Breast Cancer Awareness - October 2019
A Message from Your Hometown Health Manager
We have officially launched into our 2019-2020 wellness program year! Which means you will be able to earn fresh Visa rewards for participating in a variety of healthy activities now through September 30, 2020!

If you are new to the Hometown Health wellness program, you can get signed up by completing these steps:

  1. Visit Your Hometown Health Wellness Portal at
  2. Under the log-in button, locate “First Time Here?” and click on “Register.”
  3. Create an account by completing the form (be sure to remember your Username and Password).
  4. Now that you have an account, complete the Online Health Assessment.
  5. Congratulations! You have now earned your first reward, a $25 Visa gift card and now have full access to tons of FREE wellness tools and resources!

To earn additional Visa rewards, be sure to click on the “Rewards” tab in your wellness portal. Here you will be able to view all the available wellness challenges and activities that will count toward your next reward.

Be on the lookout for updates from your municipality’s human resource department for additional information regarding upcoming onsite health screening events and flu shot clinics! If you are unable to attend an onsite event, you can have your doctor complete and submit a Physician Qualification form. This form can be from your municipality’s HR Department or on your Hometown Health Wellness Portal . If you have trouble accessing this form, please email us at .

Need help navigating your Wellness Portal or have questions about your rewards status? Our dedicated WebMD Customer Support team is available seven days a week to provide assistance 855.667.2546.

I am always looking for participant feedback! If you would like to share feedback about your experience engaging in the Hometown Health program, please email me at .

All the Best,

Gwen Mahabir
Breast Cancer Treatment and Prevention
Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer for women. Your risk of breast cancer increases if you:

  • Are age 50 or older 
  • Have a mother, sister or daughter who has had breast cancer 
  • Started your period before age 12 
  • Started menopause after age 55 
  • Had your first child after age 30 
  • Have no children 
  • Are overweight or obese after menopause 
  • Had a biopsy showing abnormal changes 
  • Have had breast cancer before

Living healthily is an important way to prevent breast cancer. But you're still at risk even if you do all the right things. That's why early detection is so important. When cancer is found and treated early, you have a better chance of healing.

Consider these tips for early detection:

  • Talk with your doctor if you notice any changes in your breasts such as lumps, change in size of your breast, discharge from the nipple or change in color/texture of the skin on or around your breast.
  • Get regular checkups and as necessary. Mammograms should be done every one to two years for women age 40 or older. Begin at 30 if you're at high risk.

Five Questions to Ask Before a Mammogram
Regular screening mammograms are one of the best ways to detect breast cancer early, when it’s easier to treat. They’re also a covered preventive care benefit in most health plans, so you may not have to share any of the costs.

If you haven’t yet had a talk with your doctor about your options, these five questions are a great way to get the conversation started.

1.    Do I need a mammogram?
Mammograms are x-rays of the breast. They may help find tumors when they’re still too small to feel. Mammograms can also find abnormal cells in breast ducts that could become cancer later.

Every woman’s needs and risks are different. So talk with your doctor about how often to get a mammogram — and when to start.

2.    Are mammograms safe?
Most screening tests have some risks. Mammograms are no exception. The x-rays do expose you to radiation, for instance. And the test results sometimes can appear abnormal even when no cancer is present. Such false-positives may lead to more tests and unnecessary worry for you.

Most experts believe the benefits far outweigh the risks. Your doctor can talk with you about the pros and cons.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Treatment
You may want to ask your doctor some of the following questions before you decide on your cancer treatment. 

Questions about Cancer Treatment

  • What are the ways to treat my type and stage of cancer?
  • What are the benefits and risks of each of these treatments?
  • What treatment do you recommend? Why do you think it is best for me?
  • When will I need to start treatment?
  • Will I need to be in the hospital for treatment? If so, for how long?
  • What is my chance of recovery with this treatment? 
  • How will we know if the treatment is working?
  • Would a clinical trial (research study) be right for me?
  • How do I find out about studies for my type and stage of cancer?

Questions about Finding a Specialist and Getting a Second Opinion

  • Will I need a specialist(s) for my cancer treatment?
  • Will you help me find a doctor to give me another opinion on the best treatment plan for me? 

A New Normal
The end of cancer treatment is often a time to rejoice. Most likely you're relieved to be finished with the demands of treatment.

You may be ready to put the experience behind you and have life return to the way it used to be. Or you may be ready to have a fresh start at something new.

Yet at the same time, it's okay to feel sad and worried. It can take time to recover. Many are uncertain about how to move forward, feeling anxious about the future. It's very common to be thinking about whether the cancer will come back and what happens now. Often this time is called adjusting to a "new normal." You will have many different feelings during this time.

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