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Focus on Cancer Screenings during Women’s Health Month

You’ve probably seen your neighborhood flourish with walkers, runners and bikers since the beginning of quarantine. The COVID-19 pandemic has created time for many of us to improve our fitness.

Women can build on that momentum during May, which is Women’s Health Month. Think of it as an opportunity to focus on your overall well-being -- and make healthy changes for a more amazing you.

Five Simple Steps to Improve Your Health and Fitness

Focus on these simple steps:

  1. Continue or commit to moving more
  2. Add more fruits and veggies to your menu
  3. Make getting enough sleep a priority
  4. Keep tabs on your stress level and mental health
  5. Schedule your annual Well Woman visit

Discuss Your Family History of Cancers at Your Well Woman Visit

Don’t underestimate the importance of that yearly Well Woman visit. When providers review your family history for cancers, for example, they’re gathering information that can be impactful, and even save your life.

That’s because according to the National Cancer Institute, nearly 10 percent of cancers are the result of hereditary cancer syndromes. If you have multiple cancers in your family, specifically breast, ovarian, pancreatic, colon, endometrial or prostate cancer, this is a chance to discuss whether genetic testing for hereditary cancers would be appropriate.

Your provider will also make recommendations to reduce your cancer risk, such as increased screening, medications and, in some cases, surgery.

Know Your Risk for Developing Cancer

Knowing your risk status gives you the ability to make changes so you might never develop a cancer or that cancer it can be detected at an earlier and more manageable stage.

My best recommendations for a person at any level of risk: Don’t skip your screenings! The purpose is early detection, which we know leads to improved outcomes.

Many health care organizations make recommendations for when screenings should be performed. Find what screenings to look forward to at your next Well Woman visit.

Make the month of May yours and put some momentum behind habits for a healthier you. The benefits can be felt for a lifetime.

If you have more questions or would like to schedule your appointment, reach out to our CHI Health Women's Health care team.

Take our comprehensive Breast Health Risk Assessment to help you identify if you are at risk for developing breast cancer. You will receive a personalized report about your level of risk, and opportunities get help from our experts.
Kate Hunley, APRN, WHNP-BC

Kate Hunley, APRN, WHNP-BC is a provider at the CHI Health Breast Health Center at Lakeside.

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