Our featured Pharmacist talks about the role Sams Club plays in managing health care issues unique to women, including menopause and breast and ovarian cancer.

Q: What types of women’s health issues can a pharmacist potentially help with?

A: Pharmacists can aid with a variety of women’s health issues, including menstruation concerns, breast and ovarian cancer advice, and menopause support. Pharmacists are a great source of knowledge not only about the prescription medications you are taking, but also the medical concerns with which you are dealing. Numerous over-the-counter products can help with many of these concerns; your pharmacist can help you discern which over-the-counter items best suit your needs.

Q: How can a pharmacist be a resource to women battling breast cancer?

A: In addition to counseling women about the new medications that are prescribed to them during the course of cancer treatment, pharmacists are also a great source of knowledge concerning alternative and complimentary medicines that may be beneficial. Having had my own mother experience a fight with breast cancer, I understand the need to do everything possible to stop cancer growth and prevent a reoccurrence. I share small facts such as the ginger root being a natural anti-nausea source for potential relief during chemo, along with studies showing that Brussels sprouts can fight breast cancer due to their natural compounds. Additionally, during counseling, I like to help women decide when to take newly prescribed medications to lower anxiety prior to chemo or radiation sessions, or just to get to sleep at night.

Q: Besides breast cancer, what other health threats do women need to watch out for?

A: All women should be actively watching for ovarian and cervical cancers. An annual visit to the gynecologist is important to receive pap smears and mammograms, if age appropriate. Osteoporosis and osteopenia are two common bone conditions that mainly affect women. Bone density testing should begin around age 65, or potentially earlier if your doctor finds you to be at high risk. Menopause is inevitable for all women, and the hormonal changes that occur can be very difficult to deal with. During menopause, women experience a decrease in the production of estrogen, which leads to many symptoms and changes in our bodies. There are specialty pharmacies that compound hormone specific therapies, called bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), tailored to each womans needs to help her through the transition.

To get the most from your prescription and over-the-counter medications, be sure you know the following:

Name of your medication
Why you are taking it
How it might make you feel
Whether it conflicts with anything else you take

Regardless of where you had them filled, you can bring all of your prescriptions into Sams Club for a free prescription checkup to identify potential drug interactions.

Would you like to share an experience you had at the Sams Club Pharmacy? Send us comments or feedback at hlms@samsclub.com, or write to us at: Healthy Living Made Simple, 1703 Phyllis St., Suite 202, Bentonville, AR 72712.