wellness online header
  October Health News
   October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  • Raise Your Breast Cancer Awareness
  • Flu Season Is Right Around the Corner
  • Six Ways to Fend Off Seasonal Flu
  • Dr. Oz Video: Cold and Flu Home Remedies
  • Source4Women: Simple swaps to improve your health and wellness
  • Monthly Health Tip
  • We Dare You!
  • Monthly Recipe
wellness online header

blood pressure




Raise Your Breast Cancer Awareness

Learn about the risks for breast cancer and the tests used to find breast cancer early.

Simply being a woman and getting older puts you at an increased risk for breast cancer. Experts estimate that 1 in 8 women alive today will get breast cancer. That’s a scary figure, but it shouldn’t leave you feeling helpless. Instead, take time to learn more about breast cancer and the steps you can take to protect yourself.

What is the average risk?

Age is the most important risk factor for breast cancer. Simply, the older you get, the greater your chance of getting breast cancer.

  • By age 40, the risk is 1 in 233.
  • By age 50, the risk is 1 in 69.
  • By age 60, the risk is 1 in 38.
  • By age 70, the risk is 1 in 27.


So where did that scary 1-in-8 figure come from? That’s what is called a lifetime risk, and it’s based on a 90-year lifespan. There are two ways to look at this:

  • If a woman lives to be 90 years old, the chance that she will get breast cancer at some point in her life is about 1 in 8 (or 13 percent).
  • Across the same long lifespan, the chance that a woman will never get breast cancer is about 7 in 8 (or 87 percent).


In other words, there’s a much greater chance that a woman won’t get breast cancer than that she will. Still, every woman should do what she can to lower her risk and protect her breast health.

What raises the risk?

In addition to aging, other factors are known to put a woman at higher-than-average risk for breast cancer. You

may be at higher risk if you have any of the following risk factors:

  • A personal history of breast cancer. If you’ve had breast cancer once, you’re more likely to get it again than someone whose never had it.
  • A family history of breast cancer, especially in a mother, sister, or daughter.
  • Certain benign breast conditions, such as atypical hyperplasia.
  • Changes in certain genes (BRCA1 or BRCA2), which can be found with genetic testing.
  • No full-term pregnancies or first full-term pregnancy after age 30.
  • Starting your period before age 12.
  • Going through menopause after age 55.
  • Taking hormones after menopause.
  • Being white. White women are at higher risk than Asian, Latina, or African-American women.
  • Radiation therapy to the chest before age 30.
  • Having dense breasts.
  • Having taken DES (diethylstilbestrol). This drug was prescribed in the 1940s through 1960s to help prevent miscarriage. Women whose mothers took this drug may also be at higher risk of breast cancer.
  • Being overweight after menopause.
  • Not being physically active.
  • Drinking alcohol. The more you drink, the higher your risk.

If you have any of these risk factors, discuss them with your doctor.

If you don’t have any risk factors, it doesn’t mean you won’t get breast cancer. It just means you are at average

risk. Most women who get breast cancer don’t have any known risk factors.

What can a woman do?

Getting screened for breast cancer is one of the best things you can do for your health. The best way to find

cancer is with a mammogram. Other screening tests include a clinical breast exam and self-exam.

  • Mammogram. A mammogram is a special x-ray of your breasts, and it’s the best way to detect breast cancer early. A mammogram can find breast cancer years before a lump can be felt.
  • A clinical breast exam is done by a doctor or nurse. The breast exam gives women a chance to talk with their doctor about any changes in their breasts and their risk factors.
  • Self exam. If you notice any changes in your breasts during a self-exam, talk to your doctor right away.

    Changes may include:
    – A lump or thick area in or near the breast or underarm
    – Nipple pain or tenderness
    – Nipple that turns in (retracts)
    – Red or scaly skin on the breast or nipple (may have ridges or pits like an orange peel)
    – Fluid (other than milk) leaking from a nipple
    They may not mean cancer, but it’s best to find out right away.

Ask your doctor what tests are right for you and at what age you should begin testing.


• National Cancer Institute. What you need to know about breast cancer. Accessed: 04/26/2011

• National Cancer Institute. Probability of breast cancer in American women. Accessed: 04/26/2011

• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Breast cancer statistics. Accessed: 04/26/2011

• BreastCancer.org. Breast cancer risk factors. Accessed: 04/26/2011

wellness online header
flu shot

Flu Season Is Right Around the Corner

The timing of the flu can vary from season to season, but it can begin as early as October. Make sure you and your family are vaccinated this year and every year. Most UnitedHealthcare plans cover annual flu shots at 100% when you use a contracted network provider. Check your plan documents for your coverage details. You can go to your doctor, an employer-sponsored flu clinic or a network retail pharmacy.


This year's flu vaccine includes H1N1, so only one shot is needed. You can log on to myuhc.com® to find a retail pharmacy, or make an appointment with your doctor.

wellness online header
colorful vegetables

Six Ways to Fend Off Seasonal Flu

The best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get a flu shot. But there are also other important things you can do to stay healthy during flu outbreaks.

For many people, fall means the start of football season. Those shorter, cooler days also mark the start of flu season. So make fall a time to beef up your efforts to prevent the flu and other respiratory infections.

  1. Get a flu shot. The flu shot is the single best way to prevent seasonal flu. The ideal time to get a flu shot is between September and November, before the start of the flu season. But even getting it later in the season can help. The flu shot may not always prevent seasonal flu, but it can make symptoms milder and help reduce the risk of serious complications.

    Everyone who is at least 6 months of age should get a flu vaccine this season. This recommendation has been in place since February 24, 2010 when Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted for “universal” flu vaccination in the United States to expand protection against the flu to more people. Talk to your doctor to find out if the flu shot is a good idea for you.

    If you are not able to get a flu shot, the following tips are even more important.

  2. Wash your hands often. Hand washing is a simple but powerful way to prevent many types of infection, including the flu. Use soap (any type will do) and warm water. Scrub for 15 to 20 seconds. Rinse well, and dry with a clean towel or paper towel. If you don't have access to soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand wipe or gel sanitizer.

  3. Keep your hands away from your face. Flu germs can live for hours on surfaces such as doorknobs and desks. They can enter your body if you touch a contaminated surface and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth.

  4. Steer clear of sick people. Try to avoid close contact with people who are sick. If possible, stay out of crowds when flu outbreaks are highest in your area.

  5. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Use a tissue and then throw it away. If you don't have a tissue, use your hand. Then wash your hands to get rid of the germs.

  6. Build your defenses. Keep your immune system strong by eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of sleep and getting regular exercise. Always talk to your doctor before you increase your activity level.

If you get the flu
Sometimes even the best prevention fails. If you do get the flu, stay home until you're well. This can help keep the flu from spreading.

If you can't afford to be sick, talk to your doctor about taking an antiviral medicine. Antiviral medicine can often shorten the severity and duration of the flu. But it works best if you start taking it within the first two days after flu symptoms start. Symptoms of flu can include fever, headache, tiredness, sore throat, dry cough, nasal congestion and body aches.

wellness online header

Better Health with Dr. Oz: Cold and Flu Home Remedies

Cold and flu season is upon us again. To help treat those miserable symptoms, try these home remedies.

Click here to view the program.

wellness online header

Source4Women Online Seminar
Simple swaps to improve your health and wellness

Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD
October 14, 2014, 12:30 p.m. ET, 11:30 a.m. CT

Start living healthier one simple swap at a time. Habits are hard to break and those bad habits can undermine your health and wellness. Simple swaps, small changes, smart decisions and better choices may add up to a healthier life and smaller waistline. The secret to successful weight loss is not feeling deprived or even thinking about dieting. Join us for this seminar to see how easy it is to make simple swaps, cut calories and still satisfy cravings. These inexpensive and quick swaps may add up to weight loss that is so simple, you’ll never go back to your old ways


To register for an upcoming Source4Women online seminar, visit www.source4women.com and click on "Online Seminars & Events." All seminars are recorded and archived for viewing after the live seminar date.

wellness online header
we dare you

October Dare:
Show Us Your Walking Shoes!

In October, show us your walking shoes and you could win a $400 gift card!

For more chances to win, you can share a dare with your friends — or suggest a dare. Join us on Facebook® and participate in our monthly challenges, too... We Dare You.


wellness online header



Health Tip:

Before eating your fruits and veggies:

Scrub items thoroughly under running water.

Peel produce to help remove dirt, bacteria and pesticide residue.

Choose a variety of foods. Eating just one kind of fruit or vegetable may increase your exposure to one type of pesticide. Variety also gives you a good mix of nutrients.


wellness online header

October Healthy Recipe: Heart Healthy Pumpkin Soup


This creamy soup is the perfect starter before dinner or satisfying enough as a main course.

1 large onion, chopped
1 large yellow pepper, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2  tsp cumin
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 (29 oz) can pumpkin without salt
2 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 cup apple juice or cider
2 cups low fat milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds kernels, toasted

Heat a heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat. Saute onion and yellow peppers in olive oil 5-7 minutes until caramelized; add garlic, nutmeg and cumin and continue cooking 3-5 minutes. Stir in pumpkin, sweet potato, chicken stock and apple juice; simmer covered until sweet potato is tender, about 15-20 minutes. Use a blender to puree soup until smooth. Add milk, salt and pepper; simmer but do not boil. Serve, garnish with parsley and pumpkin seeds.

Yield: 8 servings

Nutrition Facts:
Calories: 153
Fat: 5g
Saturated Fat: 1g
Cholesterol: 3mg
Sodium: 259mg
Carbohydrate: 24g
Fiber: 4g
Sugars: 12g
Protein: 6g

© 2014, UnitedHealthcare. Please contact your employer if you do not wish to receive these e-mail notifications.