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October 03, 2003 - Image 70

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-10-03

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Ask the expert

week, helps
the body make
an adequate
supply of vita-
min D to meet
the daily needs.
Other sources of
calcium include
cheese, yogurt, dark
green leafy vegetables
like broccoli and cooked
spinach, tofu, canned salmon,
and fortified cereals and juices.
— Ocene Naglik, MS, RD
Patient. Services Director
Food Services at Harper Hospital

Local physicians and
medical specialists
address important
issues for all women.

What are some general
health tips for women?

The enormous increase in obesity
in this country has had its major
impact on women, particularly eth-
nic minorities. The rise in rates of
obesity has led to drastic increases
in risks for diabetes, hypertension,
and heart disease. Exercise, even
without weight loss, has been
shown to lower blood pressure and
to either prevent or delay the onset
of diabetes. When exercise is cou-
pled with a diet that is high in
fruits, vegetables and nuts, and low
in fat, the effects are greater.
— Errol Crook, M.D.
Chief of Internal Medicine
Harper University Hospital

Prevention of osteoporosis includes
an adequate intake of calcium,
vitamin D, routine weight-bearing
exercise like walking 30 minutes
daily, no smoking, and avoiding
excess alcohol intake. Calcium car-
bonate, or antacids, or a multivita-
min that includes vitamin D may
be prescribed by your Physician for
treatment or prevention.
Vitamin D (the sunshine vita-
min, because it is activated when
sunlight hits the skin) is also
important to help deposit the calci-
um in the bones. Twenty to 30
minutes of sunlight, 2-3 times per

8 • 0 C. T 0 B E 12 2 0 0 3 • S 'I' Y 1, 1.1 A "1"1' 1.1


Shoulder disorders are common in
active, aging individuals. You can
prevent onset of associated shoul-
der disability by a home strength-
ening program performed three
times weekly, that requires no
more than 15 minutes of your time.
— Steve Petersen, M.D.
Chief of Orthopaedic Surgery
The Orthopaedic Specialty
Hospital, Harper

What are 5 medical tests
all women should have?

Heart Tests: Heart disease is the
number one killer of women, but
you can reduce your risk by having
these routine tests performed regu-
larly: Blood pressure — High blood
pressure puts you at risk for a heart
attack and stroke. Get it checked
at every doctor's visit; Cholesterol
— Bad cholesterol, or LDL, builds
up and clogs the arteries. Get it
checked at least once a year;
Glucose — This test measures
your average blood glucose, or
sugar. Consult your physician about
when to have this test; C-Reactive
Protein — An elevated C-reactive
protein level is a new risk factor for
coronary artery disease. A routine
blood sample is drawn and ana-
lyzed to measure the protein level
that can indicate inflammation in
your heart.

Mammogram Screening: Breast
cancer is the second leading cause
of cancer among women, after lung
cancer. While breast cancer inci-
dence rates have continued to
increase since 1980, studies have
shown that early detection by regu-
lar mammography screening saves
lives and increases treatment
options. The American Cancer
Society recommends that women
ages 40 and older have an annual
mammogram, and women ages 20-
39 should have a clinical breast
exam by a health care professional
every three years. If you have a
family history of breast cancer, you
should consult with your physician
about whether to have mammo-
grams before age 40 and how often
you should have them. In addition,
all women ages 20 and older should
perform monthly breast self-exams.

Pap Test: All women should make
a pap test a part of their routine
health care, beginning from the
time they become sexually active
to when they are going through
menopause. A pap test can save
your life because it can detect can-
cer of the cervix, a common cancer
in women. It also can detect infec-
tions and inflammation, and abnor-
mal cells that can change into can-
cer cells.

Bone Density
Screening: As
women age, their
bones lose calci-
um and other
minerals, putting
them at risk for
osteoporosis, a
disease that caus-
es bones to
become brittle
and break. One
Brent Davidson, M.D.
way to confirm
osteoporosis is by
a bone density screening, which
takes only a few minutes to com-
plete. Afterward, the screening sys-
tem compares your bone quality to

a younger adult at peak bone
strength and to people your same
age. Once bone density is deter-
mined, your physician can recom-
mend a course of treatment, which
could include changes in diet,
exercise, medication or calcium

Colonoscopy: Colorectal cancer is
the second most common cancer in
the United States, but one of the
most curable when diagnosed early.
While it may occur at any age, more
than 90 percent of patients are over
age 40, at which point the risk dou-
bles every 10 years. One way to
reduce your risk of contracting the
disease is by an outpatient proce-
dure called colonoscopy, during
which benign polyps are removed
from the colon. The procedure is
performed under local anesthesia
and lasts between 15-60 minutes.
— Brent Davidson, M.D.
Henry Ford Medical Center,
West Bloomfield

Is lung cancer preva-
lent among women?

Lung cancer is the leading cause of
death in women from cancer, and
kills approximately 67,000 women
in the United States per year and
over one million females world-
wide per year. In fact, since
1987, lung cancer deaths have
been higher in women than
breast cancer. Disturbing facts
are surfacing with regard to
smoking habits in women.
Are women more suscepti-
ble to lung cancer than men,
and why do only a proportion
of smoking women get lung
cancer? Hints to the answers
to these questions have started
to appear from both epidemio-
logic population surveys as
well as from the research laborato-
ry. Passive smoking (exposure from
the environment in a non-smoking
individual) was first considered

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