Shopping Center Health Care Self-Help Advice

Written by Keith Rockmael

Going to the mall usually means shopping for clothes but there's a twist on making health care fun. A new screening service, set up in one mall, convinces shoppers it's what's on the inside that matters.

In a city known for its preoccupation with outward appearances, Los Angeles has become a trendsetter for health exams.

Mid-Age Beauty tips
Most experts recommend an annual mammogram after age 40.
To reduce your risk of breast cancer, limit fat and alcohol and increase your intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Regular physical activity and a healthy weight may help prevent breast cancer. 
Visitors to the Beverly Center, one of the city's fashionable shopping malls, can now shop till they drop into Cedars Sinai Hospital's Picture Your Health, a new screening center for breast cancer and osteoporosis.

All too often women fail to obtain life-saving health exams. The anxiety-promoting environment of a hospital puts some off, while others feel that the screening process takes too much time. But women who walk into Picture Your Health are met with a warm, inviting atmosphere and, most importantly, state-of-the-art screening methods.

While a visit to a doctor's office can take well over an hour, Picture Your Health has a "no appointment necessary" policy. Women can obtain breast cancer screenings, along with stroke and osteoporosis risk assessments in just 15 minutes, and then hit the sales racks at their favorite store.
The speed and convenience also promotes impulse screenings. "I was on my way into Macy's, then I saw this screening center and I thought that my $85 was better served in here than in there," says one woman.

The facility's environment, which is more spa than screening center, has a relaxing affect. "I feel comfortable here. They have cozy robes to wear and it's not like sitting in a doctor's office," says one 30something woman. According to another patient, the center's appeal is based on the fact that "it's not clinical and doesn't intimidate you."

In addition to comfort and convenience, the center is also cost-effective. The center accepts health insurance and the prices for mammograms, bone density analysis and cholesterol testing are consistent with those at a doctor's office.

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