Thanksgiving Hours at Family Medicine
UNC Family Medicine and UNC Urgent Care at the Family Medicine Center will be closed, Thursday, November 22nd. Friday, November 23rd, there will be limited hours. There will be same-day appointments at the Family Medicine Center 8AM – 12PM, and Urgent Care will be open 12PM – 5PM.
Let’s Talk Health with Dr. Neutze: Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Breast cancer accounts for nearly 25% of all cancers in women. Mammograms can detect breast cancer early, when it is most treatable. This x-ray is a simple step you can take, even if there is no family history! 75% of the women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history and are not considered high risk. Mammograms are recommended once every two years for women between the ages of 50 and 75 – talk to your doctor today.
I’m nervous. Do mammograms hurt?
It is perfectly normal to be nervous, especially if you’ve never had a mammogram before. The unknown can be scary! That said, mammograms are nothing to fear.
A mammogram is a brief procedure, taking only around 20 minutes. During your mammogram, you will undress from the waist up so that a technologist can use a special scanner to get a high-quality picture of your breast tissue. In order to get an accurate scan, your breast will have to be gently compressed between two plates. This compression may cause discomfort, but should not hurt. And, while the procedure takes 20 minutes, the actual breast compression only lasts a few seconds. If you do feel pain, let your technologist know so that they can help ensure your comfort.
There are a few things you can do to prepare your mammogram.
- For premenopausal women, try to schedule your appointment 7 to 10 days after the end of your period, when your breasts are least tender. This will help reduce any discomfort during the procedure.
- Wear a two-piece outfit, as you will have to undress from the waist up.
- Do not wear deodorant, powder, or perfume as they may show up as white spots on the x-ray. If you are worried about this aspect, try to schedule your appointment in the morning so that you can wear put on deodorant/perfume after the appointment is finished.
If you still have specific concerns, speak to your physician.
UNC Health Care has a number of locations, including Chapel Hill, Hillsborough, Burlington, and Siler City.
How do I make an appointment?
You can make a an appointment online at MyUNCchart.com or by calling one of these locations.
Chapel Hill and Hillsborough: (984)-974-1884
Siler City: (919)-799-4600
What about breast cancer prevention?
While timely detection is important for breast cancer early treatment, there are also lifestyle choices that effect your chances of breast cancer, and strategies you can take to stay healthy.
Limit alcohol: Excessive drinking can impact your health, mental and physical, in a number of ways. But did you know that drinking dramatically increases the risk of breast cancer? The more you drink, the greater the risk. Keep your alcohol intake to one drink or less per day, or don’t drink at all.
Don’t smoke: Research continues to link smoking to breast cancer, especially in premenopausal women. “Most women do not realize that smoking and exposure to second hand smoke are major risk factors that cause breast cancer,” says Dr. Goldstein, a nationally renowned expert in tobacco research. Need help quitting? There are resources for that. Check out the UNC Tobacco Treatment Program here https://www.med.unc.edu/fammed/tobacco/ndp/
Be physically active and eat a well-balanced diet: Your weight can also affect your chances of breast cancer—obesity is directly link to higher breast cancer rates. To stay at a healthy weight, stay physically active and eat a well-balanced diet. If you are interest in a weight-management program, talk to your doctor today.
Health Insurance Marketplace opens soon
UNC Family Medicine cares about you and your health. Not having insurance adds another level of difficulty to getting proper care. Luckily, there are options! The Health Insurance Marketplace (www.healthcare.gov) is a government website where you can compare insurance plans, and get financial help for coverage.
You can begin selecting a plan during annual open enrollment, which is November 1, 2018 – December 15, 2018.
Don’t think you can afford it? If you meet the income levels, you may get financial help paying for your plan, and you cannot be denied coverage if you have any existing health conditions. Last year, more than 92% of people in North Carolina who enrolled through the marketplace got financial help!
We are offering free help to our patients who want assistance in completing the marketplace application. You would meet individually with a certified application counselor, an individual who has been trained to help people with the marketplace. Call Tim Smith at 919-545-3440 or go on-line here [link: http://www.med.unc.edu/fammed/service-to-the-community/aca-enrollment-information ] if you want to schedule a time to meet with a certified application counselor.
From the Research Corner
Dr. Adam Goldstein, MD, MPH, family medicine doctor and national tobacco expert, was recently quoted in a New York Times article on third hand smoke. Third hand smoke is the “the residue that lingers on furniture, clothing and skin” that children are often inadvertently exposed to, especially when their guardians or family members smoke. New research has shown that third hand smoke is an environmental toxin, on par with secondhand smoke in its potential to harm health. “Society does not tolerate exposing minors to asbestos, arsenic, alcohol or lead, yet it acts as if exposing them to tobacco smoke is something different,” said Dr. Goldstein in an interview. “It is poisonous to their health. The higher the dose, the worse it is, but there is no safe level of exposure.” Read the full article here.
Did you know we offer urgent care?
The UNC Family Medicine Center at Chapel Hill now has a comprehensive urgent care practice conveniently located onsite. We are proud to bring extended hours and greater access to care for our patients. Run by UNC’s nationally recognized Department of Family Medicine, we offer walk-in care for health issues that do not require a trip to the emergency room.
The urgent care service is available weekdays 7AM-12PM, 1PM-9PM, and weekends 12PM-5PM. To better serve the community, our urgent care is for everyone—not just Family Medicine or UNC Health Care patients. Visit https://go.unc.edu/FamMedUrgentCare to learn more.
From aches and pains to stitches and x-rays, our UNC Family Medicine Center team of providers treat any minor illness or injury for patients of all ages.