The most important thing you can do to prevent cervical cancer is to be screened regularly. Your women’s wellness exam will often include the Pap test (pap smear) and the human papillomavirus (HPV) test, which detects HPV, the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer, are used to detect cervical cancer. Pap tests can find abnormal cells that may turn into cervical cancer. Removal of the abnormal cells prevents cervical cancer. Pap tests can also find cervical cancer early, when the chance of being cured is very high. In addition to the Pap test, the HPV test may be used for screening women who are 30 years old or older, or at any age for those who have unclear Pap test results. It also is used to provide more information when Pap test results are unclear for women aged 21 and older. Women should receive a Pap test starting within three years after becoming sexually active, or no later than age 21. If you are between 21 and 29 years old, it is important for you to continue getting a Pap test as directed by your doctor. Screening should be done every 2 to 3 years. At age 30, Pap and HPV test frequency can drop to every 5 years. This is called co-testing and should continue until age 65, according to the American Cancer Society. If you are older than 65 and have had a normal Pap test for several years, or if you had your cervix removed (for a non-cancerous condition, such as fibroids), your doctor may recommend discontinuing the Pap test. If you haven’t had your Pap test, it is important that you do so. Women need to be proactive in their own health care!
Have you ever found yourself ruminating endlessly about something from your past or in your future, leading you to feel tense, nervous, apprehensive or stressed? If so, you may have experienced anxiety. For those who find anxiety a frequent but not debilitating occurrence, the following exercises can help quiet your alarm in the present and keep it less active in the future. Square breathing Have you ever hear of square breathing? This technique can help you calm down in any situation. It helps regulate the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your body, which can balance you during anxiety bouts. Here’s how you do it. Hold inhale for four seconds, hold for four seconds, exhale for four seconds, and hold for another four. Repeat the cycle for several seconds and promote relaxation and clearer thoughts. Mindfulness Be in the present and live in the moment! By engaging your five senses you can practice mindfulness anywhere. Mindfulness can be practiced anywhere and applied to any activity. For example, consider the process of taking a shower: Most of us just go through a pattern of steps, rushing through the routine to move forward with our day. A mindful shower would involve paying attention to the smell of your soap, the feel of the warm water on your different body parts, the sound of the water hitting your back and the steam enveloping the bathroom, for example. By observing things in real time and being aware, we can calm the part of the logical mind fixated on what comes next. This helps us appreciate things more and reduces stress and worry. Progressive muscle relaxation One common physical reaction to anxiety is muscle tension. When we begin to experience anxiety, our bodies can stay tense without us even realizing it. Ironically, our brain then perceives this tension and treats it as a warning sign that there is reason to be worried, and the anxiety alarm starts to sound. It is a vicious cycle. Progressive muscle relaxation seeks to help your brain recognize what it feels like for your muscles to be in a relaxed, tension-free state. To initiate this practice, get comfortable in a seated position. Starting at the tips of your toes and working your way up, flex each major muscle group for a count of 10 seconds, then release for a count of 10 seconds. Move on to the next group of muscles, flexing for 10 seconds, then releasing for 10 seconds. This exercise can help you relax and release tension in your body when you are anxious. Make sure to reach out to your doctor if you are experiencing severe anxiety.
Did you know several factors can have affects on your heart health. Pollution, sleep, your teeth, weather, stress, snoring and loneliness are all items that you’ve probably never thought about when you are considering your heart. Take a look at this infographic and learn more.
You know fruit and veggies are healthy food options, but have you thought about other good foods that have health benefits, including helping cancer prevention foods. Here’s what to put in your cart: Produce: Fruits and vegetables protect against a variety of cancers, such as those of the mouth, pharynx, esophagus and lungs. Produce is high in fiber, which has been shown to reduce inflammation and help maintain a healthy digestive tract, among other benefits. For example, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, collard greens, and cauliflower can all turn on genes that slow cancer cell growth. Whole grains and fiber: Eating 6 ounces of whole-grain foods such as 100 percent whole-wheat bread each day may decrease your colorectal cancer risk by 21 percent. Oatmeal, a 100 percent whole-grain food, has been shown to reduce inflammation and could reduce your cancer risk. Eating as few as 10 grams of fiber per day may reduce your risk of colorectal cancer by 10 percent — so look for cereals with at least 5 grams of fiber per serving. Beans and peas: Dry beans and peas, such as kidney beans and split peas, contain health-promoting substances that may protect against cancer. These powerhouse foods are rich in fiber, protein and folate. They also contain phytochemicals that increase the destruction of cancer cells. Coffee: Even one cup of coffee per day could decrease your risk of endometrial and liver cancer by 7 to 14 percent. Drinking more may be additionally beneficial. Coffee speeds cancer-causing substances through your digestive tract and contains phytochemicals. Nuts: Walnuts and almonds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and phytochemicals that can decrease inflammation and damage from free radicals — harmful molecules that can lead to cancer. Talk to your doctor about additional foods you should be adding to your cart to keep you healthy.
What is World Health Day, you say? Well we are here to enlighten you. The World Health Day is a global health awareness day celebrated every year on 7 April, under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization. In 1948, the World Health Assembly held the very first World Health Day. They chose April 7th as the day each year to celebrate and raise awareness. The Day is intended to mark the World Health Organization’s founding, and is seen as an opportunity by the organization to draw worldwide attention to a subject of major importance to global health each and every year. The World Health Organization organizes international, regional and local events on the Day related to a particular theme. World Health Day is acknowledged by various governments and non-governmental organizations with interests in public health issues, who also organize activities and highlight their support in media reports, such as the Global Health Council. World Health Day is one of eight official global health campaigns, along with World Tuberculosis Day, World Immunization Week, World Malaria Day, World No Tobacco Day, World AIDS Day, World Blood Donor Day, and World Hepatitis Day. All to bring awareness to global health issues and concerns. For more information on World Health Day, visit the World Health Organization’s website by clicking here.