TMH Living Well: Screening tests are touchstones for good health | CraigDailyPress.com

TMH Living Well: Screening tests are touchstones for good health

The Memorial Hospital

If you could sit down with your gynecologist and have a candid talk about women's health issues, what would you ask? Maybe you'd want to learn how to avoid breast cancer or heart disease — or simply explore your options when it comes to birth control. Now's your chance to do just that. The Memorial Hospital is hosting a Women's Health Series this summer where local women can pose questions, and Drs. James Summers and Scott Ellis will answer them. Think of it as a series of conversations on women's health.

If you go

The Memorial Hospital’s "Small Talk, Big Topics"

5:30 pm Wednesday

Downtown Books, 543 Yampa Ave.

The event is a women's health series. The first topic is Healthcare Screenings for Women with Dr. James Summers. Light snacks and beverages will be provided. To RSVP and for more information, contact Jennifer Riley at 970-826-3109.

The first topic in the series is health screenings — what you need and how often. Dr. Summers will discuss a wide variety of tests from Paps and mammograms to immunizations and cholesterol — or whatever you want to talk about.

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"There has been some new ideas on mammogram guidelines that are interesting to talk about, along with new technology in mammography," Summers said.

TMH has purchased an advanced mammography machine that produces clearer, more precise images — with 3-D technology coming soon. Another important screening test for women is Pap tests to detect cervical cancer.

"Pap tests are one of the true public health victories in the last 100 years. Cervical cancer used to be very common. Now, it's fairly rare," Summers added.

Regular Pap tests detect cervical cancer before it develops. In fact, most women who get cervical cancer have not had a Pap test in the last five years, or ever.

"Depending on your age and health history, you may not need a Pap test every year, but coming in for an annual exam is still important," Summers said.

Maybe you had your blood work checked at TMH's health fair in April. If so, good for you! If not, no worries — you can do it at your next annual exam. Blood chemistry screenings test for kidney, liver and thyroid function along with blood sugar levels and cholesterol among other things.

"These screening tests help women gauge their own health and make lifestyle changes to keep conditions like diabetes and heart disease in check. Preventive medicine is really powerful when people take heed and adopt healthy habits," Summers said.

He is open to whatever questions come his way. He imagines women might ask about STD screenings, birth control and mental health issues. If you haven't explored your birth control options lately, you will be surprised to hear how many choices there are.

"I see a lot of women who struggle with mental health issues — that's an area the healthcare world in general doesn't screen well for, but it's so important to receive treatment that works," he said.

Dr. Summers urges you to come to his talk this Wednesday and to bring questions.

"There is no such thing as a stupid question. Even if it doesn't relate to screenings or prevention I am happy to discuss whatever's on your mind," he said.

Come and kick off a summer of good health — and enjoy a light snack and beverage on TMH. Watch for more topics as the summer unfolds.

This weekly article with tips on living well is sponsored by The Memorial Hospital at Craig – improving the quality of life for the communities we serve through patient-centered healthcare and service excellence.

If you go

The Memorial Hospital’s “Small Talk, Big Topics”

5:30 pm Wednesday

Downtown Books, 543 Yampa Ave.

The event is a women’s health series. The first topic is Healthcare Screenings for Women with Dr. James Summers. Light snacks and beverages will be provided. To RSVP and for more information, contact Jennifer Riley at 970-826-3109.

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