National Women’s Health Week

May 13 launches National Women’s Health Week and the Department of Health and Human Services has lined up an impressive list of collaborators for 2012.

One of those partners is the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), the advocacy and support organization for 26 women’s sororities.  As a Chi Omega, I’ve been a part of NPC since college.  In recent years, I’ve joined NPC as a Team Leader for the Something of Value program, which provides risk management education to the NPC collegiate women.  These are things I do outside of my “professor life,” but they are no less important to me as a means of giving back and influencing the next generation.

As a researcher committed to women’s health, I was honored when the NPC asked me to participate in their Women’s Health Week efforts. I spoke in the NPC podcast about the importance of prevention and healthy lifestyle choices for women of all ages.  While I often spend my time focused on older adults, we are increasingly seeing data that factors earlier in life matter for disease prevention, including cancer!  For example, my colleague Graham Colditz has long been studying the effects of early adulthood (those college years!) alcohol intake on breast health.  My colleague Kelle Moley is studying how the fetal environment might influence cancer risk in offspring in a study that is part of the TREC Center at Wash U.

Remember, it is never too late to start making healthy choices, but it is also never too early!

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