Health Corner

Womens Health Corner

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in women. Breast cancer is the number one cause of cancer death in Hispanic women. It is the second most common cause of cancer death in white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Indian/Alaska Native women. Breast cancer risk factors that cannot be changed

Breast cancer risk factors which cannot be changed


Being a woman is the main risk factor for developing breast and ovarian cancers. Women are constantly exposed to growth-promoting effects of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone, making breast cancer more common in women than men.


Being a woman is the main risk factor for developing breast and ovarian cancers. Women are constantly exposed to growth-promoting effects of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone, making breast cancer more common in women than men.


Breast cancer and ovarian cancer risk are higher among women with close blood relatives (mother, sister, grandmother, or aunt) who has the disease.


White women have a slightly higher risk of developing breast cancer than African - American women. However, African -American women are more likely to die from the disease. Experts believe the reason is that African -American women often have more aggressive growing tumors.

Breast cancer risk factors which can be changed


Alcohol use is believed to increase the risk of breast cancer. The risk increases by the amount of alcohol consumed. The American Cancer Society recommends that women limit their amount of alcohol consumption.

Obesity and high diets

Being obese or overweight has been found in most studies to increase the risk of developing breast cancer. While the ovaries produce most of the estrogen, fat tissue also produces estrogen, therefore increasing the risk of cancer after menopause.

Physical Activity

Growing evidence indicates that physical activity in the form of exercise reduces cancer risk.

Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Early detection and treatments are the keys to a cure of breast cancer.

Test For Breast Cancer

Includes Imaging techniques mammography, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) Fine needle aspiration biopsy with tissue analysis, ductal lavage and ductoscopy

Recommendation for breast cancer screening

Monthly breast self-examination starting at age 20.
Breast examination by a health care provider every three years starting at age 20.
Annual clinic breast exam at age 40.
Annual screening mammography starting at age 40
Women in the high risk group should start at the age 30

Uterine Fibroids

The statistic shows almost 80% of all women have uterine fibroids and 1 in 4 ends up with symptoms severe enough to require treatment. Researchers don’t know the causes of fibroids.
Medical name: Uterine Leiomyomata

Uterine fibroids are the most common, non-cancerous tumors in women of childbearing age. Uterine fibroids are tumors or lumps made of muscle cells and other tissue that grow within the walls of the uterus.

Most fibroids grow; within the walls of the uterus, between the muscle of the uterus, and outside of the uterus. What are the risk factors for developing uterine fibroids?

Current statistics show that African-American women are three to five times more likely to develop fibroids than women of other racial groups. Women who are overweight or obese have a slightly increased risk of developing uterine fibroids.

Symptom of uterine fibroids

Heavy menstrual bleeding, Prolonged menstrual periods — seven days or more of menstrual bleeding, Pelvic pressure or pain, Frequent urination, difficulty emptying your bladder, Constipation, Backache or leg pains


Surgical Procedures that Remove or Neutralize the Fibroids and Keep the Uterus Intact
Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE)
Drug Therapy alone or in Combination with Surgery
Hysterectomy Removal of the uterus

Mens Health Corner

Prostate cancer and prostate health

The prostate is a small gland about the size of a walnut that sits under the bladder and in front of the rectum. The urethra is a narrow tube that runs the length of the penis and carries both semen and urine out of the body. This tube runs directly through the prostate. The seminal vesicles are two glands that secrete the semen and sit just above the prostate. The nerve which controls erection runs along the sides of the prostate and is attached to it. Because of the connections, prostate cancer and any enlargement of the prostate can affect the urinary flow, bowel, and sexual functioning.

Begign prostate hyperplasia (BPH)

Most men, if they live long enough will develop enlargement of the prostate, and the risk of this occurring increases every year after age forty. BPH causes a ring of tissue growth around the urethra and this affects urinary flow. This may result in prostatitis an infection caused by inflammation and swelling of the prostate gland. This may result in a burning sensation during urination and will affect sexual function. Men who are experiencing BPH will have urgency and frequency of urination, often getting up to urinate 3 or more times each night to urinate. The urine stream is sometimes weak. This is due to the restriction caused by the enlargement and may cause straining during urinating.

Having the diagnosis of BPH does not mean there is also prostate cancer but treatment may be necessary to relieve the symptoms it may cause.

Erectile Dysfuction (ED)

What is erectile dysfunction? ED is when a man has difficulty getting an erection and maintaining it long enough for sexual performance. It is caused when not enough blood flows through the penis. ED is a medical condition, the degree and severity vary among men. Some men are not able to get an erection at all. Others can get one, but it is not hard enough for sex. Others get an erection but lose it before or during sex.

Prostate Cancer

Apart from skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the United States. It is also one of the leading causes of cancer death among men of all races and Hispanic origin populations.

Prostate cancer occurs in 1 out of 6 men in their lifetime. Prostate cancer occurs when the cells in the prostate change and create small cancer tumors that grow uncontrollably.

Prostate cancer is the 2nd cause of cancer death among men. (The first cause is lung cancer). It is estimated that more than 2 million American men are living with prostate cancer. One new case occurs every 2.7 minutes and a man dies from prostate cancer every 7 minutes.

The prostate cancer rate is highest among African American men. This cancer is a silent disease and early detection is the key to a cure. In most cases, prostate cancer is a relatively slow-growing cancer. This means it takes several years for the disease to become large enough to be detectable, and even longer to spread beyond the prostate. This is good news; however, some men can experience a rapid and aggressive form of prostate cancer.

It is difficult to know which prostate cancer will grow slowly or which will grow rapidly. A man is 35% more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than a woman to diagnose with breast cancer.

When prostate cancer is detected early it can be 90% curable due to the various treatments available today.

The general male population should start prostate cancer screening with their Doctor from age 40 to 50 years of age. African American men should start even earlier than the general population due to the high rate of incidence in their population.

PSA & DRE Screening

Screening for prostate cancer can be performed quickly and easily by a Physician using two tests: prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and a digital rectal exam (DRE)

PSA is a protein produced by the prostate and released in small amounts into the bloodstream. When there is a problem with the prostate the PSA is released. The PSA blood test measures the levels which are usually fewer than 4ml and considered “normal” results between 4ml and 10ml are “intermediate”. Results above 10ng/ml are considered “high” and may indicate cancer is present.

The PSA level can be elevated due to BPH or prostatitis (infection), and some men with prostate cancer can have “low” levels of PSA. This is why; both the PSA levels and the DRE are used to detect the presence of the disease.

A DRE is done by a physician feeling the prostate with his finger through the rectum examining the prostate for texture, size, and shape to detect disease.

Having a prostate cancer screening is a personal decision and a man should discuss with his physician what is right for him... A man over 40 should speak to his health care provider at the time of annual physical examination.

Nutrition and prostate health

A diet to promote prostate health includes fiber-rich meals, fruits, and vegetables daily, soy protein (tofu), lentils, and beans. Low-fat meals, Tomato-based meals, fish, and poultry trimmed of fat to name a few.

As a Nurse Practitioner in the Health Care Industry, I use this platform to encourage prostate health among men because I am aware of the devastating results that may occur when prostate cancer is not detected early.

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