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Health line

SUSAN ASCHOFF with Times wires
Published September 23, 2003

MEN'S HEALTH is the focus of a town hall meeting scheduled this weekend in Tampa.

Coordinated by the Florida Prostate Cancer Education Network, the event is from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St. Doors open at 7:30 for registration, although participants are encouraged to register in advance by calling 813 745-3627 or going online to www.florida-prostate-cancer.org

The $20 fee includes a continental breakfast, box lunch and health screenings.

Workshop topics will include diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke, colon and prostate cancer and men's sexual health. Women's sessions will also be offered on hormone therapy, cardiovascular health and cancer risks.

FAMILY RESOURCES, a nonprofit organization that has supported families in the Tampa Bay area for more than 30 years, provides support groups for those who care for the children of relatives. Groups currently meeting are listed below. For information, call (727) 550-4250.

-- St. Petersburg: Family Resources Inc., 3821 Fifth Ave. N, 6-7:30 p.m., second Thursday of the month.

-- Tarpon Springs: Trinity Alliance Church, 2577 Keystone Road, 10-11:30 a.m., second and fourth Wednesdays of the month.

-- New Port Richey: Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church, 5340 High St., 10-11:30 a.m., first and third Tuesdays of the month.

-- Dade City: Youth and Family Alternatives, 38022 River Road, 10-11:30 a.m., third Wednesday of the month.

MENOPAUSAL WOMEN often do not talk to their doctors about their symptoms. When they do, doctors may trivialize their concerns and leave decisions about treatment up to them, according to a survey by the National Consumers League.

More than 850 women between the ages of 45 and 59 who were not taking hormone therapy were queried about satisfaction with the patient/doctor relationship on the subject of menopause. As the severity of symptoms reported by the women increased, the level of satisfaction with their medical care decreased, the survey found.

"Last summer's news of the Women's Health Initiative left millions of menopausal women wondering, "What should I do about my symptoms?' " says Linda Golodner, NCL president, referring to the mega study which found hormone replacement therapy increases the risk for heart problems and breast cancer rather than reducing the odds, as once believed.

Almost one-third of the women said they do not talk to their doctors about their symptoms and that doctors do not take them seriously when they do. Most doctors report they don't understand exactly what women go through during menopause. More than 80 percent of doctors said they don't know everything about menopause.

In a new education campaign, the National Consumers League offers tips to help women evaluate their symptoms and talk to their doctors. Go to www.nclnet.org/menopause to get information and to download checklists.

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