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Taking steps to reduce genetic risk of breast cancer Fall 2012


Winter Readiness If your car breaks down this winter on a mountain road within a few miles of a town, should you set out on foot? If you stay in the car, is it better to run the heater or do a few calisthenics? Even in the age of cellphones, auto breakdowns and lost snowmobiles rank as two of the most common winter emergencies in Colorado. Go online to for a list of do’s and don’ts and a checklist of emergency supplies to keep in your car. And while you’re there, be sure to register to win a FREE emergency car kit, valued at $100!



bloom is published four times annually by Penrose-St. Francis Health Services. As part of Centura Health, our mission is to nurture the health of the people in our community. The information herein is meant to complement and not replace advice provided by a licensed health care professional. For comments or to unsubscribe to this publication, please email us at bloom is produced by Clementine LLC of Denver, Colo. Executive Editor is Jill Woodford. 2222 North Nevada Avenue Colorado Springs, CO 80907


2 Fall 2012

Exercising 90 minutes a week can relieve depression in heart patients as much as prescription antidepressants, according to a study published in August in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. That finding supports multiple others that have shown benefits from exercise for patients with cancer, diabetes, and respiratory problems, such as COPD. Yet, many people with chronic diseases are afraid to exercise. For some, it’s an aversion to the stereotype of spandex and mirrors. For others, it’s a real fear. They don’t understand that exercise can be safe, and it will dramatically improve their health, says Lisa Broekhuis, CTRS, supervisor of medically supervised wellness programs at Penrose-St. Francis Health Services. “Cardiac patients are often afraid that exercise may contribute to another event, but they need to exercise in order to make the heart muscle stronger,” Broekhuis says. Broekhuis provides these tips to people who want to begin an exercise program but are fearful: •• Get medical clearance. You should have your physician’s approval to begin exercising, and then look for a fitness facility that has trained staff. •• Get assessed. Get a customized exercise program based on your initial fitness assessment. •• Get the right equipment. Look for a gym that is equipped for people with limitations. Some stationary bikes, for instance, open from the side to allow the user to walk into them, rather than having to lift a leg over the seat. •• Get supervision. If you have a medical condition, be sure to find a gym that will monitor you. This may include periodic checks of your heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and/or blood sugars.

WIN A GYM MEMBERSHIP The Medically Supervised Wellness Center at the Health Learning Center Gym, 1644 Medical Center Point, is open to all community members with or without illness. The gym costs $46 a month (FREE to SilverSneakers® members) and offers personalized exercise programs, oversight by exercise physiologists, vital sign monitoring, and fitness equipment specially designed for seniors or people with limitations. For more information about the gym and to register for a FREE one-month membership, go online to

Penrose-St. Francis Health Services


Exercise Safely

Scanning for Heart Disease One out of every six Americans has a cholesterol level that is high enough to more than double his or her risk of heart disease, the leading killer of Americans. But taking medicines, known as statins, to lower cholesterol is not always a simple solution. “Statins have potential side effects, including muscle inflammation, liver problems, and memory issues,” says Brian Metz, MD, director of noninvasive cardiology at Penrose-St. Francis Heart & Vascular Center. “It’s not something we should just put in the water supply.” A test, called a coronary calcium scan, can help patients and their doctors know whether high cholesterol is doing damage

and should be treated with statins. This scan, also called a cardiac calcium score, measures the amount of calcification present in the arteries. “Calcium is the way arteries heal themselves from damage; it’s a marker that atherosclerosis is occurring,” Metz says. Calcium scans are particularly useful for patients with borderline cholesterol levels or younger patients who may not want to go on statins for the rest of their lives. It’s also recommended for all adults over the age of 50 who have at least one risk factor for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, or a family history of heart disease.


If you have high cholesterol or other risk factors of heart disease, you may want to consider a coronary calcium scan. Penrose-St. Francis Heart & Vascular Center performs this scan for $199. A physician’s referral is not required. For more information or to schedule a scan, call 719-776-8768 or go to


Hepatitis C Check If your man is a baby boomer, make sure he is tested for hepatitis C, along with yourself. While this test was previously recommended only for those at risk, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently began recommending that everyone born between 1945 and 1965 get tested for this virus, which destroys the liver. Baby boomers are five times as likely as other age groups to be infected with hepatitis C. And one in every 30 baby boomers has it and doesn’t know it. The CDC estimates that testing all baby boomers could identify more than 800,000 carriers and save more than 100,000 lives. GET TESTED Hepatitis C is now spread mainly Get a $10 hepatitis C test now through through organ transplants and inDec. 31 at Colorado Laboratory Services in jected drug use. But once, it was the Penrose Pavilion, 2312 North Nevada spread through blood transfusions Avenue. No appointment is needed. Call and sexual contact, which is why so 719-667-3141 for information. Mention many baby boomers are at risk. you saw this offer in bloom to receive the special $10 price.

&A Q

Jessica Evans-Tameron, clinical pastoral educator and corporate director for clinical pastoral education at Centura Health

Does spiritual care help patients heal? There’s a lot of research showing a positive impact of spiritual care. One study of 1,600 cancer patients found that patients who reported higher levels of spiritual well-being had significantly higher quality of life, including less fatigue and pain. Other studies have shown that regular chaplain visits can reduce a patient’s length of stay in the hospital. Spirituality is whatever gives people meaning, purpose, value — and that can include religion, but it doesn’t have to. A patient may not have religious faith, but their meaning is their family. You help identify what’s important to them and when they’re looking toward what’s important, it helps them heal. At Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, chaplains participate in all patient rounds. They’re not just looking at spiritual issues but also emotional and social issues that may impact a patient’s ability to heal. For instance, if you’re sick and there is no one at home, how can you go home to heal? Really important stuff in life comes up when you’re in the hospital, and healing involves more than just the physical body.

FREE SPIRITUALITY SEMINARS If you’re interested in learning more about the role of spirituality in healing or everyday living, the PenroseSt. Francis spiritual care staff can create a special FREE seminar for your group. For more information, call 719-776-5660. Fall 2012




Most 34-year-old women are too busy to spend much time thinking about their risk of getting breast cancer. But when Marjorie Noleen’s aunt tested positive for a genetic mutation linked to breast and ovarian cancer, Noleen had no choice but to stop and consider whether she too carried the BRCA2 mutation. “I was back working full time after staying home for a number of years with my two children,” she says. “I was also full-time in my MBA program while still trying to be a mom, friend, wife, and active community member.” Even with a full life, Noleen felt it was important not to delay. Like her aunt, she tested positive. When she got off the phone with her doctor,


4 Fall 2012

she sobbed. “Grieving process does not begin to explain the emotions,” she says. “I witnessed the pain and suffering of my mom going through colorectal cancer, my grandfather pass away from cancer, plus numerous family members battled various types of cancer. For me, the grieving process was more to do about accepting that I, unfortunately, was part of the BRCA club.” This acceptance was soon followed by empowerment. Better understanding her risk put Noleen in the driver’s seat.

Understanding Your Risk Only 5 percent to 10 percent of all breast cancers are caused by an inherited gene. Carrying one of the known BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic

mutations, however, increases a woman’s risk as much as 70 percent, says Toni GreenCheatwood, DO, medical director of the Breast Oncology Program at Penrose-St. Francis Health Services. While genetic links are rare, there are at least 25 other risk factors — including just being a woman — that increase a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer. Some of these include: •• Family History: Even without a genetic link, women who have a family history of cancer are at increased risk. One immediate family member with breast cancer doubles a woman’s risk. •• Age: A woman’s chance of getting breast cancer nearly doubles between ages 50 and 75. Penrose-St. Francis Health Services


Marjorie Noleen dances the night away with family and friends before having surgery to lower her odds of cancer.

Once Noleen knew she carried the BRCA2 gene, she met with Kate Crow, a genetic counselor at the Penrose Cancer Center, to understand her actual risk of getting cancer. Genetic counseling provides an assessment of a woman’s unique risk factors, including family history. This assessment provides the road map for next steps, which might or might not include genetic testing, more frequent screenings, or other measures. “Genetic counseling refines risks using your unique circumstances,” Crow says. “This leads to individualized care planning with your doctor.” Noleen’s risk of getting breast cancer was assessed at between 64 percent and 84 percent. This risk would continue to increase as she grew older.

Taking Charge

Schedule a Mammogram


For women at normal risk, an annual screening mammogram starting at age 40 is the best tool to help detect breast cancer in its earliest and most treatable stage. To schedule your screening mammogram at The Center for Women’s Imaging, a new outpatient center that offers screenings in a spa-like setting, call 719-776-8010 or request an appointment online at

•• Dense Breasts: It is thought that women with dense breasts, as seen on a mammogram, are four to five times more likely to get breast cancer. •• Children: Having a first child after age 35 increases a woman’s risk, while having children younger and breast-feeding reduces a woman’s risk. •• Hormone Replacement Therapy: Use of artificial estrogen and progesterone after menopause increases a woman’s risk, but this risk can be minimized by using low doses for shorter periods. •• Alcohol: For every one drink a day, a woman’s risk is increased 7 percent.

All women — regardless of their risk profile — have options when it comes to protecting their health, Green-Cheatwood says. Maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, and getting annual screening mammograms starting at age 40 are the basic steps any woman should take. Women at high risk may need more frequent clinical breast exams and mammograms, or a different type of screening, such as a breast MRI. Women at extremely high risk, such as those who carry a gene mutation, may want to consider preventive measures, such as taking tamoxifen or having surgery to remove their breasts or ovaries. Once she understood her risk, Noleen followed unanimous doctor recommendations to remove both breasts, which had earlier tested at high tissue density, and a hysterectomy with oophorectomy to remove both ovaries, reflecting a prior recommendation due to significant menorrhagia or bleeding. But before she had surgery, she wanted to dance. “I love to dance,” Noleen says. “We dance as a family.” So Noleen organized her own presurgery dance party. And with family and friends dressed in pink and teal, she danced the night away while raising $1,000 to increase awareness about hereditary breast and ovarian cancers. After surgery on July 25, Noleen returned home the next day to get on with her busy life. She remains confident in her decision. And with good reason: The mastectomy reduces Noleen’s breast cancer risk by 95 percent, Green-Cheatwood explains.

WHAT’S YOUR RISK? Every woman needs to know her individual risk of breast cancer and how to best protect her health. Here are the steps you need to take to learn your risk. 1. Learn your risk factors. Start by talking with your primary care physician and taking online risk assessments. If you suspect you are at risk or have any risk factors, consider getting a custom risk assessment at the Penrose-St. Frances High-Risk Breast Clinic. To make an appointment, call 719-571-8900. 2. Genetic counseling. If you have three or more relatives who have had the same cancer (except cervical, skin, and lung cancers); if a family member’s breast, uterine, or rectal cancer was diagnosed before age 50; if a family member has developed more than one kind of cancer; or if your family member’s breast cancer was in both breasts, talk to a genetic counselor to understand your risk and whether testing is recommended. To make an appointment with a genetic counselor at Penrose Cancer Center, call 719-776-5279. 3. Testing. Only a small percentage of women who go through genetic counseling will need testing. The test is a simple blood draw or swab of the inside of the cheek, and results take two to four weeks. Fall 2012




Shorter days not the only reason for feeling blue

More than 15 percent of people will experience major depression in their lifetimes. And women make up the vast majority of these, with depression striking them twice as often as men. Nature’s seasons and the seasons of a woman’s life are two common culprits that can bring on depression, says Nancy Bader, LCSW, a clinical psychotherapist with the Women’s Behavioral Health Program at PenroseSt. Francis Health Services. “All of us have unfortunate things that happen that make us feel bad. But when it lingers and you have a persistent sad, empty feeling, it may be depression,” she says. Particular times of the year and particular times in life can trigger depression. Five of the most common reasons women experience depression are: 1. Genetics: A family history of depression is the strongest risk factor for depression. 2. Hormones: Female hormones directly affect brain chemistry. Hormonal shifts that can trigger depression include puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. 3. Illness: Depression is a common side effect of some illnesses, including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. People are three times more likely to be depressed if they suffer chronic pain. 4. Seasons: Seasonal depression, triggered by changes in the sunlight, affects half a million people each year. This problem strikes mostly in winter, but some people are impacted in the spring, Bader says. It typically shows up during a person’s teen years or young adult years. 5. Holidays: End-of-the-year holidays can be very stressful for women who are surrounded by images of the perfect family holiday. This stress can trigger depression or anxiety.


Most depression responds successfully to treatment. To learn more or get help, call Penrose-St. Francis Women’s Behavioral Health Services at 719-634-1825. bloom

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Heather Graves, director of volunteer services at Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, has gone through her share of treatments over the years, including laser treatments for a port-wine stain birthmark. After her treatments, she makes a point to treat herself by buying something special. “It’s something I look forward to, and it’s the way I psych myself up to get through the treatment,” Graves says. “I allow myself a little reward.” So when she learned that a new store dedicated to women would be part of the new Penrose Pavilion, she knew exactly what should be created. “We wanted to create more than a store that sells pink ribbons,” Graves says, referring to the emblem for breast cancer. “We wanted women to have a safe place where they could share stories and feel supported. We wanted to provide women with options for items, where they could feel beautiful and feminine while going through treatments.” The store, called the Mother Daughter Sister Friend boutique, instantly became more like a gathering place than a store. “It’s a sanctuary of sorts. Women come in and you can feel the stress and heaviness fade away.” The store carries a variety of items, including clothing, jewelry, and inspirational gifts. It also offers health items specially designed for women going through treatment for breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes, menopause, or other health issues. Opened in May, the boutique is located on the second floor of the Penrose Pavilion, 2312 North Nevada Avenue, along with The Center for Women’s Imaging, Penrose-St. Francis Breast Care Center, Penrose Vein Center, and a new women’s conference center and coffee bar. The store is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.


Get an early start on your holiday shopping and save 25 percent at the MDSF boutique. While you’re shopping, you also can schedule your mammogram or talk to our breast health experts and enjoy a spa hand treatment. Date: Saturday,Most Nov. 10 TREATING DEPRESSION depression

Time:to9 a.m.noon To learn more responds successfully treatment. orDoor get prizes help, awarded call the Penrose-St. Francis Women’s every 30 minutes; FREE tote bag to first 100 shoppers; refreshments; fashion show, too. Behavioral Health FREE Services at 719-634-1825. Penrose-St. Francis Health Services


Women find more than baubles at new hospital store

calendarfall Penrose-St. Francis Health Services encourages you to experience the wide variety of health programs, screenings, and fitness classes that we offer throughout the Colorado Springs area. This calendar briefly highlights some of our beneficial programs and classes, many of which are ongoing throughout the year. See the key below for location information, and visit for a complete listing. Registration is required for all programs and can be made by calling the number listed.


LOCATION KEY: CSSCA – CSSC Aquatics Center, 1625 Medical Center Point, No.160 PCC – Penrose Cancer Center, 2222 North Nevada Avenue PH – Penrose Hospital, 2222 North Nevada Avenue PHLCG – Penrose-St. Francis Health Learning Center Gym, 1644 Medical Center Point PHWC – Penrose Hospital, Wellness Center, 2222 North Nevada Avenue SFMC – St. Francis Medical Center, 6001 East Woodmen Road SFMC-NCB – St. Francis Medical Center NorthCare Building, 6075 East Woodmen Road


PP – Penrose Pavilion, 2312 North Nevada Avenue

*Penrose-St. Francis Health Services employees are eligible for discounts on these classes.

Aquatics Classes | CSSCA Call for fee schedule Warm water exercise classes that incorporate range of motion, strengthening, and cardiovascular conditioning. Call for dates & times. 719-776-4780 Barbell Pump | PHWC | $60 Join this high-energy class to strengthen your entire body. Mons, Nov 5-Dec 17, 5:156:15 p.m., 719-776-7983 Zumba | PHWC | $60 High-energy classes that fuse hypnotic Latin rhythms, international flavor, and easyto-follow moves that will sculpt your body and burn fat. Thus, Nov 1-Dec 20 & Tues, Nov 6-Dec 18, 4:15-5:05 p.m., 719-776-7983

HEALTH Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery PH | FREE Learn if you are a candidate, your surgical options, and what to expect following surgery. Sat, Nov 10, 9-11 a.m., 719-776-5359




Caregiver Workshop | PCC FREE Identify symptoms of caregiver burnout, get ideas on managing caregiver stressors, discover ways to practice self-care, get familiar with community resources. Refreshments provided. Wed, Oct 24, 5-6:30 p.m., 719-776-5311

Infant Massage | SFMC | $30 This two-part class teaches you strokes that will relax your baby, encourage restful sleep, and more. Baby should be at least 3 weeks old when class begins. Couples welcome for one price. Tues, Nov 20 & 27, 10-11 a.m., 719-571-3101

Breast Cancer Support Group PP | FREE Support and encouragement for women with breast cancer. Refreshments provided. Mons, Nov 12 & Dec 10, 5:307 p.m., 719-776-5311 WomenHeart Support Group PH & SFMC | FREE Providing encouragement and strategies to cope with a heart condition. 2nd Wed of month, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., PH 4th Wed of month, Men Welcome, 5-6:30 p.m., SFMC, 719-200-2645

Infant/Child CPR | SFMC | $20 per person This two-hour course teaches you to administer CPR to babies and children, and how to relieve an obstructed airway. Tues, Nov 6-27, 6-8:15 p.m., 719-571-3101

COMMUNITY EVENTS MDSF Boutique Holiday Shopping Extravaganza | PP FREE Get an early start on your holiday shopping and save 25% at the MDSF boutique on this special pre-holiday shopping day. While you’re shopping, you can schedule your mammogram or talk to our breast health experts and enjoy a spa hand treatment. Door prizes awarded every 30 minutes; free tote bag to first 100 shoppers; free refreshments; fashion show. Sat, Nov 10, 9 a.m.-Noon.

Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival | Multiple Venues | Call for ticket packages and prices Penrose-St. Francis is proud to sponsor this year’s RMWFF, which showcases documentary, feature, short, and animated films that encourage global awareness and personal growth. It honors films and filmmakers that present the world as women experience it and that inspire curiosity, educate, entertain, and stimulate conversation. Visit Nov 2-4, 719-226-0450

Join Penrose-St. Francis on Nov. 1 for a sneak preview of the critically acclaimed movie, “Mondays at Racine,” and meet its Oscar-winning director. SEE BACK COVER FOR DETAILS AND REGISTRATION..

SCREENINGS Osteoporosis Screenings | PP Call for fee If you’re over 50, talk to your doctor about bone health and the need for a bone density screening. 719-776-8010

The percent of women over the age of 40 who have not had a screening mammogram in the past two years. Pamper yourself this holiday season by snuggling in a warm robe, sipping a cup of tea, and getting your mammogram. Request an appointment online at or call 719-776-8010. Fall 2012



Catholic Health Initiatives Colorado

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage

Find a doctor online Four out of 10 Internet users are seeking information about physicians, according to research by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. Yet, many of these users will find only basic information or anecdotal reviews. HealthGrades, an independent hospital and physician rating agency, offers consumers a simple tool to help compare and select physicians. This tool, sponsored in southern Colorado by Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, allows consumers to research and compare doctors across a range of professional and personal attributes, and book appointments online. It also includes tools to help consumers better manage their health and prepare for a visit to the doctor’s office.


2222 North Nevada Avenue Colorado Springs, CO 80907

Colorado Springs, CO Permit No. 14


PENROSE-ST. FRANCIS HEALTH SERVICES IS THE REGION’S LEADER IN WOMEN’S CARE. For the fourth year in a row, we are: • Recipient of the HealthGrades Women’s Health Excellence Award™ • Ranked among the top 5% in the nation for women’s health • Five-star rated for women’s health • The only hospital in southern Colorado to receive this award

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION! “Mondays at Racine” is the story of Cynthia and Rachel, who watched their mother suffer with cancer when they were younger. Now the owners of a beauty salon in Islip, Long Island, the sisters open their doors every third Monday of the month to women living with cancer. Director Cynthia Wade won an Oscar for her documentary “Freeheld,” which captured 16 film awards worldwide. The Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival, the longest continuously running women’s film festival in North America, is being held Nov. 2-4.

Date: Thursday, Nov. 1 Time: 5:30-8 p.m. (movie at 6:15 p.m.) Location: Penrose Pavilion, 2nd Floor Conference Center, 2312 North Nevada Avenue (FREE parking in front of building) Cost: FREE Registration: Call 719-776-5052; space is limited



10% OFF


Centura Health complies with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and no person shall be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination in the provision of any care or service on the grounds of race, religion, color, sex, national origin, sexual preference, ancestry, age, familial status, disability or handicap.


Get a jump on the 2012 Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival with a private preview night hosted by presenting sponsor Penrose-St. Francis Health Services. You’ll join Oscar-winning director Cynthia Wade to watch her latest acclaimed film, “Mondays at Racine,” and then discuss the film afterward with her over wine and hors d’oeuvres.

Bloom Fall 2012