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Women's Health

Mercy Women's Care at St. Anne
3404 W. Sylvania Avenue
Toledo, OH 43623

Mercy Women's Care at St. Charles
Navarre Medical Plaza
2702 Navarre Avenue
Suite 101
Oregon, OH 43616

Mercy Women's Care at St. V's
2213 Cherry Street
Toledo, OH 43608

General Health

separator Sleep Apnea Can be Serious
Sleep apnea affects more than 12 million Americans. People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, when the soft tissue in the throat collapses and closes. With each apnea event, the brain awakens the sleeping individual in order to get breathing started again. This process can occur literally hundreds of times during the night, creating fragmented sleep of poor quality. Sleep apnea can cause
  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular disease, including myocardial infarction, stroke, and sudden death
  • Memory problems
  • Weight gain
  • Impotence
  • Automobile collisions
  • Headaches

Heavy snoring and a struggle to breathe are the key signs of sleep apnea. Many times, the bed partners of people with sleep apnea are the ones who encourage a visit to the doctor.

Sleep apnea is treatable, so it's important to be evaluated and begin treatment.

Source: The National Sleep Foundation, March 2002

STDs: Very Common, Treatable
Many people have sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, but they don't know it. Sometimes the symptoms don't show up for a long period of time. Or they're so subtle that you hardly notice something's wrong. That's why it's important to be tested for STDs.

There are bacterial STDs, which can be treated and cured with antibiotics. They often produce slight or no symptoms in the early stages. These include
  • Gonorrhea
  • Syphilis
  • Chlamydia

Then there are STDs caused by viruses. These cannot be cured, but there are ways to manage them with drugs and behavior to minimize their harmful effects. These STDs include:
  • Herpes
  • HPV/genital warts
  • Hepatitis

Left untreated, some STDs, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, can cause men and women to become unable to have children. Others can increase the risk of contracting yet more STDs or conditions such as cervical cancer.

Source: A. Buyers. Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Enslow Publishers, Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, 1999.

Reliable Cancer Sites
If you do a Web search for cancer information, you're likely to come up with all kinds of sites, from the reliable to the ridiculous to the type that's looking to sell you "miracle cures" that don't exist. Here are three sites you can count on to provide material that's based on sound research.

The National Cancer Institute, the National Cancer Institute's Web site, provides accurate, up-to-date information on many types of cancer, information on clinical trials, resources for people dealing with cancer and information for researchers and health professionals.

American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is a nationwide organization that provides information on cancer treatment, early detection and prevention. It also has a great deal of information about services available to cancer patients and their families.

National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship
This is a patient-led organization that serves as an advocacy and resource group for people with cancer.

Sources: The American Cancer Society, The National Cancer Institute, March 2002

Cosmetics of Cancer
If you're going to have cancer treatment that's likely to cause hair loss, be sure to figure out in advance how you want to deal with that. Talk with your doctor or other member of your cancer healthcare team about whether you want to select a wig, wear a turban, etc. Do this before your treatment begins. Once you start having chemotherapy, you may feel too tired to put a lot of time and energy into this.

When you're having your treatment, don't forget to pamper yourself now and then. If your hospital or clinic offers spa-like sessions for people getting cancer treatment, take them up on it. Helping yourself to feel and look good during your treatment can give you a real boost.

Source: American Institute of Cancer Research, March 2002

Cancer and Fatigue
There's a lot you can do to address the fatigue that comes with most types of cancer treatment.
  • Save your more difficult tasks for times of the day when you have the most energy.
  • Tell your co-workers and supervisor in advance that your cancer treatment may make you more tired than usual. They may be able to help you decrease your workload on days when you need it, or they may be able to trade some of their easier work with your harder stuff.
  • Try to get enough sleep at night. If you nap during the day, keep it brief, about 20 minutes. Longer naps can make it harder to sleep well at night.
  • Conserve energy by sitting whenever possible and scheduling breaks.

Source: American Institute of Cancer Research, March 2002

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