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Forum Offers Prescription for Better Health

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Women should continue to conduct self-breast exams and get annual mammograms beginning at age 40.


Women who have mothers or sisters who were diagnosed with breast cancer before the onset of menopause should begin screenings 10 years before the age at which their family members were diagnosed.

Women should get a pap smear every year. Women who have had three consecutive normal pap smears can get screened every two years.

Dr. Cairgle also stressed the importance of educating young people about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and of encouraging them to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves. She noted the increasing numbers of young people and divorced individuals being diagnosed with genital herpes (HSV2), a virus spread by skin-to-skin contact.

Dr. Cairgle also stressed the importance of educating young people about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and of encouraging them to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves. She noted the increasing numbers of young people and divorced individuals being diagnosed with genital herpes (HSV2), a virus spread by skin-to-skin contact.

Nurse practitioner Yvette Cobb, owner of YC Yoga for Life Center, emphasized the need to take a more integrated approach to health and wellness. In today’s society, we must address mental and spiritual issues to improve our overall physical health. She encouraged the audience to drink more water, to eat more raw foods, and to embrace our natural selves. She asked that we be mindful of the chemicals that enter our bodies through relaxers, hair dyes, and nail products (e.g., polish, acrylic wraps) and discussed how physical activities like yoga, pilates, Nia, and Zumba can enhance our mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.


For more information about Social Action activities, please contact our Social Action Chair at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Health reform, obesity, and cancer screenings were a few of the topics discussed at the health care forum organized by the Social Action Committee. Congressman John Conyers Jr. (MI-14) provided a congressional update, while a panel of medical experts shared strategies for helping women address common health challenges affecting our families and communities.

Congressman John Conyers Jr., the longest-serving African American Member of Congress, discussed the health reform law. He talked about the history of the legislation and stressed the importance of continuing to push for universal health care. Congressman Conyers acknowledged the effort and energy DAC expends to create positive change in the metropolitan Detroit community and pledged to continue working with us to improve the quality of life for all Americans. Congressman Conyers also touched on the need to strengthen our economy and mentioned a new jobs bill he is working on to address high unemployment rates in cities like Detroit.

Dr. Reginald Eadie, president of Detroit Receiving Hospital and author of How to Eat to Live Longer, delivered an informational presentation about obesity, which has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S. While an increasingly sedentary lifestyle and stress play a role in increasing the incidence of obesity, our eating habits are a major part of the problem. Dr. Eadie urged those in attendance to avoid high fructose corn syrup, to eat more nutritious foods, to take more control over what our children and families eat, and to push our leaders to create policies that promote healthy living, food equity, and greater oversight related to ingredients and nutrition guidelines.

Nurse practitioner Robin Cole shared information about Medicare, a federal program that provides health insurance to individuals who are 65 or older, persons with certain disabilities, and those with permanent kidney failure. She provided tips on how to determine your eligibility, how to enroll, and how to choose or change your prescription drug coverage. She encouraged participants to take advantage of the program and all that it has to offer.

According to Dr. Cynthia Griggs, hypertension, commonly called high blood pressure, can be caused by a number of factors, including diabetes, obesity, or salt intake. High blood pressure can lead to stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and death. It is a silent killer because people often do not exhibit any symptoms, which can include fatigue, headaches, vision changes, and nosebleeds. A reading of 140/90 is considered hypertension. Individuals can prevent or manage hypertension by modifying their lifestyle. This can include losing weight, getting at least 30 minutes of exercise daily, eating more fruits and vegetables, and decreasing consumption of alcohol, salt, and caffeine.

Dr. Vanessa Claiborne talked about the symptoms of and treatment for oral cancer. The disease can be aggressive and has become increasingly more common among young people and nonsmokers. Individuals should get screened for oral cancer during their dental check-ups.

DAC’s own Dr. Michele Thomas Cairgle, an OB-GYN, discussed women’s health issues, more specifically updated guidelines related to breast and cervical cancer screenings: