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Penn Health and Wellness

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Friday, May 10, 2013

May is National Stroke Awareness Month

According to the American Stroke Association, about 795,000 Americans each year suffer a new or recurrent stroke. That means, on average, a stroke occurs every 40 seconds.

F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke. If you can spot the signs, you'll know that you need to call 9-1-1 for help right away.

F: Face Drooping - Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person's smile uneven?
A: Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S: Speech Difficulty - Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like "The sky is blue." Is the sentence repeated correctly?
T: Time to call 9-1-1 - If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you'll know when the first symptoms appeared.

You can do plenty to keep your heart and blood vessels healthy, even if you've had a stroke. A healthy lifestyle plays a big part in decreasing your risk for disability and death from stroke and heart attack.  Here are some common steps from the American Stroke Association to take to be healthier and reduce your risk of stroke:
  • Don’t smoke and avoid second-hand smoke.
  • Improve your eating habits. Eat foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium and added sugars.
  • Be physically active.
  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • Get your blood pressure checked regularly and work with your healthcare provider to manage it if it’s high.
  • Reach and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Decrease your stress level.
  • Seek emotional support when it’s needed.
  • Have regular medical checkups.
The Penn Stroke Center is Philadelphia’s only “Comprehensive Stroke Center” as certified by the Joint Commission and American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.  This relatively new level of certification recognizes the significant resources in staff and training that comprehensive stroke centers must have to treat complex stroke.




Women & Heart Disease: Know Your Risk, Protect Your Heart

Heart disease is often thought of as a health problem for men, but more women die of heart disease each year, killing approximately one woman every three minutes. An estimated 42 million American women live with heart disease, but many are unaware of the danger they face.

Heart or cardiovascular disease is any disorder that affects the heart's ability to function normally. Types of heart disease are coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, cardiac arrhythmia, stroke, peripheral vascular disease and valvular disease.

It is important for women to know the warning signs of heart disease because these symptoms are likely to be different from those experienced by men. Women may experience common symptoms of chest pain and shortness of breath, but also have less obvious symptoms including:
  • Discomfort in the back, shoulders, arms, stomach, jaw, neck or throat 
  • Generalized pressure in the chest 
  • Indigestion 
  • Lightheaded
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Palpitations 
  • Unexplained fatigue 
Once heart disease develops, it’s a lifelong condition that will gradually worsen unless lifestyle changes are made. Fortunately, women may be able to lower heart disease risk by more than 80 percent by making healthy lifestyle choices. These include:
  • Exercising and maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Following a healthy diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and includes a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. 
  • Finding ways to cope with stress.
  • Managing high blood pressure.
  • Knowing your family history and getting tested for diabetes.
  • Lowering total cholesterol to less than 200 mg/dL.
  • Not smoking and limiting alcohol.
Penn's Preventive Cardiovascular Program was designed specifically prevent the onset, recurrence and progression of heart and vascular disease. To learn more or schedule an appointment, please call 800.789.PENN (7366).



Free Skin Cancer Prevention and Melanoma Conferences

CANPrevent Skin Cancer

Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center invites you and your loved ones to attend CANPrevent Skin Cancer, a free educational conference for anyone interested in learning about preventing skin cancer.
CANPrevent Skin Cancer is designed to address the personal and medical issues facing those at risk for skin cancer. The conference provides patient-focused information about the latest advances in skin cancer risk, screening and prevention.

Who Should Attend
Anyone interested in learning about skin cancer and its prevention - especially those with:
  • Natural blond or red hair color
  • Presence of atypical or numerous moles
  • Sun sensitivity (easily burns, difficulty tanning)
  • History of excessive sun exposure, including sunburns
  • History of using tanning booths
  • History of diseases that suppress the immune system
  • Personal or family history of melanoma, basal cell or squamous cell skin cancers
Join Us
Time: 8 to 11:30 am
Date: Friday, May 17, 2013
Location: Hilton Hotel located at 4200 City Avenue, Philadelphia, PA
Registration: Register here call 800-789-PENN (7366)
Cost: FREE

Get the facts on skin cancer and melanoma risk, prevention and screening – they could save your life or the life of someone you know.

Focus On Melanoma

Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center invites patients, family members and anyone interested in learning about melanoma risk, prevention, diagnosis and treatment to attend Focus On Melanoma.

Focus On Melanoma is a free educational conference featuring a keynote address by Paul B. Chapman, MD, and Marisa Weiss, MD.

Penn’s Focus On Melanoma Conference addresses the personal and medical issues facing people with melanoma including those in treatment, survivors, their loved ones, relatives and caregivers.

The conference provides patient-focused information on the latest advances in melanoma risk, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, symptom management and psychosocial issues. It is also an opportunity to network and gain support from other melanoma patients and survivors.

Who Should Attend
  • People newly diagnosed with melanoma
  • Those at risk for melanoma
  • Melanoma survivors
  • Family members, caregivers or healthcare providers of melanoma patients/survivors
  • Those diagnosed with a pigmented lesion and their family members/caregivers
Join Us
Time: 7:30 am to 3 pm
Date: Friday May 18, 2012
Location: Hilton Hotel located at 4200 City Avenue, Philadelphia, PA
Registration: Register here or call 800-789-PENN (7366)
Cost: FREE

Unable to Attend These Events?

Follow Penn Medicine on Twitter for event information before the conference date, and live tweeting throughout the conference with the hashtag #SkinCancerACC and #MelanomaACC.
Please “re-tweet” and share Penn Medicine's messages about skin cancer prevention and awareness with your followers.




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