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Mount Nittany Health Recognizes National Women’s Health Month

3 min read

May is National Women’s Health Month, and Mount Nittany Health and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services encourage women and girls to make their health a priority. This year’s theme, Empowering Women, Cultivating Health: Celebrating Voices, Wellness, and Resilience, is dedicated to empowering women to take charge of their health journeys and shine a light on health issues unique to women.

At Mount Nittany Health, we are fortunate to have several teams dedicated to women’s health including Obstetrics-gynecology (OB/GYN), the Women and Children’s Services Unit at Mount Nittany Medical Center, and Mount Nittany Health Breast Care Center.

Prevalent health concerns impacting women include, but are not limited to:

  • Heart disease – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 60 million women have some form of heart disease in the United States. In 2021, heart disease was responsible for about one in every five female deaths and it remains the leading cause of death for women today. Despite this, research has shown that only about half of women recognize heart disease as their number one killer.
  • Breast cancer – Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women in the United States (following skin cancer), and each year there are nearly 250,000 new cases of the disease diagnosed. This translates to roughly 12% of the female population receiving a breast cancer diagnosis at some point in their lives. Women at average risk for breast cancer should begin yearly screenings at age 40.
  • Cervical cancer – There are more than 300,000 women throughout the United States living with cervical cancer, with approximately 14,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Cervical cancer is most often caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), a common widespread sexually transmitted infection, making vaccination against HPV and routine Pap smears an important part of staying healthy.
  • Mental health disorders – According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression, anxiety disorders, and eating disorders are more common in women than men. Additionally, some disorders are unique to women, including perinatal depression (during or after pregnancy), premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and perimenopausal depression. Addressing mental health disorders is a crucial element in maintaining overall health. If you feel you may be struggling, a conversation with a primary care provider is a good place to start.
  • Osteoporosis – Almost 19% of women aged 50 and older have osteoporosis of the femur, neck, or lumbar spine. Osteoporosis has significant hormonal influence, especially in postmenopausal women, where decreased estrogen levels have a negative impact on bone formation. Eating calcium-rich foods, doing weight-bearing and strength-training exercises, and avoiding alcohol and smoking are all ways to help prevent osteoporosis.

Annual visits with a primary care provider to discuss routine screenings, health history, and any personal health concerns are an important way women can stay physically and mentally healthy through all stages of life.

During National Women’s Health Month, we would like to express our gratitude for all of our dedicated providers and staff who support women’s health every day and further us toward our mission of “Healthier people, stronger community.”