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HealthFocused

Educational health information to improve your well-being.

breast cancer, pink ribbon, women, sisters, mother

When Breast Cancer is in the Family

October 9, 2019

As many people know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, which is a terrific opportunity to discuss screening for a familial breast cancer syndrome. Traditionally, 5-10% of all cancers are hereditary, which means the vast majority of cancer patients have no family history of cancer at all. However, if cancer does run in one's family, being tested for certain genetic mutations can lead to increased cancer surveillance, risk-reducing surgeries, behavior modifications, and can alert other family members to risk. The mutations BRCA1 and BRCA2 are autosomal dominant germline mutations,... Continue Reading

Closeup of a microscope

Understanding Myeloma

October 3, 2019

Nearly 31,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with myeloma each year. However, most of us may be unfamiliar with this type of cancer. Although somewhat rare, it's important to understand what myeloma is, especially for people at increased risk. Learn what symptoms you should be aware of, who is at higher risk, and what treatment options are available. Myeloma is cancer that affects the plasma cells in bone marrow, a soft fatty material inside our bones. Bone marrow is an essential part of the immune system which helps ward off infection and disease. Bone marrow also produces stem... Continue Reading

Woman's hand writing the word diabetes on the screen

Diabetes Warnings from A to Z

August 28, 2019

Below we've listed—as alphabetically as possible—some of the warning signs, risk factors, and preventative measures that can be useful in identifying or preventing the disease. Adults diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have tripled over the previous 20 years - so it’s important to keep an eye out for the early warning signs that might increase your odds of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Blood pressure that is higher than normal can increase one’s chances of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, so it is recommended to monitor (and reduce) your blood pressure through regular diet and... Continue Reading

Hospice needs a few good men!

August 27, 2019

It's statistically known that more women volunteer than men. Hospice serves many male patients that would love to have some male companionship as most of their caregivers and hospice team members are women. If you are a male living in Augusta County, would you consider giving a little of your time to make this happen for someone? From the desk of Lori Showalter, Volunteer Manager: Meet Reese, a male hospice volunteer. Reese is a phenomenal volunteer that has made an incredible difference in the lives of many patients in his 7 years with hospice. He serves in the patient care role visiting... Continue Reading

Woman making a heart symbol with her hands, with the sun in the background

7 Habits for a Healthy Heart

August 26, 2019

When you want to describe someone as a good person you say they have “a good heart.” During an accident, when we check to see if someone is okay, we check their heartbeat. When we feel incredible sadness, we say our hearts are broken. Our condition can be defined by the condition of our hearts and nowhere is that truer than in examining our overall health. Heart disease is the number one killer in America. By fighting back against the contributors to heart disease, we build ourselves into being healthier people overall. In order to do that, we’ve prepared a list of seven habits that can... Continue Reading

Woman in bed with her hand on an alarm clock, trying to snooze for a few more minutes

The Importance of Getting a Full Night's Sleep

August 23, 2019

We all know that feeling when our alarm goes off in the morning, but we just don't want to get out of bed! If you're like most Americans, the lack of a good night's sleep is impacting your energy level, your productivity, and could lead to serious health complications. Don't push your exhaustion to the side, pay attention to your energy levels throughout the day and your general well being as these could be signs of sleep deprivation. A study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that more than one-third of American adults are getting less than seven hours of sleep on a regular... Continue Reading

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A Guide to Local Mental Health Resources

August 21, 2019

Augusta Health believes in treating the whole person, not just the symptoms. We wanted to take a moment to highlight some of the many resources available in our area. We encourage you to seek help or to pass this guide on to others who may be in need. Together, we can eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health treatment. The Valley Community Services Board The Valley Community Services Board is a publicly funded organization where citizens of Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta and Highland Counties can receive behavioral health, substance abuse, and developmental services they need. The... Continue Reading

close-up of a woman's face, focused on her eye

What Causes Cataracts?

August 19, 2019

Did you know that by age 80, more than half of all Americans will either have a cataract or have had surgery for cataracts? That's an astonishing proportion of the United States. Maybe since it is often an affliction that strikes us when we are older, we do not give a lot of thought to what they are and how they might come about. The good news is that you can reduce the number of risk factors that seem to be linked to the development of cataracts. In addition, surgery for cataracts are common and can be performed as an outpatient procedure. What are cataracts? Cataracts are clouds on the lens... Continue Reading

Woman sitting on the floor holding her knee

How to Avoid Accidents in the Home

August 16, 2019

According to the Centers for Disease Control , unintentional injuries are the third most common cause of death in the United States, and lead to over 29 million emergency room visits per year. Here are quick tips to avoid some of the most common injuries that occur at home. Avoiding Slips and Falls Among the most common type of accidents are slips and falls. Particularly dangerous to the youngest and oldest members of the population, falling can be catastrophic to the body and is a leading cause of injury for all age groups. For the elderly, slips and falls are responsible for 95% of hip... Continue Reading

Closeup of a couple sitting and holding hands

Mission Matters: Valley Mission and Augusta Health

August 14, 2019

Augusta Health's mission—to promote the health and well-being of our community through access to excellent care—requires partnership and collaboration with other organizations within the community. Valley Mission in Staunton and Augusta Health have been partners in caring for those in the community experiencing homelessness for several years. In the past year, the two have joined with several other partners—including the Department of Public Health and WARM Shelter in Waynesboro—in the Homeless Healthcare Connection, providing much-needed medical services to the homeless in our community... Continue Reading

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