EORH Outpatient Center makes breast and bone health easily accessible

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Convenient. User friendly. In a world where technology reigns supreme and is literally right at your fingertips every day, health care is also evolving to fulfill the needs and demands of patients.

East Ohio Regional Hospital Outpatient Center in St. Clairsville has been providing patients of the Ohio Valley that convenience for 20 years with physician’s offices, a blood drawing laboratory and an extensive radiology department all within steps of the parking lot. It’s convenient, and it’s user friendly. But there are services provided at this state-of-the-art facility that you may not know about — services that could help save your life.

With Breast Cancer Awareness month nearing, our thoughts turn to women’s health and preventive measures that women should think about when it comes to not only breast health, but also bone health. The problem is women are busy. They are trying to balance their work life with family life and many times they put off that yearly check-up with their physician. They put off that mammogram (X-ray of the breast) or blood work. They say, “I’ll do it next month,” and that month turns into a year. That is why “Walk-In Mammogram Tuesdays” was created at EORH — Outpatient Center in St. Clairsville. WIth a physician’s order all you have to do is come in between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., and you can get your mammogram, and you’re done in time to shuttle the children to soccer practice. No appointment necessary. Putting off that doctor’s appointment or mammogram could mean that next year you won’t be able to shuttle your children to sporting events — that next year you may be faced with chemotherapy or radiation.

“I think we have been repeatedly taught that the sooner we can catch the changes in the breast the better likelihood we can stop the progression,” said Jessica Ybanez-Morano, MD, MPH, FACOG, CPE, director of Women’s Services at Ohio Valley Medical Center, specializing in obstetrics and gynecology. “Therefore, we can only advocate for preventive care by having yearly mammograms and watching for the early changes. It gives us a better chance of beating breast cancer.”

The American Cancer Society guidelines for early detection of breast cancer state that:

– Women age 40 to 44 should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screening with mammograms if they wish to do so.

– Women age 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.

– Women age 55 and older switch to mammograms every two years, or can continue yearly screening.

– Screening should continue as long as a woman is in good health and is expected to live 10 more years or longer.

All women should be familiar with the known benefits, limitations and potential harms linked to breast cancer screening. They also should know how their breasts normally look and feel and report any breast changes to a health care provider right away.

Ybanez-Morano said you should work with your physician to determine at what age and frequency you should have a mammogram.

“Everyone is different. Cancer doesn’t discriminate and appear at a particular age. These are guidelines to follow, but working with your physician is best when it comes to start and ending ages for mammograms,” she said.

Another service that’s offered at EORH Outpatient Center in St. Clairsville is one that goes hand-in-hand with women’s health: DEXA Scan. And this location is one of the only facilities in the area where you can have this X-ray performed. So what is it, and why is this test important?

Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry of the lumbar, spine and hip is the gold standard for diagnosing osteoporosis, and bone mineral density screening should begin at age 65 for all women.

Michael Myers, D.O., specializing in orthopedic medicine and whose office is located at EORH Outpatient Center in St. Clairsville, said, “DEXA determines your bone mineral density, and we can correlate that with your age group and those younger to determine how good or poor your bone quality is. Bone health and preventing osteoporosis starts with weight bearing activity, proper calcium and vitamin D levels in your diet. Any post menopausal female should consider a DEXA scan, as should those with chronic disease, and history of osteoporotic fragility fractures (compression fx, wrist fracture, hip fracture).”

According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, an estimated $17 billion dollars is spent each year to treat the roughly 2 million osteoporosis-related bone fractures that occur in the United States annually. Fractures are more likely to occur in women than in men.  The ACOG also recommends that ob-gyns address bone health with all of their patients, beginning at puberty and adolescence when girls are at peak bone-building stage. Women should be counseled about lifestyle factors that may affect bone density and fracture risk, including smoking, poor nutrition, excessive weight loss, weight-bearing and muscle strengthening exercises, and fall prevention measures.

“As we grow older, our bones lose strength and resilience. The only way we can know the integrity of our bones comes from proactive testing for this information,” said Ybanez-Morano. “The DEXA scan is a way to know the denseness of our bones. It is something we have to prevent by seeking out the value. Once we start losing bone when menopause begins, we will never regain the best bone strength. We have to preserve the bone strength we have. Having a hip replacement after a fall is too late.”

Both Myers and Ybanez-Morano say talking with your physician about your medical history and lifestyle is a good place to start when it comes to determining if you need a DEXA scan.

Remember to get your yearly mammogram, talk about your bone health and to know there’s a place that’s right in your backyard that can allow you the convenience and excellence in care to do it all in one place — EORH Outpatient Center in St. Clairsville.

For more information on EORH Outpatient Center in St. Clairsville, located at 106 Plaza Drive, log on to www.ovmc-eorh.com/other-facilities/outpatient-center.asp or call 740-695-5955. Hours of operation are 7 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.


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