Women urged to take part in health screenings

J. H. Osborne • May 12, 2007 at 11:33 AM

KINGSPORT - It's not just Mother's Day: it's the first day of National Women's Health Week.

And local health officials say it's your chance to encourage moms, aunts, sisters, spouses, and friends to seek out preventive health care services and screenings.

They won't have to look far, at least not on two days this week.

The Sullivan County Regional Health Department (SCRHD) is sponsoring free "Women's Health Check-Up Day" events at both its locations:

•On Monday in Kingsport, at 1041 East Sullivan St., from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

•On Thursday, in Blountville, at 154 Blountville Bypass, also from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

Many of the leading causes of death among women can be successfully prevented, or treated, if warning signs are caught early enough, according to a promotional announcement about the free events from SCRHD. "So a reminder from loved ones to get a regular health check-up is one of the nicest gifts a woman can receive."

The top three causes of death among women: heart disease, cancer and stroke.

•Heart disease is the number one killer of American women and, in fact, more women die of heart disease each year than do men.

•Cancer is the second leading cause of death, with lung cancer being the top cancer killer among American women followed by breast cancer and colorectal cancer.

•Stroke is the number three killer of American women. Each year, 30,000 more women than men have strokes.

National Women's Health Week continues through May 19th, coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The goal is to promote awareness of the measures women can take to prevent fatal and debilitating illnesses.

According to HHS, maintaining regular check-ups, being physically active, eating a healthy diet, not smoking, and following general safety rules are five health habits for improving women's health.

Participation in the free events offered this week by SCHRD is open to all women in the community and surrounding area, regardless of income or insurance status.

Free health screenings will be provided for women including pap smears, skin cancer screenings, breast exams, colorectal screening, blood pressure checks, bone density, blood sugar and cholesterol screenings, chlamydia screening and HIV screenings.

Following breast exams, mammogram appointments may be scheduled for a later date.

Educational materials and counseling focusing on a variety of women's health issues will also be available. Proof of income required for mammograms only.

For more information call SCRHD in Blountville at 423-279-2777 or in Kingsport at 423-224-1600.

More information is available online at www.sullivanhealth.org or www.4woman.gov/whw.

"Checklist for Your Next Checkup," can be found at http://www.ahrq.gov/ppip/healthywom.htm or ordered by calling (800) 358-9295. The prevention guide, "A Lifetime of Good Health: Your Guide to Staying Healthy," can be found at http://4women.gov/pub/pg.cfm or ordered by calling (800) 994-WOMAN (9662).

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