Cancer Prevention = Being Proactive
Did you know that nearly one in eight U.S. women develops breast cancer some time in her life? In many cases, it's not known why a woman gets breast cancer; in fact, 70% of all women with breast cancer have no known risk factors. While there may be no clear answer about what causes breast cancer, there are a number of ways you can help reduce your risks:
- Regular aerobic exercise
- Nutritional guidance
- Self exam and regular mammogram examinations
UT SELECT Medical now provides 100% coverage for Preventive Screenings
Free Preventive Care and Services – The UT SELECT Medical plan has always offered robust preventive care benefits including 100% preventive colonoscopy and no cost immunizations for children under 6 years of age. Now, certain additional preventive care and services will be available to you with no copayment or coinsurance as long as you see a network provider and meet certain screening eligibility requirements. Some examples of services covered under this provision include:
- Routine physical exam
- Well-woman exam
- Immunizations- all ages
- Osteoporosis screening
- Prostate (PSA) screening
Please be aware that you may incur some cost if the preventive service is not the primary purpose of the visit or if your doctor bills for services that are not preventive. Eligible services are outlined in the Federal Regulations based on U.S. Preventive Service Task Force Recommendations. You may find more information about the covered preventive services here.
Articles and Videos (UT MD Anderson Cancer Center)
- Get the Facts: Who’s at Risk for Breast Cancer?
- Do Implants Hide Breast Cancer?
- What’s Hot in Breast Cancer Prevention
- Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer: Who Should Get Tested
- Video: What to Expect at Your First Mammogram (2:32)
- Video: Is Breast MRI Right for Me? (2:43)
- Breast Cancer Risk Factors and Treatment Overview
- Just the Facts: Breast Cancer
- Cancer Risk Check
Pharmacist Specialist available through the Medco Therapeutic Resource Center. If you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol, this program offers improvements in the quality and affordability of pharmacy care. For more information, call 1-800-818-0155.
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You could save more than $350/year on prescription drugs you take on an ongoing basis. To start saving, visit www.medco.com.
Improved Preventive Care Coverage
Your current Wellness and Prevention benefits include 100 percent colonoscopy coverage under the UT SELECT preventive care program. This means that a colonoscopy performed by a network physician at a network facility will now be available at no cost to you. Listed below are other important preventive care exams that you should consider:
- Routine Physical Exam*
- Immunizations • Well-child Exam (under age 2)
- Well-woman Exam*
- Routine Mammograms*
- Prostate (PSA)
- Osteoporosis Screening Screening
*Services limited to one per person per plan year. Learn more by calling UT SELECT Customer Service at 1-866-882-2034.
We believe that an understanding of the relationship between health and cost of care and better communication with your Health Care Practitioner will ultimately increase use of self care practices. Below we have listed several top questions to ask your doctor based on top modifiable/preventable conditions:
Questions to ask your Health Care Practitioner about Blood Pressure
- What is my blood pressure?
- What should my blood pressure be?
- How much should I weigh?
- Can you recommend a diet or eating plan to help me reach that weight?
- What kind of diet should I be following to help control my blood pressure?
- How much exercise should I be doing?
- What is the name of my blood pressure medication?
- What are the side effects of this medication?
- What drug interactions may occur between the medications I am taking?
10 Questions to ask your Health Care Practitioner about Cholesterol
- Do I already have atherosclerosis? Am I at risk for a heart attack?
- Do I have any other risk factors for heart disease?
- Should I see a nutritionist to help me change my diet?
- Can I control my cholesterol through lifestyle changes alone?
- In my case, which lifestyle changes will be particularly helpful?
- Do I need cholesterol-lowering drugs?
- What side effects can I expect from such medication?
- How low can I realistically expect my cholesterol to go? What should I aim for?
- Will it ever be safe for me to stop taking the medication?
- How often should I have my cholesterol checked? Should members of my family be tested?
10 Questions to ask your Health Care Practitioner about Diabetes
- Does having diabetes mean that I am at higher risk for other medical problems?
- Should I start seeing other doctors regularly, such as an eye doctor?
- How often should I test my blood sugar and what should I do if it is too high or too low?
- Are there any new medications that could be used to help manage my diabetes?
- Does diabetes mean I have to stop eating the foods I like best?
- How can exercise make a difference in my diabetes?
- If I'm overweight, how many pounds do I have to lose to make a difference in my health?
- Are my children at increased risk for the disease?
- What is the importance of diet in diabetes?
- Do I need to take my medications even on days that I feel fine?
Important Questions to Ask Your Health Care Practitioner about Depression
Going to the doctor can be intimidating. You might feel rushed and forget to ask questions that are important. It's always a good idea to know what to ask beforehand and to take notes when with the doctor. Some of the questions below may be worth asking. Print out this page and take it with you to your next appointment.
- What caused this depression?
- Is there an effective treatment that doesn't involve medication?
- What are the side effects and long-term effects of the medication?
- Are antidepressants addictive?
- I've heard that medication for depression will affect my sex life. Is this true?
- How long will it take for the treatment to work?
- What can be done to prevent my depression from recurring?
- Does depression run in families? Will my children be depressed?
- Do St. John's wort and other herbal therapies help with depression?
- What are the different types of psychotherapy and are any of them appropriate for me?
11 Questions About Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors -- unhealthy cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and excess belly fat -- that may raise your risks of serious illness, such as diabetes, and blood vessel and heart disease. If you've been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome -- or are worried you might have it -- here are some questions to ask your doctor. Print them out before your next appointment.
- Do I have any metabolic syndrome risk factors?
- Will I need medicine to control them? If so, how will the medicine help? What are the side effects?
- Do I need to have blood tests to see if I have a higher risk of blood clots and inflammation?
- What is my BMI (body mass index)?
- Should I lose weight? What's a reasonable weight goal for me?
- What changes should I make to my diet? Do I need to take any special precautions?
- Should I consider seeing a nutritionist to talk about improving my diet?
- Do you have suggestions for how I could get more physical activity?
- Could any medicines I'm taking be affecting my metabolic syndrome risk factors?
- How might my family history affect my risk of getting metabolic syndrome and having cardiovascular problems?
- Should I be taking aspirin therapy?
Remember that when you meet with your doctor, tell him or her about all of the medicines, herbs, and supplements you use. "Natural" medicines can be powerful, and they can interfere with the effectiveness of other drugs. You could also keep a food diary for about a week before your next appointment. Just jot down the foods you eat each day. Then, you and your doctor can go over it together and talk about ways of improving your eating habits.
FREE Weight Management Program
Sometimes a little extra support is all it takes to stay on track with weight loss goals. The UT SELECT Weight Management Program provides just that. When our members decide to make positive lifestyle changes by managing their weight, we’re ready with resources to help make the journey successful!
Call: 1-800-462-3275. *Program available to all UT SELECT members.
If you have a chronic condition, you don’t have to go it alone. Now you can find personalized help and support with the UT SELECT Condition Management Program for UT SELECT members. Whether you have diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure or another chronic disease, the Condition Management Program available through BCBSTX can help. To learn more about this voluntary health improvement program, call 1-800-462-3275.
A staff of trained, experienced registered nurse counselors is available 24/7 to answer health care questions and provide information about a wide variety of health care issues and medical non-emergencies. To talk to a nurse, call this toll-free number: 1-888-315-9473. Click here to view and print a 24/7 Nurse line refrigerator card.
UT SELECT FREE Tobacco Cessation Program
Quitting smoking takes desire, determination and support. That’s why UT SELECT has developed a motivational toolkit that can help members who are ready to take steps toward this major lifestyle change. Guidance and support with licensed wellness coaches. Learn more at www.livingwell.utsystem.edu/tobacco.htm.
Fitness Over Forty, a series of video presentations targeting the increasing "over Forty” population, addresses health and fitness issues that are specific to men and women ages 25 to 54 and older. Dr. David Di Paolo, radiologist at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler and nationally-certified fitness trainer, hosts the series featuring UT Health Science Center medical professionals who inform viewers about the benefits of a healthy diet and active lifestyle. Just go to http://www.uthct.edu/fitnessoverforty/archive.asp, and search for a topic that you are interested in.