Healthy families start with healthy moms. Keeping women healthy throughout all stages of their lives is important. From receiving appropriate care during childbearing ages, maternity care services, lifesaving mammography screenings as women age and bone density testing as women approach and move into their retirement years, women’s health is crucial to the health of a family.
“At Lakeside Medical Center, our team offers optimal care for women in all stages of their lives, from early adulthood to maternity and throughout their senior years,” said Janet D. Moreland, APRN, MSN, LHRM, Associate Vice President, Administrator of Lakeside Medical Center. “Our goal is to empower women to make informed decisions about their health care and the options available to them.”
Maternity Care Services
Maternity care is defined as the health services provided to women, babies, and families throughout a pregnancy, during labor and birth, and after birth for up to six weeks. Maternity care is typically provided by obstetricians, midwives, and family physicians. Some women also see other health professionals and community workers. These other health professionals might include an endocrinologist, a social worker, a psychologist, or a dietician. They all work together to support a women’s pregnancy and birth.
Maternity care includes monitoring the health and well-being of the mother and baby, health education, and assistance during labor and birth. In addition, support after the birth to ensure the mother and baby are healthy and well is also part of overall maternity care. Another important part of maternity care includes breastfeeding guidance. For more information on breastfeeding, please listen to the Health Care District’s Here for Your Health podcast – The Benefits of Breastfeeding.
Mammograms are an important cancer screening that can detect small changes in breast tissue that may indicate breast cancer. The mammogram screening is an X-ray picture of the breast. The screening can be used to check for breast cancer in women who have no signs or symptoms, or to check a lump or other sign of breast cancer. Mammograms can help reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer among women ages 40 to 70.
There are a number of different variables to consider when it comes to having a mammogram. Women should discuss these with their provider and determine whether they have average or high risk for breast cancer. Variables like age and family history will help to establish the level of risk.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Cancer Society (ACS), women ages 40 to 49 with average risk should have mammograms every year. For women ages 50 to 74 with average risk, the ACOG recommends annual screenings. However, the ACS recommends women ages 50 to 54 continue with annual screenings with women who are 55 and older switching to mammograms every two years.
Women at higher than average risk are recommended to start mammogram screenings by age 40, if not earlier. The mammograms should be performed annually. MRI screenings may also be recommended for women at higher than average risk. Women at higher than average risk should discuss their medical history and individual situation with their provider. Some of the variables that would indicate a higher than average risk include women with close relatives who have had breast cancer. In addition, women who have the BRCA gene mutation would indicate a higher than average risk.
Bone Density Testing
A bone density test is mainly conducted to detect osteoporosis (thin, weak bones) and osteopenia (decreased bone mass) so that these conditions can be treated as soon as possible. Those at risk include post-menopausal women who are not taking estrogen, women over 65 and men over 70, anyone who smokes or drinks too much alcohol, people of certain ethnic backgrounds, and those with a family history of hip fracture or osteoporosis.
Early treatment helps prevent bone fractures. Early identification and treatment are important since complications of broken bones related to osteoporosis are often severe, particularly in the elderly. The earlier osteoporosis can be diagnosed, the sooner treatment can be started to improve the condition or prevent it from getting worse.
A bone density test is used to measure bone mineral content and density and can be used to determine a patient’s future fracture risk. This test may be done on an outpatient basis or as part of a hospital stay. During the test, patients lie flat on their back on an X-ray table. An X-ray is used in combination with a proton generator to measure the bone mineral density in a patient’s bones. The entire procedure takes about 30 minutes.
Maternity care services, mammograms, and bone density testing are key components of quality women’s health services. For more information on women’s health services, please contact Lakeside Medical Center at 561-996-6571 and the C. L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics at 561-642-1000.
About the Health Care District
The Health Care District of Palm Beach County provides primary medical care, dental services and COVID-19 testing for adults and children at the C. L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics, health coverage programs for eligible uninsured residents, a pharmacy operation, a nationally-recognized Trauma System, registered nurses in nearly 170 public schools, short and long-term skilled nursing at the 5-star rated Edward J. Healey Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Riviera Beach, and acute care at its teaching hospital, Lakeside Medical Center, which is accredited by The Joint Commission and serves the rural Glades’ communities.
About the C. L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics
This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number H80CS25684 for Health Center Cluster in the award amount of $7,019,063. Of the total project, 78.6% is financed with nongovernmental sources. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government. The C. L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics were granted Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) deeming status effective January 1, 2020.