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October 2017

A mammogram could save your life

Woman holding a sign that says schedule a mammogramMost women today know the value of getting a regular mammogram. Recent studies confirm its value in detecting breast cancer at an early stage and giving a person a better chance of surviving the disease. 

Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women in the United States. More than 200,000 women each year are diagnosed with the condition, but, if caught early, it often can be cured. 

According to webmd.com, most cases in western countries are found by mammography. Leading health groups view mammograms as the gold standard in breast cancer screening. The American Cancer Society and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute recommend that all women get a mammogram every year starting at age 40. 

The National Cancer Institute advocates screening every one to two years for women 40 and older. Women with a higher than average risk of getting breast cancer are also encouraged to ask their doctors if they should start screening at an earlier age, and how often. 

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force advises women 40 and older to get a mammogram, with or without a breast exam performed by a doctor, every one to two years.

Through the Pearls of Wisdom program, every woman who comes to UHS for her annual mammogram receives a beautiful necklace with a single freshwater pearl. And on her mammogram visit each year following, she gets a gift certificate for another pearl to add to the necklace.

To schedule a mammogram, call the UHS Breast Center Vestal, 762-2494; UHS Delaware Valley Hospital, 865-2126; UHS Imaging Norwich, 337-4999; or UHS Imaging Sidney, 561-2212.


Take advantage of cardiac rehabilitation

hands holding a heartCardiac rehabilitation is of great value to many patients who have had a heart attack, have undergone heart surgery or have otherwise been referred to rehab by their doctor. 

The goal is to stabilize, slow or even reverse the progression of cardiovascular disease. Medical research shows that an effective rehab program reduces mortality, helps patients recover quicker and improves their physical, mental and social functioning. 

Yet some folks skip it, failing to take advantage of a process that could very well enhance their recovery. Despite its significant role, cardiac rehabilitation is too often underutilized by patients recovering from heart events, according to a paper published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Cardiac rehab was created in the 1930s for patients recovering from heart attacks.  In those days it emphasized bed rest and restricted physical activity. It has since evolved into a comprehensive program that helps patients recover from a heart event and learn the skills needed to improve heart health for a lifetime, according to cardiosmart.com, a website of the American College of Cardiology. 

As Cathleen Eggleston, RN, CCRP, nursing coordinator of Cardiac Rehabilitation at UHS, puts it:  "There is strong evidence showing the importance of cardiac rehab in helping patients make healthy lifestyle changes, improve quality of life and reduce the risk of a future heart event."

Heart patients in the Southern Tier have a powerful resource at their disposal to fulfill their cardiac rehab needs. The rehab program at UHS recently earned three-year recertification for adherence to national guidelines from the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

"This is the gold standard for cardiac rehab programs," said Linda Wasser, administrative director II of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation at UHS. "There is no other certification that is more outstanding than this. To achieve this level of accreditation ensures that we are providing patients with a high-quality service every day."

The most recent review shows that UHS' program makes a positive difference in the health outcomes of patients.  An individualized, monitored program is created for each patient and adjusted as needed, based on the person's progress.

Don't let financial, transportation or any other barrier keep you from accessing cardiac rehab if it has been recommended for you. To learn more about Cardiac Rehab at UHS, call 762-2178 at UHS Binghamton General Hospital or 865-2155 at UHS Delaware Valley Hospital.


When your child’s hunger doesn’t let up

Obese child eating a burgerEveryone overeats from time to time, but a rare medical condition found in some children makes constant hunger a way of life. It’s called Prader-Willi syndrome, or PWS. It’s a genetic disorder of chromosome 15 and causes hyperphagia, or unregulated appetite, according to the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research.

About 6,500 children nationally are born with the genetic disorder each year.  Although they exhibit a variety of physical, neurological and behavioral symptoms, the feeling of constant hunger poses the greatest risk to their health. Hyperphagia causes intense food cravings that result in uncontrollable weight gain and morbid obesity, which in turn can lead to diabetes, hypertension, lung failure and even death.

UHS Stay Healthy Kids is working with the Greater Binghamton organizers of an effort to draw attention to the disease and link parents whose children have it with healthcare and support resources.

Stay Healthy Kids presented the third annual “Kids’ Costume Run and Kid-Friendly Zombie Chase,” a family event held Oct. 28 at the Endicott Visitor Center.  Organizers founded the run three years ago, along with a trick-or-treat event at Halloween time that emphasizes alternatives to candy.

To learn more about resources in connection with this disease, contact UHS Stay Healthy Kids at 765-5684.