Take Action, Not Chances -- UAMS Women's Health Newslette
Take Action, Not Chances -- UAMS Women's Health Newslette

Take Action, Not Chances

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

“Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women ages 35 to 74,” said Dr. Amy Phillips, one of our OB/GYN doctors at UAMS. “The good news is that the five-year survival rate is over 90% when diagnosed and treated in the early stages. The bad news is that, because of its vague symptoms, less than 20% of all cases are found at this early stage.”
“Unlike cervical cancer, which can be detected with a pap smear, and breast cancer that can be detected with a self-exam or mammogram, we don’t yet have a simple screening test for ovarian cancer,” she said.
Ovarian cancer awareness is promoted through a “teal” or Take Early Action and Live, campaign because early diagnosis is so important to survival.
“Researchers across the country are working to find ways to detect ovarian cancer earlier, including a project at UAMS using dogs to detect ovarian cancer through smell,” said Dr. Phillips.
The first symptoms are:
  • Bloating
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
  • Feeling the need to urinate urgently or often
If you experience any of these symptoms consistently for two weeks, please see your doctor and talk about your symptoms.
This fact sheet provides more information about ovarian cancer, and you can learn more about ovarian cancer and promoting early detection from the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition.

Fall Allergies: Nothing to Sneeze At

Ragweed is one of the most common causes of hay fever and its accompanying sneezing, runny nose and itchy throat. It can also cause asthma. Ragweed grows across Arkansas and has a very fine powdery pollen that is easily carried across the state by the wind. Pollen is usually worse on warm, breezy days and between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. There’s no way to avoid ragweed pollen, but you can take steps to reduce its effects.
  • Keep your home and car windows closed
  • Change clothes after being outside
  • Take a shower before bed to remove pollen from your face and hair
  • Avoid pets that have been outside
There are several over-the-counter antihistamines that provide relief from these seasonal allergies.
If you still don’t get relief from your allergies and asthma, visit an allergist who can test to determine your specific allergies and provide a customized treatment plan just for you.

Get the Shot, Not the Flu

Flu shots will be available beginning in early October. It can take up to two weeks for the vaccine to build your immunity, so it’s good to get your shot before flu season begins. In Arkansas, flu season is usually from December through March, but there have already been isolated reports of the flu in Arkansas this month.
Seasonal flu vaccines are the best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu virus. This highly contagious virus is spread through coughing, sneezing and touching a surface with the virus on it and then touching your mouth or nose.
UAMS offers flu shots at most clinic locations, including our family medicine clinics at Financial Centre Parkway and on Rahling Road.

Keep Your Kid in the Game

Fall sports such as soccer, volleyball, cheer and football often bring sore muscles, sprained ankles, broken bones and even concussions. Whether you or the child in your family plays volleyball or football, swims or runs, cheers or dances, the STOP Sport Injuries website offers helpful, sport-specific injury prevention tips.
For any sport, the best treatment for a sprain or strain calls for RICE:
  • Rest the injured site for at least 24 hours
  • Ice the injury at least every hour for 10-20 minutes during the first four hours. For the next two days, apply ice for 10-20 minutes four times a day.
  • Compress the injured site with a snug, elastic bandage for 48 hours
  • Elevate the injured limb for at least 24 hours.
Immediate medical attention is required for anyone with a suspected head or neck injury.

Are You Fit for the Army?

If you spent the summer months working out and getting in shape and would like to see just how “in shape” you are, see if you can meet the U.S. Army’s fitness guidelines for sit ups, pushups and two-mile run. This website also provides height and weight standards for men and women ages 17 to 56. If you don’t quite meet the physical fitness standards yet, there’s also an eight-week training plan to help you meet the Army’s fitness standards.

Safety in Numbers

Your family will have the opportunity to attend many ballgames, fairs, festivals and celebrations this fall. Big crowds and exciting things to see and do make it easy to lose young children, and even older adults.
Before you leave the parking lot, make sure everyone in your group has a plan in case they get separated. Make sure everyone has your cell phone number – on a wrist band, in a shoe or pocket, or even written on their arm. It’s also a good idea to take a group photo before you leave the parking lot so you can provide an accurate description of clothing if someone is lost. Make a plan and teach your children these easy steps if they get lost:
  • Stop and find a safe place to stand, like near a bench or wall. Do not leave the area.
  • Stay calm and look around for your parents and others in your group
  • Ask an adult for help – look for an employee, a police officer, or a mom with other children
  • Tell the adult who you are looking for and ask to call your adult
  • Stay where you were lost. 

Treat Your Taste Buds to Fall

Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte is the company’s most popular seasonal drink, and more than 200 million of these beverages have been sold in the past 12 years. Others have noticed the popularity, and now you can find pumpkin spice candles, ice cream, yogurt, cookies, beer and chocolate. If you’re a pumpkin spice junky but want something healthy, try these recipes
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