Zika is present as the virus is believed to also be transferred during sexual intercourse.
If travel to regions where Zika is present is unavoidable, the CDC urges women to first consult with their healthcare provider before making the trip, and to then take the strictest precautions for avoiding mosquito bites.
If you are pregnant and have recently been to a region where a Zika outbreak has occurred or is now occurring, see your doctor even if you do not have symptoms. Your provider will then determine whether you or your unborn baby should undergo certain tests.
If you believe you had Zika at some point, but are now well, you should also see your doctor right away.
The CDC also emphasizes that Zika is spreading, so the areas where it may be found will be constantly changing. If you are pregnant and planning to travel (or are trying to become pregnant), visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/zika first to see if Zika has been detected in the areas you are planning to visit.
The Dangers of Marijuana During Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
With the recent legalization of medical marijuana in a number of states, there has been the incorrect assumption that marijuana must be safe to smoke during pregnancy. However, this is not the case. Marijuana is still a drug, and a drug with known harmful side effects to developing babies.
Medical research has shown that the chemicals in marijuana influence brain maturation.
Babies born to women who used marijuana during their pregnancies respond differently to visual stimuli, tremble more, and have a high-pitched cry, which may indicate problems with neurological development. As marijuana-exposed children reach school age, they tend to have difficulty with problem-solving skills, memory and the ability to remain attentive.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, breast-feeding mothers should also be leery of using marijuana as research suggests that THC is secreted into breast milk in moderate amounts. These amounts could also be harmful to a baby’s developing brain.
While marijuana may have positive uses in aiding certain medical conditions, it is still a drug that can put your baby’s healthy development at risk.
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