JFK Medical Center North Campus
Located in the heart of West Palm Beach, our 250-bed acute care facility has more than 30 years of experience in providing the highest quality of care to our community.

Understanding Your Risk Factors for Breast Cancer

Although the rate of breast cancer in the U.S. is high, treatment options are much more advanced than they used to be. By understanding your risk factors for breast cancer, you can work with your doctor to develop an ideal mammogram schedule that suits your needs. Keep reading to learn about some factors that may affect your breast health.

Understanding Your Risk Factors for Breast Cancer - West Palm Hospital - West Palm Beach, FL

Lifestyle Factors

Some risk factors for breast cancer are controllable. This means that by adjusting your lifestyle choices, you can improve your breast health and reduce your risk of cancer. Alcohol consumption is a significant lifestyle risk factor for breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, women who consume two to five drinks on most days have a greater risk of breast cancer than women who avoid drinking alcohol. If you do choose to drink, limiting yourself to one alcoholic beverage per day will only increase your risk slightly. Another significant risk factor is your weight. Being overweight or obese can increase your risk because your fat cells produce estrogen, which may make you more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer.

Family History

Other risk factors are uncontrollable, which means your lifestyle choices don’t affect these risk factors. For example, if you have a close relative who has had breast cancer, you may be more likely to develop it. Your risk is doubled if your mother, daughter, or sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. Most often, a family history of breast cancer involves genetic mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Your doctor can test you for these genetic mutations.

Breast Characteristics

Your breasts are composed of a few different types of tissues. If you have dense breast tissue, which has less fatty tissue, then you may have a higher risk of breast cancer. The density of your breasts may be affected by your genetics and your age.

If you have a high risk of developing breast cancer, your doctor may recommend scheduling mammograms earlier and more often than usual. You can schedule a mammogram at West Palm Hospital by calling (561) 842-6141. Our Breast Care Center offers the latest technology for breast exams, including digital mammograms, breast ultrasounds, and breast MRIs. 

Stretching Techniques for a Healthy Spine

Many people suffer from back pain, often as a result of strain on the muscles and ligaments that help support your spine. By stretching your spine regularly, you can improve its flexibility and reduce your back pain. However, if you currently have a diagnosed back condition, it’s best to consult an orthopedist before beginning a new stretching or exercise program.

To learn three stretches for your middle back, watch this video. You’ll see a fitness trainer demonstrate the pretzel, which involves lying on the left side and reaching with the right arm to pull up the right foot. Then, the left arm pulls up the right leg. This trainer also demonstrates two other helpful stretches for the spine.

West Palm Hospital Orthopedic & Spine Institute wants to help alleviate your back pain.  Call us  at (561) 842-6141 to find a physician that can recommend  treatment options so you can find relief.

Common Reasons for ER Visits

Common Reasons for ER Visits

People visit the emergency room for a wide variety of reasons. Chest pain is one of the most common reasons to visit the ER. Chest pain can be caused by many different medical conditions and not all of them are serious. However, because chest pain may indicate a heart attack, it’s critical to go to the ER promptly if you experience it. ER doctors always inform patients that it’s best to err on the side of caution.

Another common reason for an ER visit is a broken bone. Some broken bones require surgery because the bone needs to be realigned or there are bone fragments that need to be removed. You might also need emergency care for an upper respiratory infection. And although not all flu-like symptoms require emergency assistance, you should seek medical care right away if you cannot stop vomiting, if you faint, or if your vision changes.

West Palm Hospital is a full-service acute care hospital, certified by the Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center. Providing 24/7 emergency care for both adults and children, we treat everything from sprains and broken bones to more serious medical conditions. No matter what health concerns you have, our medical professionals will provide emergency care after a shorter wait time than the national average. Text “ER” to 23000 to view our average wait times. Not an emergency? Just need a doctor? Residents of the West Palm Beach area are invited to call us at (561) 842-6141 or use the contact form on our website.

What to Expect from Your First Mammogram

It’s important for women within a certain age range to have regular breast exams to screen for breast cancer. Doctors use mammograms, which are a type of X-ray, to check for changes in the breast tissue that may indicate breast cancer. If you have just scheduled your first mammogram, it’s a good idea to talk to the hospital staff about what you can expect and how you can prepare.

What to Expect from Your First Mammogram

Preparing for Your Appointment

Many women choose to schedule mammograms during the week after their periods because the breasts tend to be less tender during this time. Take a shower on the morning of your appointment and avoid applying deodorant, lotion, powder, perfume, or any other products on your chest and on your armpits. Before your mammogram, you should tell the technician if you are breastfeeding or if you have breast implants. Let the technician know if you are pregnant or if there’s a possibility you could be pregnant. You should also discuss whether you have noticed any changes with your breasts.

Having the Exam

You can expect to remove your shirt and bra, and wear a hospital gown for the exam. You’ll stand in front of the X-ray machine. The technician will position your breast on a metal plate. The machine will compress the breast to flatten it for just a few seconds while the X-ray is taken. This procedure is repeated for your other breast.

Getting the Results

After X-rays are taken, the technician may ask you to wait for a few minutes so that the image quality can be checked. Occasionally, the X-rays may need to be retaken to ensure accurate results. Before you leave, ask the technician when you can expect your results to be ready. By law, your mammogram results should be available within 30 days; however, most women receive their results much sooner than this.

West Palm Hospital's Breast Care Center is unlike any other facility in the area. Our spa-like environment, calming surroundings and warm lighting create a healing comfortable atmosphere for our patients.  Our patient care team strives to make your experience as pleasant as possible. If you have any questions about your upcoming mammogram, call us at (561) 842-6141. You could also visit our website to learn more about the procedure.


The Fight to End Cancer

The American Cancer Society was founded in 1913. Back then, people—even doctors—hesitated to discuss cancer because there were very few treatments available and the disease was quite often fatal. The American Cancer Society began a public awareness campaign to speak out about the importance of getting screened and funding research to find new treatments. 
As you’ll learn by watching this video, public awareness campaigns about cancer have been highly effective in convincing patients to get screened. Today, two out of three people survive cancer, thanks to increased early detection efforts and better treatment options.
Although doctors cannot explain why cancer develops in one person versus another, research demonstrates that certain risk factors increase the chance that a person will develop cancer.  If you think you may be at risk for cancer, you should discuss this concern with your physician who can recommend actions to reduce your risk – including appropriate screenings
To speak to a nurse 24/7 or for help finding a physician, call West Palm Hospital at (561) 842-6141. You could also visit our website to learn about breast health and breast exams, such as mammograms. 

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