Women's Health: Take Time to Care for Yourself

Story Number: NNS171010-17Release Date: 10/10/2017 1:14:00 PM
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By Yan Kennon, Public Affairs Senior Writer, Naval Hospital Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- Preventive services are your best defense against preventable diseases. Your care teams at Naval Hospital Jacksonville (hospital and branch health clinics) stand ready to provide those services.

"Prevention is the best medicine," said Cmdr. Jennifer Wallinger, NH Jacksonville director for public health. "Annual women's health service exams are the best way to maintain your health and diagnose potentially serious conditions for successful treatment."

Many issues women face are preventable and treatable. The top two causes of death for women are heart disease and cancer, with diabetes ranking seventh, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Heart disease: Heart disease is the number one cause of death in U.S. women. Key risk factors include: high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking. Other risk factors include: diabetes, overweight and obesity, poor diet, physical inactivity, and excessive alcohol use. Know your blood pressure, talk to your primary care manager about diabetes testing, quit smoking, talk to your PCM about cholesterol and triglyceride tests, make healthy food choices, limit alcohol, and find healthy ways to cope with stress.

Cervical cancer: Prevent cervical cancer - with the right test at the right time. Get your first Pap test at age 21. If the test is normal, you can wait three years until the next Pap. After turning 30, you have a choice. Get a Pap test every three years. Or, get a combined Pap and human papillomavirus (HPV) test, and if both are normal, you can wait five years until the next screening. Talk with your PCM about options.

Breast cancer: Mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early, when it's easier to treat and before it's big enough to feel. Starting at age 40, talk with your PCM about when to start and how often to get a mammogram. You have the choice to get an annual mammogram at age 40 and up. Call Radiology today (904-542-7782). It's easy to schedule, with no need to see your PCM.

Colorectal cancer: Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in U.S. women. If you're age 50 or over, get screened now for colorectal cancer. Screening can find growths so they can be removed before turning into cancer. Screening also finds cancer at an early stage, when treatment often leads to a cure. If you have risk factors, you might need to be tested earlier or more often. Talk to your PCM.

Diabetes: If you have diabetes, see your health care team every three to six months for an A1C test. This checks your long-term control of blood sugar. Make an appointment with your PCM today. You can discuss strategies to manage diabetes at home, work, school, and while traveling. You can also talk with a diabetes nurse or nutrition clinic, and ask about the Diabetes Wellness Team.

Chlamydia: Most people who have chlamydia don't know it, since there's often no symptoms. It's the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S. Women under age 25 (and older women with risk factors) need chlamydia testing every year. Call or email your PCM to schedule a urine sample in our lab.

Talk to your health care provider about non-physical concerns as well. Dealing with high stress, depression, difficulty sleeping, or other non-physical health concerns are just as important to stay healthy.

Proper sleep, physical activity, and nutrition are key components of preventive health and day-to-day wellness.

Women need a mix of cardio and resistance or weight-bearing exercise at least three to five times a week to help prevent osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Exercise also promotes good self-image, which is important to a woman's mental health.

Eating healthy is critical to women's health. A balanced diet of lean proteins, healthy fats, smart carbs, and fiber are essential elements to a proper diet.

For an annual well-woman exam, make an appointment with your PCM by phone (904-542-4677 at our hospital, or 904-546-7094 at BHC Jacksonville for active duty), or on TRICARE's Online Patient Portal at www.TRICAREonline.com.

For immunizations, stop by or call 904-542-7810 (hospital) or 904-546-7050 (BHC Jacksonville).

To take a free class on tobacco cessation, nutrition, or healthy weight, contact our hospital's Wellness Center at 904-542-5292.

For 24/7 clinical advice, call the Nurse Advice Line at 800-TRICARE (800-874-2273).

For secure email messaging with your care team (for non-urgent issues), sign up for free at https://mil.RelayHealth.com.

To view your care team's PCMs, visit our website at www.med.navy.mil/sites/navalhospitaljax, click on Medical Home Port, and click on each team.

NH Jacksonville's priority since its founding in 1941 is to heal the nation's heroes and their families. The command is comprised of the Navy's third largest hospital and five branch health clinics across Florida and Georgia. Of its patient population (163,000 active and retired sailors, soldiers, Marines, airmen, guardsmen, and their families), about 85,000 are enrolled with a primary care manager and Medical Home Port team at one of its facilities. To find out more or download the command's mobile app, visit www.med.navy.mil/sites/navalhospitaljax.

For more information, visit http://www.navy.mil, http://www.facebook.com/usnavy, or http://www.twitter.com/usnavy.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (August 17, 2017) " Lt. Jessica Miller, an obstetrics and gynecology physician at Naval Hospital Jacksonville, discusses cervical cancer screenings with a patient. Cervical cancer is the easiest gynecologic cancer to detect early, with regular screening tests and follow-up, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Pap test (looks for precancers) and the human papillomavirus test (looks for the HPV virus) are two tests that can help prevent cervical cancer. Talk with your PCM about options. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel, Naval Hospital Jacksonville/Released).
August 24, 2017
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