ESHCA Wellness Newsletter
October 2019
The shareable link (also printable) for this issue of the newsletter is:
The "Pink Ribbon" and Cancer Screening Awareness
The "Pink Ribbon" will be seen everywhere in October and is synonymous with "Breast Cancer Awareness Month" . However, it should also be a reminder to all of us to make sure our health screenings are up-to-date! Early detection is the key to successful treatment of any health ailment, schedule your Annual Physical today!!!

  • Breast cancer statistics (BreastCancer.org)...
  • 1 in 8 (12%) women and 1 in 883 men will have invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. For women, it is the second most common form of cancer (skin cancer).
  • 41,760 deaths are expected for women as a result of breast cancer in 2019, that is second only to lung cancer.
  • Since 1989, death rates have been declining, especially in those under 50, as a result of treatment advances, early detection through screening (Annual Physical) and increased awareness.
  • Cases of breast cancer have decreased in the US since 2000. One theory, is that it is partially due to reduced use of hormone replacement therapy (RPT) after results of the Women's Health Initiative were published in 2002.
  • A woman’s risk of breast cancer nearly doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer (keep an updated Family Medical History Worksheet for you and your future generations). Yet, 85% of women diagnosed have no family history.
  • Most significant risk factors are gender (women) and age (growing older).

  • Prostate cancer is the #1 most commonly diagnosed cancer in men...
  • 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer over the course of a lifetime.
  • 31,620 deaths per year, second to lung cancer.
  • More likely to develop in older men; 6 of 10 cases are men 65 and older.
  • Discuss screening (PSA blood test) with your PCP (Annual Physical)...
  • Age 50 years for men of "average risk"
  • Age 45 years for men considered "high-risk" (African-American or family history)
  • Age 40 for those considered "very high risk" (more than one first degree relative who had prostate cancer at an early age).

Use the "Pink Ribbon" as a reminder to schedule your Annual Physical and get screened for cancers and other health conditions that you are at risk for based on family history, age and lifestyle. Review the following "MVP Guidelines to Preventative Health" in order to be aware of what you should discuss with your PCP:

Tech to Improve Your Health
Health monitoring phone apps and wearable fitness devices "drive" users to wellness by helping them make better nutrition choices, encouraging them to exercise or by helping them track their "numbers". Sharing that information with their doctor could have profound implications on their treatment, considering a blood test or blood pressure screening may only reflect a small window of time and external conditions. For example, how does a stressful time at work affect your blood pressure or how well do you control your blood sugar through the holidays? Tracking, recording and graphing data (easily done on an app) provides more accurate long-term readings allowing patients to make appropriate lifestyle changes and doctors to provide better treatment. There are 4 areas to consider monitoring including medical information, forks, feet and fingers . Some smartphones come pre-equipped with a health app so you may want to start by looking there. The apps below were ranked by healthline.com as the Best Apps of 2019 in their category .

1) Medical information ... monitor blood pressure and blood glucose. Current research is focused on developing technology that will allow you to take a blood glucose reading by placing your thumb on the camera of your smart phone. This would be a significant break through considering patients would no longer have to prick their finger or spend money on diabetic test strips. It would also allow an ever growing number of pre-diabetics to reverse their condition by enabling them to monitor their blood glucose numbers and make healthy choices based on the data.

  • Glucose Buddy
  • iBP Blood Pressure

2) Feet ... fitness trackers monitor steps, calories burned, heart rate and sleep quality. Your best bet is probably a wearable device (watch) such as a Fitbit or Garmin because it measures activity 24/7. They are probably most beneficial to office workers and operators. Laborers on road work jobs have reported as many as 25,000 steps per day (estimated 12.5 miles), well above the recommended 10,000. However, a fitness tracker may be beneficial to keep them moving in the "off-season". Each brand and model has variations in what it will measure, there is also quite a bit of variation in price.

  • Couch to 5k (an exercise app to get you up and moving)

3) Fork ...track your food. These apps allow you to record your nutrition and scan in the food labels of your favorite foods providing an accurate visual of your diet. Collected data can then be used to make nutritional adjustments, such as, reducing the amount of carbohydrate, while increasing your protein and healthy fat intake.

  • MyFitnessPal
  • Spark People
  • Fooducate

4) Fingers ...quit smoking. Quitting is hard but it is one of the most significant steps you can take to improve your health. Maybe one of the following apps would be helpful.

  • Smoke Free
  • Easy Quit
  • Quit It Lite
Stretch of the Month - Shoulders
Tight upper body muscles can lead to all kinds of issues including shoulder, neck, upper and low back pain. The shoulder is a very complicated joint, the ball and socket configuration makes it the most mobile joint in the human body. The shoulder joint includes muscles that push (pectorals), muscles that pull (lats), muscles that shrug (traps) and muscles that depress the shoulders.

The 3 exercises below are basic upper body stretches used to improve/maintain shoulder flexibility. Since a majority of upper body muscles are tied into the shoulder complex, completing these 3 exercises may be beneficial in improving a number of sore muscles and joints including your neck and low back.

1) Pectoralis stretch (Figure 1)...a) raise your arm straight out to the side so the elbow is even or slightly higher then the shoulder; b) place the hand, inside of the forearm and inside of the elbow against a flat surface; c) gently turn your body away from the elbow, pulling the arm "behind" you; d) feel the stretch across the chest; e) hold for 15-30 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side; f) complete 1 to 3 sets on each side.

2) Rotator cuff (arm up the back) (Figure 2)...a) place your arm behind your back; b) place the back of your hand flat against your low back; c) slide the hand up your back attempting to reach in between your shoulder blades; d) "drop" the elbow down toward your hip; e) hold 15-30 seconds, repeat on the opposite side; f) complete 1 to 3 sets on each side.

3) Triceps/latissimus stretch (Figure 3)...a) reach straight up toward the ceiling so the elbow is close to the ear; b) keep the elbow "fixed" and drop the hand down between the shoulder blades; c) gently grip the elbow with the opposite hand and pull the elbow behind the head; d) hold for 15-30 seconds, repeat on the opposite side; e) complete 1 to 3 sets on each side.

$25 Upper Body Stretch Challenge
a) Complete these 3 stretches 9 times (9 seperate days) over the month of October.
b) Record on the Upper Body Stretching Log and send it back to me via email, mail or fax. I will send you a $25 incentive card for participating. Reminder: only one incentive can be given to each member household (with the exception that more than one employee-member lives in a household). Please contact me if you have questions.
c) Last day to submit challenge paperwork is 11/14/19.
ESHCA 49-Day Nutrition Challenge:
Do you have what it takes?
Wellness Program Incentives 2019?