Pratt: ‘Pinktober’ expanded to address other health issues impacting women

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, October 17, 2018

We are expanding the scope of “Pinktober.”

When it comes to women and wellness, Breast Cancer Awareness is often heavily promoted. It is true that cancer (breast, lung and thyroid) is the second leading cause of death in females.

But, did you know that heart disease was the leading cause of death for females in the United States?

Also, according to the CDC, diabetes increases the risk of female heart disease by four times (compared to two times in men)?

Women are also more likely to experience diabetes-related complications such as blindness, kidney disease and depression.

Also, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, of the 10 million Americans with Osteoporosis, 80 percent are women. This is due mostly to their smaller, thinner bones and post-menopause reduction in the hormone estrogen.

Finally, other, less talked about problems, involve the bladder and urinary issues often attributed to anatomy, pregnancy and childbirth.

The good news is for all these conditions, proven preventative measures don’t even require a prescription:

• Eating a healthy diet with plenty fruits and veggies

• Maintaining a healthy weight

• Getting Physical activity

• Reducing alcohol intake

• And, quitting smoking

When it comes to diagnosing and treating female health concerns, St. James Parish Hospital is equipped to address the full spectrum of Women’s Wellness Services right here at home.

From screenings — blood tests and diagnostics — to wellness exams, surgeries and female-related rehab, we can not only help you here, but we can often fit you in sooner.

St. James Parish Hospital takes pride in continuing to expand the services and specialists we offer to help women lead their healthiest lives.

We offer a large medical staff of local specialists that see patients here — primary care physicians, urologists, oncologists, surgeons, cardiologists and gynecologists — all of which are well-equipped and experienced in addressing the specialized needs of females.

But, the best medicine for better health has always been clear: eat right, get exercise, reduce drinking and quit smoking.

We also challenge you to take care of yourself by taking advantage of wellness visits and recommended screenings. We understand it is hard to change behavior, so choose one area to focus on and make small improvements.

Small changes for better health make a big difference and we are here to help — we are “stronger together.”

For information on the Women’s Services offered at St. James Parish Hospital, visit

Mary Ellen Pratt is St. James Parish Hospital CEO. She can be reached at