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Features Health & Wellness

Flu season is here, and from now until March, people of all ages, particularly senior citizens, are susceptible to influenza’s debilitating effects. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), everyone older than six months of age needs to get a flu shot, not just senior adults and other “high risk” groups. This safe and effective vaccine is reformulated each year to provide protection against the virus strains that present the greatest public health threat for that year. This year’s vaccine is designed to protect against the H1N1, influenza B, and the H3N2 strains of seasonal flu.


As part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and MedWest Health System’s annual Fall Fight campaign against breast cancer, the women’s imaging centers of MedWest-Harris and MedWest-Haywood are hosting receptions Friday, Oct. 5 to dedicate Trees of Hope to honor and remember breast cancer patients.

MedWest-Haywood’s tree will be located in the women’s center on the second floor of the new Outpatient Care Center at 581 Leroy George Dr. on the MedWest-Haywood campus in Clyde, between the Med- West Health and Fitness Center and the hospital.


Officials at Highlands-Cashiers Hospital, located between the towns of Highlands and Cashiers in Western North Carolina, have decided to pursue an affiliation with Mission Health. Highlands-Cashiers Hospital’s Board of Directors voted to support the pursuit of an agreement with Mission Health as presented at the Hospital Board of Directors retreat on Sept. 27.

“As Highlands-Cashiers Hospital looks toward our future, our plans need to align with the principles of our mission,” said Charles V. Sheehan, chairman of the Hospital’s Board of Directors. “By pursuing an agreement with Mission Health, we seek to continue providing outstanding, compassionate healthcare services to all, but with access to an integrated clinical network and expanded medical resources.”


Prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer in men. The risk of developing prostate cancer is highest in blacks, lower in whites and lowest in American Indians and Asians. Most men with prostate cancer are over the age of 65. Having a close relative with prostate cancer increases one’ s risk of developing prostate cancer. Although obesity does not increase prostate cancer risk, obese men who develop prostate cancer are more likely to die from it.

Testing for prostate cancer antigen (PSA) in tandem with palpation of the prostate allows physicians to identify men who are at high risk for prostate cancer. Some men with an elevated PSA or an abnormal prostate exam have prostate cancer that has already become incurable by the time it is found. Other men who undergo screening for prostate cancer have cancer cells that are incapable of spreading to other parts of the body. In either case, screening for prostate cancer would not be beneficial. For this reason experts recommend that men consult with a physician before pursuing screening tests for prostate cancer.


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