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Washington Hospital's 2015 Women's Conference Highlights Prevention

If you are busy working, shuffling kids from place to place, or just trying to get by in this hectic world, you’re not alone. Sometimes it’s easy to put everyone else’s health before your own. The upcoming Women’s Conference at Washington Hospital provides an opportunity to take time out and focus on your health.

“The Women’s Conference is designed to educate women in the community about preventive health care and the resources that are available,” said Dr. Victoria Leiphart, a Fremont gynecologist and member of the Washington Hospital medical staff who will moderate the conference. “It’s a wonderful annual event that women seem to really enjoy year after year.”

The Women’s Conference will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 18, at the Conrad E. Anderson, MD Auditorium located at 2500 Mowry Avenue (Washington West) in Fremont. The event costs $25 and includes a continental breakfast and a delicious, healthy lunch. Registration is required by going online at or by calling 800.963.7070.

This year offers an impressive lineup of speakers from Washington Hospital. Dr. Jeff Lin will focus on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment for gynecological cancers; Dr. James Lilja will discuss clinical trials for gynecological cancers; Dr. Alexander Sah will focus on healthy joints and joint replacement, and dietitian Lorie Roffelsen will present healthy eating when you’re on the go.

Preventing Cancer

Dr. William Dugoni, medical director of the Women’s Health Program at Washington Hospital, will provide opening remarks and talk about what’s new at the Washington Women’s Center. Dr. Leiphart will provide an overview of some of the health and wellness programs available at the Women’s Center. For example, her four-week class called Restoring Balance starts on April 27 and includes sessions on nutrition, exercise and stress management.

Dr. Lilja and Dr. Lin are both gynecological oncologists and members of the Washington Hospital medical staff. Gynecological cancers are cancers that affect women’s reproductive systems. The most common are cervical, ovarian and uterine cancers. The oncologists will talk about the prevention and treatment of these cancers as well as some of the latest advances.

Of all the gynecologic cancers, only cervical cancer has a screening method to detect it early, when treatment can be most effective. It is called the Pap test. Since there is no simple and reliable way to screen for other gynecologic cancers, it is especially important to recognize the warning signs, which can include abnormal bleeding or discharge, pelvic pain or pressure, abdominal or back pain, bloating, and changes in bathroom habits.

Protecting Your Joints

Dr. Sah will focus on ways to keep your joints healthy as you age as well as some of the latest advances in the field of joint replacement. He is an orthopedic surgeon and co-medical director at Washington Hospital’s Institute for Joint Restoration and Research located at its state-of-the art Center for Joint Replacement.

Everyone experiences aches and pains from time to time, but research shows that women are more frequently and often more severely affected than men. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that arthritis or chronic joint symptoms affect more than 70 million Americans, and 41 million of them are women. A number of factors contribute to this disparity, including the fact that women experience hormone fluctuations that make them more vulnerable.

Arthritis and other conditions can take a serious toll on the joints. But there has been a lot of progress in joint replacement in the last decade. Dr. Sah will talk about some of the less invasive treatment options and procedures now available for the hip and knee. For example, minimally invasive hip replacement surgery techniques introduced at the Institute for Joint Restoration and Research at Washington Hospital have dramatically reduced the amount of post-operative pain and significantly shortened the hospital stay and recovery period.

Eating Right

We all know it’s important to eat right, but sometimes it’s hard, especially when we’re running from one task to the next. Roffelsen, a registered dietitian at Washington Hospital, will offer tips for eating healthy on the go.

“It’s really about planning,” she said. “When we’re tired and hungry, we gravitate toward the easy comfort foods, which are usually high in fat and sugar. With a little planning, you have more control over your food choices.”

She will offer snack ideas that are healthy and portable such as fruit and nuts as well as items that can be easily prepared. Roffelsen will also talk about the pros and cons of the recent smoothie and power shake trend.

In addition, she will provide some strategies for eating healthy when you dine out. Again, it boils down to planning.

“Try to look at the menu online before you go so you can make sure there are healthy options you like,” she suggested. “Avoid items described as crispy or creamy. They are probably fried and loaded with fat. When in doubt, ask how something is prepared.”

To learn more about these topics, attend the Women’s Conference on April 18. For more information about programs and services offered at the Washington Women’s Center, visit