Join PinnacleHealth online or here, Facebook and Twitter on the 8th of each month to get great information from our women’s health experts. Read, discuss, share and learn about ways to enrich your life through greater awareness and healthy living. You never know what you might learn that’ll keep you feeling good all month long!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Lung Screening Works To Fight Cancer

Troy Moritz, DO,
Thoracic Surgeon
at PinnacleHealth
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths for American men and women. While this statistic is alarming, lung cancer can be treatable when detected early. And the best way to do this is by getting a lung screening.

Studies have shown that the five-year lung cancer survival rate increases by nearly 40 percent when it is diagnosed early, before it spreads beyond the lungs. “Using the latest technology and techniques, PinnacleHealth offers expert and convenient screenings for people who are at risk for getting lung cancer. Getting screened early can improve your chances of living longer if you are diagnosed with lung cancer,” said Dr. Troy Moritz, director of PinnacleHealth’s Lung Cancer Screening Program.

PinnacleHealth’s screening program has been designated as a Screening Center of Excellence by the Lung Cancer Alliance, one of the only ones in Central Pennsylvania.

Lung cancer screening is recommended for individuals who:

  • Are ages 55 - 80 and have smoked the equivalent of one pack of cigarettes daily for 30 years.
  • Are ages 50 – 80, have smoked the equivalent of one pack of cigarettes daily for 20 years and have one additional risk factor.

Additional risk factors include radon exposure, asbestos exposure, a history of cancer, a strong family history of lung cancer, significant second-hand smoke exposure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or pulmonary fibrosis.

“Because lung cancer often does not cause symptoms in its early stages, it is really important that you get screened early on if you have one of these risk factors.” said Dr. Moritz.

Screening typically includes a low-dose CT (CAT) scan, which may be covered by insurance. Because screenings have proven so effective in finding and treating early-stage lung cancer, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced plans to begin covering lung cancer screenings for high-risk Medicare recipients.

“If you or a loved one meet the high-risk criteria, contact us today,” said Dr. Moritz. “Don’t wait.”

To find out more about lung cancer screening at PinnacleHealth, contact the Pulmonary Nodule Clinic at (717) 230-3700 or toll-free at (866) 455-9729 and ask to speak to a screening specialist.

Friday, September 5, 2014

8 Ways to Save Time!

Back to school means back to busy! No worries, here are 8 easy ways to save a little time for yourself!

1. Autocorrect shortcuts in Word- For commonly types phrases you can set up a shortcut in word to autocomplete.  For example, if you want to type Thank You  you can set up Word and Outlook to insert Thank You when you type TY.

Go to File
            Autocorrect options
            At the bottom you can create whatever

2. Overnight oats!  Need a quick and healthy breakfast- try this!

  • First, choose your oats (rolled or steel cut) and your liquid (milk, almond milk, juice)
  •  In a sealable glass jar or airtight container mix rolled oats with an equal amount of your liquid of choice. If you’re using steel cut oats instead, use more liquid and be prepared for a chewy consistency
  • Add any spices, sweeteners, or dried fruit you like- get creative!
  • Store container in the fridge and let the oats soak for at least three hours, ideally overnight
  • In the morning, you can add fresh fruit, nuts, and other favorite toppings to your oatmeal. Grab and go!
3. Order ahead apps!  Eateries like Panera and Chipotle now have apps that let you order ahead of time and pick-up your food when its done. Panera’s app also allows you to pay through the app so all you is grab and go. Bonus for the calorie counts provided by Panera!

4. Go to the busy person- Need something done fast? Go to the busy person in the group.  Although it seems counter-intuitive, the busy person is likely busy because they get things done and have a momentum that keeps them moving. 

5 Set a time limit- They say you will spend what you have and the same holds true for time.  For chores set a time limit for completion. Race to beat the clock and you will get more done in a shorter amount of time!

 6.  Bulk- Do you have a certain peanut butter you like? Buy groceries with long shelf lives and good prices in large quantities to save yourself endless trips to the grocery store for staples.

7.  HIIT it! Have you tried high intensity interval training?  HIIT workouts last only 30 minutes but the intensity provides an after-burn for hours. Great way to squeeze a powerful workout into a busy schedule!

8. Maintain your health- nothing sucks up time like being sick! The investment of time into wellness activities including check-ups and recommended screenings is well worth it to keep you feeling and functioning your best!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Back to school? Back to you!

Check-ups aren't just for kids! It’s just as important that you take the time to keep yourself well.  Many women tend to skip that yearly gyn exam, especially if they don’t think they need a pap and aren’t having problems. But regular health exams with an OB/GYN are critical in the prevention of female cancers. Annual exams and tests can help physicians detect problems early so that treatment can be started and give women the best possible outcome.

“Prevention is the key,” said Dr. Gregory Willis, gynecologic oncologist with the PinnacleHealth Women’s Cancer Center. “ Yearly exams are really necessary even if a pap isn't needed at that time. These exams can detect changes, cancers, masses or other problems.”

The following are several exams that women can expect to have at a yearly check-up.

Pelvic Exam- this is performed by the provider to check the internal female organs for normal shape and size.

Pap test- this is a test to check for cancer of the cervix (the opening to a woman's uterus). The cells from the cervix are prepared and looked at under a microscope.

Clinical breast exam- this is an exam done by the provider feeling and looking at the breast to check for breast cancer.

STD test- If you are at risk, your OBGYN will offer you tests for sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia and gonorrhea.

HPV test- Another test your OB/GYN may recommend is a mammogram and a test for HPV ( Human Papilloma Virus). HPV is the most commonly sexually transmitted infection, and it can cause cervical cancer and other cancers including cancer of he vulva, vagina, penis, or anus. It can also cause cause oropharyngeal cancer( cancer in the back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils.

There is a vaccine to prevent HPV, which can protect both males and females against the disease. Talk to your  Gynecologist about the vaccine.

It is important for women to keep yearly exams and have an open and honest dialogue with their OB/GYN so that all necessary testing and exams can be done.

Need to find an OB/GYN? Visit to see reputable providers in your area.

8 reasons gynecological surgery isn’t as bad as you think

  1. Options - At PinnacleHealth, women have more options for treating common gynecological concerns.  Advanced technology offers options of different procedures and with three hospitals, there is always a location convenient for you and your family!
  2. Recovery time - Many women remember the long recovery time that accompanied a surgery such as a hysterectomy. With the advanced laparoscopic  and robotic-assisted techniques, women are back on their feet much more quickly, usually within 1-2 weeks!
  3. Pain - Minimally invasive surgery refers to a surgery where there are smaller or fewer incisions than were previously used.  Smaller and fewer incisions mean less pain for the patient which helps to speed recovery!
  4. Experience - The providers at the Pennsylvania Institute for Minimally Invasive Surgery at PinnacleHealth have decades of experience with your surgery. They know exactly the best way to provide you the care you need with the comfort you need. 
  5. Expertise - The surgeons at PinnacleHealth not only have experience, but they have the expertise gained from constantly continuing their educations.  Frequent conferences, and training events keep our physicians up to date on the best ways to treat common gyn conditions.
  6. Technology - We've come a long way baby!  Thankfully most people have little experience with surgeries.  But that also leaves most people with an outdated sense of how surgery today works.  The advanced technology now available allows for patients to receive smaller incisions ( and sometimes no incision!) and have shorter procedures resulting in less complications.  
  7. Comfort - Even with a short hospital stay, you want to be comfortable.  Patient feedback on all our locations, Community General, Harrisburg Hospital and the new West Shore Hospital, indicates that patients are comfortable at PinnacleHealth and enjoy the amenities available including private rooms, flat screen TVs, and Expressly for you dining plan, patient feel at home until they are able to return home.
  8. Support -The great team at your OBGYN office works collaboratively with our staff to ensure your questions are answered and needs are met.  This includes financial counselors, nursing staff and discharge planners. 

What to expect when you need gynecological surgery
Yearly gyn exams are important to catch problems early.  So many women either assume they have no problems or are afraid of finding one.  So what happens when there is a problem?

There is actually good news if your exam shows a problem—that good news is that you know.  Knowledge is power.  Once you know of a problem, you and your team of providers can then develop a plan to treat the problem and get you back to good health.  A diagnosis of fibroids, endometriosis or cancer can be scary, but women and their families can take comfort in knowing that these are conditions that the physicians at PinnacleHealth have experience dealing with and can provide treatments for.

What options do I have?
Often surgery is the best option for the treatment of many gynecological conditions.  Your physician will review your surgical options, and together you can decide the best choice for you.  You should ask your physician about his or her experience with the procedure, what hospital they recommend  and any other questions you may have.

Consider what hospital you will have surgery in. Do some research and look for the type of technology they have (do they have robotic and minimally invasive options?), look at their infection rates and look for any other quality indicators such as Center of Excellence accreditation.

You always have choices. With your physician’s guidance, your questions answered and a feeling of comfort with the hospital, you are ready for surgery. Rest assured you are in good hands and are on the road back to being a healthier and happier woman!

For more information on minimally invasive gynecological surgeries and options at PinnacleHealth, visit

Specialized Cancer Care for Special Women

All women are special.  Mom, sisters, friends, and of course you, these  are some of the most special people on earth.  As each women is special, and different, so should her care be, especially when facing a cancer diagnosis.

Cancer will affect 1 in 3 women in their lifetime.  While it’s scary to consider, knowing about cancer it your options before you need them, can be incredibly comforting.  Here is an overview of the basics of cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Locally there are experts in cancer available to care for you and your family during this difficult time. Your care team might include:

  • Nurse navigator - This nurse will assist with every aspect of coordinating care, from helping to get financial resources or transportation, to answering questions and scheduling appointments.  
  • Surgeons - Your condition may require surgery and there are many surgeons that specialize. PinnacleHealth has surgeons specific to breast, gynecology, gynecologic oncology and many more.
  • Medical oncologists - Oncologist is a term to describe someone that deals with cancer.  Medical oncologists deal with cancer with medical or drug therapies.
  • Radiation oncologists - Radiation oncologists treat cancer with safe and targeted radiation therapy delivered in a comfortable setting, often time in short treatment sessions.

These expert providers will discuss your case together and decide what is the best plan for you every step of the way.  This is your support team and these compassionate providers are always available  to answer questions and work to keep you comfortable and moving towards better health.

Many people think that cancer treatments are very painful, or very scary.  Thanks to advanced technology treatments have become very tolerable and are given in comfortable settings with minimal side affects.

Radiation therapy treatments are provided in a warm and inviting room where patients lay on a table and can enjoy music of images on a screen above them.  The linear accelerator does all the work, moving around the patient and delivering short bursts of painless radiation doses designed to target the tumor but not the healthy tissue, thus reducing or even eliminating side effects.

Chemotherapy brings up many questions about hair loss and nausea.  While these can sometimes be present, all the research to date had provided us with great knowledge about what to expect for each drug so we can help manage any side effects.  For example, to prevent nausea and vomiting, patients often receive medicines before and after treatments to prevent nausea.

Surgical procedures have advanced so that incisions can be smaller ( and sometimes no incision is necessary!) so that there is less pain , less risk of infection and faster recovery.

Many people still believe that to get the best care you need to travel to a big city.  Thankfully this is no longer the case!  The majority of cancers, including breast, cervical and uterine, can be expertly treated in your own community by providers with extensive experience and success.  PinnacleHealth is proud to provide two cancer centers will a large array of services to make extensive travel unnecessary, thus reducing the burden a patient and their family feel during cancer treatment.  With the PinnacleHealth Cancer Center available at the Community Campus on the East Shore and the new Ortenzio Cancer Center at PinnacleHealth on the West Shore Campus, patients can spend less time traveling and more time with family and loved ones.

Cancer can be scary, but knowing you are not alone and have the strength and support of an expert team behind you, can help you or a loved on face the challenge with hope and strength.

For more information about cancer services at PinnacleHealth, visit

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

PinnacleHealth now offers a Women’s Continence Center

What is Incontinence?

Incontinence means the involuntary loss of bladder or bowel control—the inability to predict when and where urination and/or bowel movements will occur. Bladder or bowel control—the inability to predict when and where urination and/or bowel movements will occur. This common disorder is experienced by as many as 18 million women of all ages. About half of adult women say they have had urine leakage at one time or another. Many women report it is a daily problem. Embarrassment and shame can prevent people from seeking help. Many mistakenly believe that nothing can be done to correct it.

Many women are afraid or embarrassed to mention their problem to their healthcare provider. Instead, they suffer in silence, wearing absorbent pads. Not only is this practice costly, it can lead to skin irritation and diminished self-esteem. Incontinence is not a hopeless condition. In and of itself incontinence is not a disease, but rather a symptom of an underlying condition that affects men and women of all ages and backgrounds. There are treatments available, including medication, exercise and minimally invasive surgery, which means that women no longer have to live with the worry of leaking urine.

Symptoms of Urinary Incontinence

Do you leak urine when:

  • Laughing
  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Jumping or exercising
  • Lifting, bending or stretching
  • Climbing stairs
  • Getting up from a chair
  • During intercourse
Do you:
  • Leak urine as soon as you need to go to the bathroom
  • Feel that your bladder is never completely empty 
  • Leak urine even when you drink small amounts of liquid
  • Leak when you hear or touch running water
  • Have frequent uncontrollable urges to urinate
  • Go to the bathroom more than seven times per day

Bladder issues, like many other health concerns, are easier to treat the earlier you detect the problem. Don't “just live with it.” Contact us today to find out the facts about urinary incontinence and what you can do about it!

PinnacleHealth Women's Continence Center
Community Campus
Medical Sciences Pavilion, Suite 305
4300 Londonderry Road, Harrisburg PA
(717) 724-6788 • (717) 703-0099 Fax

Monday, July 7, 2014

8 Ways to Overcome Embarrassment

Many women are embarrassed to talk to their healthcare providers about their symptoms. This embarrassment though is keeping them from being healthy.  Here are 8 ways to get over your embarrassment and get the support you need and deserve!
  1. Stop and think! Did you even do something to be embarrassed about? Many symptoms are not under your control and therefore you needn't feel embarrassed about them.  
  2. Think positive!  Embarrassment is a negative thought. If you continue to repeat it you will continue to feel bad both physically and emotionally.  Instead, look on the bright side.  Consider what you are embarrassed about and focus on the positive, i.e. it could have been worse, only your ego not your physical body was bruised etc. 
  3. Talk about it! Embarrassment is a very isolating feeling.  Often if you share your feelings with a trusted friend (or physician!) you will find you have no need to be embarrassed. 
  4. Trust yourself.  This is likely not the first time you've felt embarrassed.  You've always recovered before; trust that you can face the embarrassing situation and still come out on top!
  5. This too shall pass! Embarrassment is temporary so don’t let it get in the way of your long-term well-being.
  6.  Relax! Easier said than done, but you have to realize that you might be taking yourself or the situation too seriously.  You are human, have flaws and make mistakes and that’s ok!
  7. Face your fears.  Embarrassment is based on fear of what other people think.  You should not be afraid to talk to you physician. Acknowledge that feeling, step past it and trust that your physician is not looking to judge you, only to help you. 
  8. Look for the laugh.  Is there anything humorous about your situation that could help you look at it in a more relaxed manner?  Taking a step back to laugh at the situation can be helpful!
Being brave enough to talk about embarrassing conditions will make you feel better both mentally and physically!