Your Health Matters - October 2017

In this Issue

--Health Awareness: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

--Everyday Health: Reducing Sugar Intake

--Good'n'Healthy: Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip

--News Worthy: WYPR Radio Show with LGBT Health Resource Center Patient

--Events:  Transgender Care Through the Lifespan

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is a time to increase awareness of breast cancer, spread the word about mammograms, and raise funds for research into the disease. Early detection is key, and mammograms are the best way to catch any abnormalities or changes--here are some facts from and the Center for Excellence in Transgender Health.

What is a mammogram?

A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray exam of the breasts to look for changes that are not normal. The results are recorded on x-ray film or directly into a computer for a doctor called a radiologist to examine.

A mammogram allows the doctor to have a closer look for changes in breast tissue that cannot be felt during a breast exam. It is used for patients who have no breast complaints and for patients who have breast symptoms, such as a change in the shape or size of a breast, a lump, nipple discharge, or pain.

What is the best method of detecting breast cancer as early as possible?

A high-quality mammogram plus a clinical breast exam, an exam done by your primary care provider, is the most effective way to detect breast cancer early. Finding breast cancer early greatly improves a person's chances for successful treatment.

How often should I get a mammogram?

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends:

  • Women ages 50 to 74 years should get a mammogram every 2 years.
  • Women younger than age 50 should talk to their provider about family history, when to start and how often to have a mammogram.

Center of Excellence for Transgender Health, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of California San Francisco recommends:

  • Transmen ages 50 to 74 years, who have not undergone breast reduction or bilateral mastectomy, should get a mammogram every 2 years.
  • Transmen who have undergone bilateral mastectomy should discuss with their primary care provider the risks possible in residual breast tissue and whether they should undergo screening.
  • Transwomen should get their first mammogram at age 50 or after 5 - 10 years of hormone replacement therapy (whichever comes first) and then every 2 years through age 74. However, this should be discussed with their provider with consideration to the length hormone replacement therapy and the patient's family history.

To learn more about the benefits of obtaining a mammogram, check out this infographic!

Reducing Sugar Intake

Eating too much sugar is bad for you, and cutting back on it can help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Avoiding sugar altogether isn't possible--even healthy foods like fruits have some sugar in them--but it's a good idea to cut back on sugars that aren't naturally occuring in your food. 

Here are nine easy tips to help limit the amount of sugar you eat:

1. Eat more often - Try eating five smaller meals each day, or plan three meals with a healthy snack in between. If you let yourself get very hungry, there's a greater chance you'll eat a convenient but low-quality food.

2. Drink more water - Sometimes our bodies mistake thirst for hunger, so staying hydrated all day can help you feel less hungry.

3. Eat fresh foods - Taking the time to prepare whole foods will help you avoid processed snacks. 

4. Read labels - Check food labels to see if sugar is listed as an ingredient. Sugar is often unnecessarily added to many foods, such as peanut butter and whole-grain bread.

5. Spice things up - Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and turmeric can satisfy your sweet tooth as well as sugar.

6. Get some sleep - Feeling tired can make you look for quick pick-me-up foods, which often have sugar.

7. Cut back slowly - Suddenly reducing the amount of sugar you eat can be shocking to your brain and body.

8. Avoid low- and non-fat foods - When they remove fat from food, many manufacturers add sugar to maintain its flavor--which your body converts to fat.

9. Eat healthy snacks - Fruits and veggies are good snacks, but try hard-boiled eggs, avocado, and nuts for some variety.

For more tips on healthy eating, check out our Nutrition page

Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip!

This low-sugar treat is perfect for your next football party or pumpkin-carving evening!


1 cup pumpkin puree
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp vanilla liquid stevia or sweetener of choice to taste


1. In a stand mixer blend the pumpkin puree and cream cheese together until smooth.
2. Once smooth add the remaining ingredients and blend on high until whipped.
3. Taste and adjust sweetener as needed.
4. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

News Worthy

WYPR Radio Show with LGBT Health Resource Center Patient

For most of her adulthood, Autumn struggled to express her gender identity, until finally transitioning later in life with the assistance of staff at our LGBT Health Resource Center. Autumn shared her story for the latest episode of "Life in the Balance," an hour-long show on WYPR 88.1 FM hosted by Aaron Hankin. Listen to her story here, and learn more about the services that the center provides to older LGBT adults here.

    Transgender Care Through the Lifespan

    The LGBT Health Resource Center is hosting a daylong CME event on Saturday, Oct. 28 to educate health care providers on transgender care through the lifespan. The symposium will address issues of stigma, the local landscape of transgender population in Baltimore and Maryland, and the best practices for medical care regarding adolescent care, sexual health, STI/HIV prevention, cardiovascular health, cancer screening, substance abuse, and aging.  

    Registration is open through Friday, Oct. 27 by clicking here. Learn more about Chase Brexton's trans care here.