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Heart disease in women + 5 ways to protect your heart!

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When you think of what a heart attack looks like, what do you see?

Do you see someone clutching their chest and gasping for breath? Is this someone a man?

Diabetes and Mental Health: The importance of taking care of mind, body and soul


Imagine receiving a diagnosis of diabetes- being told that you will have to live the rest of your life with a chronic disease that affects nearly every system in your body. Imagine being told you need to make changes in your diet and exercise routine, and that you may have to prick your finger multiple times a day to keep track of your blood sugar levels, not to mention the potential for a daily regimen of pills and insulin shots. Finally, imagine you receive this diagnosis on top of the already present concerns of making ends meet, being a single parent, not having health insurance, or not speaking the same language as your doctor. What sort of impact does such a diagnosis have on a person’s mental health? One answer to that question is the fact that, in the United States, people with diabetes are twice as likely as the average person to have depression.

Partnering to Improve Breast Health Awareness

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Much progress has been made in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer, but there is still a lot of work to be done to keep women healthy. According to the American Cancer Society, 12 percent of women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer and nearly 40,000 women will die this year from the disease. (“What are the key statistics,” 2013).

Why You Are At Risk for Breast Cancer


“Am I at risk for breast cancer?” is a question that many women ask themselves and their healthcare providers.  One out of 8 women are at risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in her lifetime and determining that risk is complex.  The uncertainty women experience speaks to the mysterious nature of the disease, which has led scientists to research possible causes outside of a woman’s body.

Improving Oral Health Through Collaboration

Faye Donohue AWA

I am honored to be chosen as one of five women for this year’s 2013 Academy of Women Achievers by the YWCA of Boston. I am humbled to be in the company of great women who are leaders in their communities and making a difference in the lives of others. Together we work to champion gender equity and leadership opportunities for women in greater Boston.

What is that White Spot on Your Mammogram?

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If you are a woman over the age of 40 who is getting screened for breast cancer with an annual mammogram, your test may serve another important purpose. Approximately 40% of women who have mammograms in the U.S. are considered to have dense breasts.  Women in this group who have “very dense breasts” are almost 5 times more likely to develop breast cancer than those with “low breast density.”  If you are wondering where you may fall on the spectrum, I have a few things to share about dense breast tissue and breast cancer detection.

Supreme Court Ruling Is a Victory for Women


Today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling is a victory for all Americans, particularly for women. Now that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been found to be valid under the U.S. Constitution, millions of individuals will be covered by health insurance for the first time – leading to better health outcomes and lower costs for women and their families.

Former Boston Fed CEO Keynotes YW Academy


Women’s Empowerment and Racial Justice – What’s the Link?

Sylvia Ferrell-Jones

The mission of YWCA Boston is boldly stated:  eliminating racism, empowering women.   Many ask about the connection between these two goals.  It’s simple.  YWCA’s foremothers realized that they could not empower ­all women as long as racism exists.

Breast Health on the Line

Despite the confusion prompted by the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force earlier this year, research has consistently shown that regular and consistent mammogram screenings remain the best current line of defense for catching breast cancer early. And although major medical organizations recommend regular mammograms for women age 40 and over, not all women are screened regularly and black women continue to die of breast cancer at higher rates.

But, why? While some research suggests that the types of breast cancer that victimize women of color, are more virulent, other studies show that women of color and lower income women have higher mortality rates due to intrinsic health disparities and cultural disconnects: such women are often the caregivers of their families and put the health of their children and families before themselves, pushing off their own health needs. Other barriers include lack of health insurance, transportation or child care, poor patient-doctor communications and/or language barriers, lack of information, negative experiences or beliefs of the medical system, fear, and cultural or religious beliefs. Women lead busy, stressful lives, and breast health usually just isn't a priority. Until it's too late.

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