Life after menopause...
Many women will live almost half of their lives in the postmenopausal stage of life. We establish longterm partnerships with our patients to address their unique health issues, focus on healthy aging and guide preventive health screenings .
Dr. Krause considers herself to be a primary care provider for gynecologic, breast and bone health. Healthy aging includes treatment of menopause related issues such as vaginal dryness, pain with intercourse, urinary symptoms, hot flashes and bone loss. Exciting new treatments for these conditions make it important to discuss openly.
By the year 2015, the number of postmenopausal women is expected to rise to 1.1 billion worldwide
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to continue mammogram screening?
Yes. Mammography detects small cancers before they are palpable on a breast exam. Annual screening should be continued for older women as well, as long as they remain healthy enough to undergo treatment.
Despite debate about the screening interval for mammography, I still recommend annual screening at this time starting at age 40 as the safest approach. For women at increased risk due to a BRCA mutation or family history of breast cancer at a young age, screening should begin earlier.
If your radiologist offers '3D' mammography, I would opt for this technology. This procedure is analogous to a CT scan rather than an X Ray, with similar radiation though slightly greater radiation exposure compared to a traditional mammogram. 3D testing can lower the rate of false positives, reducing follow up testing and negative biopsies. Women who have dense tissue on mammography should have a breast sonogram in addition to the mammogram.
Why do I need bone density testing (DEXA)?
Osteoporosis is a silent disease and takes a huge toll on the health of menopausal women. Here are some statistics: an estimated 50% of all women over age 50 will fracture a bone due to osteoporosis, 20% of seniors who break a hip die within a year and many others are permanently disabled. I recommend getting a baseline screen at the time of menopause and then following up at appropriate intervals to assess bone density loss.
Calcium, vitamin D and exercise is recommended at all ages and can help prevent declining bone density. When bone loss reaches the point that it poses a significant risk of fracture , additional medications may need to be added. The key is to be proactive.