Health Briefs, Feb. 18, 2014

Discussing mammograms

With recent studies casting doubt on when and if women should have mammograms, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment recommends women speak with their health care providers to make the best decision.

“With all the public confusion over mammograms, we want to make it clear that no one knows a woman’s medical needs better than her health care provider,” said Dr. Larry Wolk, the department’s executive director and chief medical officer. “When you’re thinking about getting screened for breast cancer, we recommend you talk it over with your doctor, learn about the risks and benefits, and then make the decision that is right for you.”

The findings of the Canadian National Breast Screening Study published in the British Medical Journal on Feb. 11 vary from current recommendations. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends mammography every two years for women ages 50 to 74 years. For women younger than 50, the task force calls mammography an individual decision.

The state health department and its partners strive to follow proven screening and treatment methods. The task force reviews its recommendations every five years. Such a review is underway now and will include the Canadian study.

The health department, through its Women’s Wellness Connection, provides support to low-income women who want to get screened for breast cancer. Any woman who has questions or concerns about breast and cervical cancer screening can contact Emily Kinsella at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 303-692-2511.

How to prevent falls


Chances are you know someone who has fallen or is afraid of falling.

A “Matter of Balance” is a proven fall prevention program designed to help people manage concerns about falls and increase physical activity.

Classes are taught by trained volunteer coaches.

Home Care of the Grand Valley, the Mesa County Department of Human Services and the Adult Resources for Care and Help (ARCH) have partnered to bring the “Matter of Balance” program to Mesa County and are now looking for participants to take the free class.

“A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns About Falls” is conducted in eight two-hour sessions and uses group discussion, problem–solving strategies, videos and gentle physical exercise.

Older adults learn positive coping methods to reduce fear of falling and remain active and independent. 
The class starts Feb. 24 and ends March 20. It takes place twice a week from 10 a.m. to noon Mondays and Thursdays at Hilltop Commons, 625 27 1/2 Road, in the Garden Room.

Coaches help participants become more confident about managing falls. Previous class participants report an increase in their level of exercise.

Those who are interested need to register by calling Western Colorado 2-1-1 by simply dialing 2-1-1 or 244-8400 from a cellphone. Class space is limited to 15 participants. Participants must commit to attending all eight classes. Materials and snacks will be provided.

Scleroderma group meets


A Western Slope Scleroderma Support Group will meet from noon to 2 p.m. March 8 at Alpine Bank Conference Room, second floor, 225 N. Fifth St.

The Western Slope Scleroderma Support Group is free and open to all scleroderma patients, family, caregivers and friends looking for a forum to discuss their experiences. The group meets the second Saturday of each odd month and will have a speaker to provide additional insight into scleroderma.

More information on this disease can be found at

The Western Slope Scleroderma Support Group is a part of the Colorado Chapter of the National Scleroderma Foundation. Its goal is to be the central location for information on scleroderma and its impact on your life. It is also trying to shine a light on this rare chronic disease and to help find a cure.

Call 303-806-6686 for information.


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