Welcome back to the Community Health blog, Sexual Health from the Inside Out.
Traditionally, women are the caretakers of their families. When our children are not feeling well, we take their temperature, give them medication and make sure they are comfortable. When our parents are sick, we take them to their medical appointments and fill their prescriptions. When our partners fall ill, we encourage them to see the doctor and sometimes even make the call to schedule an appointment for them. Through all of this a women’s health is at risk not only because we are exposed to those that are ill but because of the stress that comes with being the caretaker.
It is important that women also value their own physical and mental health and well-being. To encourage women to make their health a priority, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health has established that May 11-17, be 2014’s National Women’s Health Week. In addition, National Women's Checkup Day is Monday, May 12, 2014. This is right around the corner!
So, what does this mean and what can you do? For starters, make YOUR health a priority!
· Schedule a well-woman visit. Doctor visits are not only for when one is sick but also to get preventive care including screenings. Pap smears, mammograms, bone density .
· Take advantage of local health fairs. Many national and local organizations will be hosting health events where you can speak to professionals, gather information and even participate in screenings.
· Get informed. There are many health issues that women are at risk including breast cancer. The key to early detection is being informed. In addition to providing community programs, University of Illinois Extension’s Community Health Team has developed an online course to inform participants about signs and symptoms of breast cancer, and raise awareness of breast cancer disparities and the benefits of early detection methods with an emphasis on breast self-exams.
· Encourage your women friends and family members to do the same!
For more information about National Women’s Week or National Women's Checkup Day, visit: http://womenshealth.gov/nwhw/index.php
To take the University of Illinois Extension Community Health Online Breast Cancer Course, go to: http://web.extension.illinois.edu/breastcancer/