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Mammograms help to detect breast cancer early, improving women's prognosis as a result. Susan G. Komen states that mammography is the most effective breast cancer screening tool in use today.

When women should begin getting mammograms remains open to debate. The American Cancer Society now recommends that women between the ages of 45 and 54 receive annual mammograms. Despite the benefits of mammograms, many women avoid them out of fear of the pain and discomfort associated with the procedure. But researchers are examining how much pressure mammogram machines need to apply to get accurate breast images. Until widespread customized mammograms are offered, women can take various steps to reduce the amount of discomfort they feel while undergoing these important screening procedures.

Apply a topical numbing gel. BreastCancer.org says a study found that applying a numbing gel an hour before having a mammogram resulted in less discomfort when compared to placebo and other pain-reduction techniques. Be sure to discuss application of the gel with your physician prior to your procedure.

  • Schedule your procedure for the right time. Do not schedule a mammogram right before or during a menstrual cycle, when breasts already are very tender due to hormonal changes. Waiting until seven to 14 days after a period is a better bet.
  • Take pain relief pills. A physician may suggest taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen prior to the appointment to reduce discomfort before and after the procedure.
  • Speak with the technician. Women can express their concerns about pain to the mammogram technician, who might suggest various ways to minimize discomfort.
  • Learn about padding. Find an imaging center that uses padding on mammogram plates. MammoPad is a soft, white, single-use foam pad that is invisible to X-rays.
  • Avoid caffeine. Some women find that caffeine contributes to breast tenderness. Avoid caffeine the week before the procedure.

Mammograms are an important health care tool. Reducing discomfort may encourage women to follow guidelines regarding mammograms more closely.

Easy ways to reduce your risk of getting sick while traveling

Travel and tourism is big business. According to research from the World Travel & Tourism Council in conjunction with Oxford Economics, the travel and tourism industry outpaced the global economy for the sixth consecutive year in 2016.

September may enjoy the title of National Wilderness Month, but any time of year is a good time to enjoy the great outdoors. One of the ways to immerse oneself in nature is to enjoy a day hike or overnight backpacking excursion.

Millions of people take to trails or create their own paths all across the world each and every year. Hiking is a great way to enjoy the beauty of nature, but it also has other benefits. The American Hiking Society notes that research has consistently shown that hiking as regular exercise can improve overall health and fitness. It also may lengthen and improve quality of life. Hiking as a form of low-impact walking can reduce risk for heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and anxiety.

"Sensitive skin" can describe a host of symptoms that affect the skin on peoples' faces and bodies. Some may develop sensitive skin after using skin care products that contribute to irritation or make their skin feel uncomfortable, even if there is no outward appearance of change. According to Francesca Fusco, MD, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, more than 50 percent of women categorize themselves as having sensitive skin. Although there are many treatments designed to treat sensitive skin, what drives irritation in one person may not produce the same effects in another. Therefore, alleviating sensitivity is not always an easy fix. Getting to the root of the irritation can help people develop a more customized plan for relief.

Chemotherapy is designed to attack rapidly dividing cells. Unfortunately, hair follicles are some of the fastest-growing cells in the body. That's why, within a few weeks of beginning chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer, many women report losing some or all of their hair.

BreastCancer.org says that some chemotherapy treatments will only cause hair loss on the head. Others can also cause the loss of hair elsewhere on the body. No treatment can guarantee that hair will not fall out during or after chemotherapy. However, planning ahead for changes in appearance, and taking the steps to help strengthen hair when it begins to grow in again, typically several weeks after treatment, can make a difference.

Medication management is an important issue for seniors and their families. Failure to properly manage medications can threaten the lives of seniors, highlighting the emphasis families must place on ensuring seniors take their medications in strict adherence to their physicians' instructions. Polypharmacy, or the taking of multiple medications for different conditions, can be a potential health hazard for the thousands of seniors who must manage health conditions with prescription drugs. Harmful drug interactions are a result of the confusion that can arise when seniors take multiple medications at the same time.

Skin cancer is one of the most pervasive types of cancer, and just about everyone is at risk of getting it. The American Cancer Society says that, over the past 30 years, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined.

Melanoma, while not the most common form of skin cancer, is the deadliest form of the disease. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, if melanoma is recognized and treated early, it is almost always curable. One way to detect melanoma early is to be aware of moles and new growths on the skin.

Brown spots, growths and moles on the body are often harmless, but they may be indicative of skin cancer. Experts say that anyone who has more than 100 moles is at greater risk for melanoma than others. Knowing one's skin and being aware of any changes is key to detecting skin cancer much more promptly.

Understanding the ABCDE's of detecting melanoma and the"Ugly Duckling" sign are important strategies for detecting skin cancer. Here's what a person should know.

Regardless of gender, all humans produce the hormone testosterone. However, men have much higher levels of testosterone than women.

Testosterone is a chemical messenger that is responsible for the development of male sexual characteristics. In addition, testosterone helps regulate muscle size and strength, red blood cell production, bone mass, and fat distribution.

As men age, their testosterone levels begin to dip. Although a natural result of aging, lower testosterone levels, also called hypogonadism, can contribute to any number of side effects and some of which men can find interrupt their quality of life. The medical resource Healthline says that testosterone starts to decrease after age 30, falling by 1 percent for each year thereafter.

When a person feels ill, his or her doctor may assess any symptoms and then prescribe a particular medication to treat or alleviate those symptoms. Doctors prescribe medications hoping to treat sickness, but sometimes prescriptions fall short, leaving some to wonder if prescription medications could be customized more for individual needs? The science is already here.

Making specialized drugs is not a new concept. Prior to the rise of drug manufacturing companies, early pharmacists routinely customized ingredients. According to Professional Compounding Centers of America, customized medications are created through a process known as pharmacy compounding, which is defined as the art and science of preparing personalized medications for patients.

Hormonal Balance:

Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy for women has grown in popularity and has steadily improved over time.  I have seen it change many lives.  Here are some tips I have learned after 30 years in the business.

Your choice of doctor matters!

Not all doctors have the training or interest in customized hormone replacement. Practitioners associated with the American Academy of Anti Aging (A4M)  have extensive special training and certification in this area.  It is also important to choose a doctor who you can talk to openly about your feelings, symptoms and treatment response, since these can often be quite personal subjects.  Good communication leads to better outcomes!

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PureScienceRX is a compounding pharmacy that offers customized medications that are not readily manufactured. Our Pharmacists and staff will work with your prescriber to customize the right prescription for you.

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