Friday, September 20, 2019

Women’s health focus must be ongoing

TO YOUR  HEALTH 

C. Scott Campbell 

c.scottcampbell@hma.com

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Originally launched in 1985, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month began as a partnership between the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries.

Initially, this focus on breast health was conceived to promote mammography as the most effective weapon in the fight against breast cancer—a goal that remains as relevant today is it did in 1985. About one in eight U.S. women (just under 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.

However, to those of us in the medical community, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month has come to represent so much more. A focus on women’s health simply cannot stop at the end of October or with breast cancer alone.

Safeguarding women’s health must be viewed as a year-round initiative. For example, the number one health threat to women is heart disease. Plus, cancer takes on many forms including breast, lung, skin and colorectal. In addition to cancer, women should also understand the dangers associated with other issues such as stroke, chronic lower respiratory diseases, Alzheimer’s and diabetes. As servants of the community, it’s critically important that Physicians Regional continues to promote women’s health care education in a variety of formats and venues.

On Wednesday, October 17th, Physicians Regional hosted its first-ever ‘Pink Party’ at the Clive Daniel Home in Naples. Knowing that every woman is unique when it comes to her health care needs, this marked the fourth consecutive year we have hosted a major event honoring Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

This public forum also enabled us to present essential wellness information in an exciting new format unlike anything Collier County has ever seen. This year’s Pink Party featured DJ music, prizes, giveaways, refreshments, and complimentary health screenings. All proceeds from the evening’s raffles and silent auction were donated to Cancer Alliance of Naples (CAN). Funds from CAN help cancer patients manage aspects of their “everyday life” such as paying for gas, rent, insurance, and utility bills.

However, the “everyday life” CAN seeks to protect often stands in the way of women taking the time to obtain the health care attention they deserve. Fast-paced, hectic schedules frequently distract women from taking the steps necessary to sufficiently care for themselves. The result: we needlessly lose our mothers, sisters, daughters, friends and neighbors to illness twelve months out of the year.

As the CEO of Physicians Regional Healthcare System-Collier Boulevard, I stand firm as an advocate for women’s wellness twelve months of the year. When it comes to the health of our community’s female population, each of us has the responsibility to be healthcare advocates for the women in our lives. Though statistics can often be perceived as daunting, there is one which supports the magnitude of my position: In 2011, there were more than 2.6 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.

C. Scott Campbell is CEO, Physicians Regional Healthcare System-Collier Boulevard. You may reach him by contacting c.scottcampbell@hma.com 

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