Last updated 7 days ago
In our heads we know that getting regular check-ups and paying attention to our bodies is vital to staying healthy and living a long and joyful life. But sometimes we put off talking with our doctors about little changes in our bodies that may seem like no big deal, but in reality could point to something serious.
This month is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and it’s important to know the symptoms of this disease which is the 5th leading cause of cancer deaths in women. The American Cancer Society says that an estimated 22,000 new cases will be diagnosed this year. The biggest threat of ovarian cancer is not catching it in its early stages when the survival rate is 90%. Instead, because women don’t go to their doctors when symptoms begin, only 19% of cases are found early. When ovarian cancer is in stage III or higher, the survival rate drops as low as 30%.
So what are the symptoms that should have you picking up the phone and making an appointment with your physician?
· Pelvic or abdominal pain
· Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
· Feeling the need to urinate urgently or often
· Upset stomach or heartburn
· Back pain
· Pain during sex
· Constipation or menstrual changes
If you have any one, or a combination of these symptoms that occur for more than two weeks, make that call! Besides just making you feel miserable, whether it’s cancer or not, you know something is wrong if these symptoms persist. Listen to your body and make the call!
If you need more information on ovarian cancer, or a referral to a qualified physician, call our free health information line at 1-850-864-0213.
Last updated 13 days ago
For the vast majority of Americans, the threat of getting the measles is slim-to-none. But keeping that extremely contagious virus at bay depends largely on taking the most effective preventative measure – getting a vaccination.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the United States is actually experiencing a record number of measles cases with 593 confirmed cases reported between January and August of this year. The CDC says this is the highest number of measles cases recorded since 2000.
So why is this happening now? Well, visitors from other countries where they don’t typically receive the vaccine are coming to the U.S. with the virus and infecting others. In homes and communities where children are not getting the vaccinations needed, the risk is the greatest. Sometimes when diseases like this are felt to be eliminated (based on years of effective immunization programs) people may assume they no longer need to worry about it and simply choose not to get vaccinated. But guess what? That’s how the disease gets away from us and we end up with widespread outbreaks that can be deadly.
So here’s what you need to know. Whether you think measles is a threat or not, getting a vaccination is how we, as a society, prevent this dangerous respiratory disease from spreading. If you or someone in your household hasn’t been immunized for measles, call your doctor. If you don’t have a physician, call our free referral service at 1-850-864-0213 and we can provide information on where you can go to get this important preventative shot.
Last updated 19 days ago
This is a sad topic but one that shouldn’t be ignored. Last month Robin Williams committed suicide. It was the headlining topic of virtually every news show for a week. A man who had made generations of people laugh out loud took his own life. It was hard to understand, it was sad, but this man who apparently had a life-long battle with depression and substance abuse spurred an important conversation about mental health for several days.
Robin was an international entertainer and of course the tragedy of how he died as talked about world-wide. That’s how his suicide made it into the news. But the truth is that every 13 minutes someone in America commits suicide. For whatever reason, whether due to depression, substance abuse, or simply the inability to cope with some situation in their life, every 13 minutes someone who somebody cares about dies at their own hand.
September 7-13 is National Suicide Prevention Month and it’s important that all of us keep in mind that we may have friends or family who are suffering with some mental health issue that could result in this kind of tragic death. Here are some of the warning signs of suicide and steps you can take when you recognize that someone is at risk.
According to the Centers for Disease Control most of the time, people who kill themselves show one or more of these warning signs before they take action:
Talking about wanting to kill themselves, or saying they wish they were dead
Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as hoarding medicine or buying a gun
Talking about a specific suicide plan
Feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
Feeling trapped, desperate, or needing to escape from an intolerable situation
Having the feeling of being a burden to others
Having intense anxiety and/or panic attacks
Losing interest in things, or losing the ability to experience pleasure
Becoming socially isolated and withdrawn from friends, family, and others
Acting irritable or agitated
Showing rage, or talking about seeking revenge for being victimized or rejected, whether or not the situations the person describes seem real.
If you know someone who is exhibiting this type of behavior, you need to take action. If the behavior is extreme and it’s obvious they are in crisis, call 911. Don’t be afraid to help. Otherwise, let that person know you care and want to help them. Make the call to a mental health provider and find out what the best next step is. Stay with the person or make sure someone else in the family can be with them until they’ve gotten the help they need.
You can call our free health information and physician referral line at 1-850-864-0213 to get information on mental health services in our community. But don’t ignore the problem.
Last updated 1 month ago
August is National Immunization Awareness Month and there’s more reason than ever to pay attention to timely vaccines for your children. While there is debate about benefits and effects of traditional immunizations, the truth is that some of the worst childhood diseases have been virtually eliminated with generations of children receiving timely vaccinations and preventing the spread of diseases throughout our schools.
And it doesn’t stop with infant immunization and even grade school boosters. Your pre-teens and teenagers need to get regular check-ups and vaccines as recommended by their physician. And if you’re about to become an empty nester with a kid headed to college, even they need to get their shots updated. Remember, whether it’s kindergarten, middle school, or college, they are going to be with socializing with others who might not have received appropriate vaccines. This is the best way to protect your treasured family from illnesses that can easily be prevented.
Flu season is just around the corner. The very best step to take in keeping that nasty bug out of your home is through annual influenza vaccinations. When we look at infectious diseases like the flu, pertussis (whooping cough), and bacterial diseases like meningitis that cause blood infections, it’s so simple to prevent a family tragedy just by staying aware and making a quick stop at your doctor’s office to receive the shot. We’re fortunate to live in a society where these vaccines are available, affordable, and safe.
While we’re focused on immunizations in August as our children – no matter what age – are preparing to return to schools and dormitories, call your family doctor and find out if they are due a booster shot or if there’s a new vaccine recommended for their age group. If you don’t have a family physician, call our free health information and physician referral line at 1-850-864-0213 and we’ll help you find a doctor that fits your family’s needs.