(207) 474-5121 | 46 Fairview Avenue, Skowhegan, ME 04976

Prostate Cancer


Prostate Cancer is a cancer of the walnut-sized gland which contributes to the fluid that helps carry sperm.  The prostate gland is located right in front of the rectum.  Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men.


Prostate cancer may be present without any symptoms and early stage prostate cancer usually has no symptoms.  It is important to set up regular screenings with your doctor.  If you experience persistent hip or back pain, difficulty urinating or painful, burning or bloody urination, see your doctor.


Risk factors for prostate cancer include being age 40 and older for African-American males and men with a family history of prostate cancer; age 50 and above for other men, having a family history of prostate cancer, and a high fat diet.


Screening tests that are available include the PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen), a blood test that may detect a prostate related problem, and a DRE (Digital Rectal Exam), a test where the doctor puts a gloved finger in the rectum to feel the prostrate.


Prostrate cancer can be cured if detected early!

Regular doctor visits can help you have the conversation with your doctor about the need for specific health screenings.  Ask for medical advice and learn about treatment options.


Preventing All kinds of Cancer and Improving the Quality of Your Life

Men should be aware and knowledgeable about the symptoms that may indicate cancer.  Cancer can affect other parts of your body other than the prostate.  Symptoms may include:

©  lumps that you can feel through the skin

©  sores that do not heal

©  changes in the size, color, or texture of a wart or mole

©  blood in the urine, stool or saliva

©  unexpected weight loss

©  unexplained pain

©  persistent back ache

©  pressure or tenderness in the chest

©  a cough, sore throat, hoarseness, or trouble swallowing that will not go away

©  unusual bleeding

©  chronic nausea or gas

©  a fever that lasts more than a few days


There are many things men can do to minimize the chance of getting cancer or to live longer, healthier lives. 

©  Don’t smoke and minimize your exposure to second hand smoke.

©  Limit alcohol to two drinks/day at a maximum

©  Limit sun exposure

©  Eat a low fat, high fiber, well-balanced diet and maintain a healthy weight.

©  Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day.

©  Manage your stress.

©  Prevent injuries by wearing safety gear, wearing seatbelts, etc.

©  Limit your exposure to PVCs (poly vinyl chloride), tar and creosote.

©  Get to know your body through routine testicular exams, and skin exams.  See your doctor.  Have a physical or a routine visit and talk with him or her about any concerns you may have.  Call today and make that appointment.



Gynecologic Cancer


Cervical cancer is a cancer of the female reproductive tract.  The cause of cervical cancer is human papillomavirus or HPV which is sexually transmitted, perhaps many years pre-diagnosis.  Most people who have had sex have been exposed to HPV.  In most cases it goes away.  Women with persistent HPV are at risk for cervical cancer.  Lower your risk by delaying the onset of sexual activity, knowing your sexual partner, not smoking, maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle, and practicing safe sexual activity.

Cervical cancer is the easiest gynecologic cancer to prevent through screening called Pap tests.  It is a test that collects cells from the surface of the cervix and looks for any abnormal cells.  Abnormal cells can be treated before cervical cancer develops.  When cancer is detected early, it is easier to treat.  The Gynecologic Cancer Foundation recommends that a woman has the first Pap test three years after the onset of sexual intercourse, or no later than age 21.  A woman will need to continue to have a Pap test every year until you are 30.  After age 30, if you have only had normal results, you may have them every 2-3 years after discussion with your physician and evaluation of your risk factors.  Remember to schedule your Pap when you are not having a menstrual period.  If you have an abnormal Pap test, your physician will discuss with you the recommended course of action such as HPV testing, repeat Pap, colposcopy, or cervical biopsy

The symptoms of cervical cancer include: abnormal bleeding between periods, with intercourse, or after menopause; unusual vaginal discharge; other symptoms such as pelvic or leg pain, or bleeding from the rectum or bladder.  Some women have no symptoms at all.  Schedule your Pap today and talk with your physician about results and care.

Ovarian Cancer causes more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system.  The disease usually occurs in women aged 50 years or older, but can occur younger.  A woman’s risk is increased if one or more of her close relatives, such as mother, daughter, or sister, has had the disease.  Women with a history of breast, endometrial, or colon cancer also have a greater chance of developing ovarian cancer.  Childbearing and the use of oral contraceptives have been identified as factors that decrease a risk for ovarian cancer.

Symptoms of ovarian cancer include bloating and abdominal pain.  These symptoms are similar to other health conditions, making diagnosis difficult at times.  No screening tests have yet been shown to reduce the risk of dying of ovarian cancer, but several screening methods are being evaluated. 



Menopause is the cessation of menstruation.  Generally, menopause begins between the ages of 45–55.  If both of your ovaries are removed surgically, menopause will occur immediately.  Menopause increases the risk for heart disease, a major killer of women, and osteoporosis. Osteoporosis or “brittle bones” is sped up at menopause because of estrogen level decreases.  Fractures in the vertebrae lead to curvature of the spine, pain and height loss.  Living healthy lifestyles help to prevent osteoporosis.

Menopause is different for everyone as hormonal changes affect women differently.  Many experience few differences in their moods or bodies; others feel their symptoms are disruptive.

Perimenopause is the time before your periods stop completely, but noticeable changes are present.  Some of the symptoms of perimenopause include irregular periods, hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal changes, and urinary changes.  Hot flashes are caused by decreasing estrogen levels.  Some things you might try to reduce the effects of hot flashes include:  drink something cool,  avoid those things that seem to trigger hot flashes such as emotional upsets, smoking, caffeine, alcohol, warm environments, or spicy foods.  Wear layers of clothing, eat smaller more frequent meals, and drink plenty of water.

For unknown reasons, estrogen helps to protect women from heart attacks and strokes so once a woman reaches menopause and her estrogen level has dropped, this places the women at the same risk for heart attacks and strokes.  High blood cholesterol, physical inactivity, high blood pressure, tobacco cessation, and obesity are all risk factors of a heart attack and stroke that YOU CAN CONTROL!  

Controllable Risk Factors For Heart Disease and Stroke


High Blood Cholesterol:  Cholesterol is a soft, fat-like substance in your body.  A high level of cholesterol in the blood (200mg/dL or higher) is a major risk factor for heart attack and also increases your risk of stroke.

One of the major risk factors for heart disease is an unhealthy blood cholesterol level.  Blood cholesterol is a soft, waxy, fat-like substance and is composed of three blood fats:

  • LDL, referred to as “bad cholesterol”.   LDL deposits excess cholesterol on the walls of our arteries, called plaque.  Over time this leads to a narrowing of the arteries.  Should a blood clot lodge in the narrowed artery in your brain, then a stroke is likely.  Should a blood clot lodge in the narrowed artery in your heart, then a heart attack is likely.  There are different goals for each level of risk for heart disease.
  • HDL, referred to as “good cholesterol”.  HDL carries excess cholesterol out of the arteries to the liver, where it is removed from the bloodstream, thereby protecting against heart disease.  An optimal-low risk HDL is >50 for women or higher and 40 mg/dL or higher for men
  • Triglycerides are blood fats, and a percentage (20%) is included in the total cholesterol count.  The goal for total cholesterol count is <150 mg /dL.

 What Dietary Changes Can I Make to Lower My Cholesterol?

Ø  Broil, bake, boil, microwave, or steam instead of frying.  If you do fry, use olive oil or canola oil due to lower amounts of saturated fat.

Ø  Get into the habit of reading labels.  Especially look at the amount of total fat and saturated fat in the foods that you eat.

Ø  Eat fat sparingly.  High fat foods can raise cholesterol.

Ø  Eat smaller portions of high fat foods.


                                             Cut back on:                                                                                 Choose:

Red meat, such as hamburgers or steak

Skinless poultry, fish, beans, or lean meats that are baked or broiled

Regular hard cheese

Low fat or nonfat cheese

Creamy salad dressing

Fat-free or low-fat dressing

Regular potato chips

Low or nonfat baked chips, pretzels, or air popped popcorn


Egg whites or egg substitutes such as Egg Beaters

Whole milk or 2% milk

1% or nonfat milk

Ice cream

Low fat frozen yogurt or sherbet

Butter, sauces, salt

Herbs, spices, lemon juice

Regular popcorn

Low fat popcorn

Sour cream or mayonnaise

Plain low fat yogurt, low fat cottage cheese, or low fat or fat-free sour cream and mayonnaise.

Physical Inactivity:  Regular physical activity helps reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.  You can gain health benefits from doing moderate-intensity physical activity for a total of 30 minutes a day on most days.

High Blood Pressure: It’s called the “silent killer” because it contributes to many heart attacks and strokes and usually has no symptoms.  It makes your heart work harder than normal, which makes both the heart and arteries more prone to injury.  According to the American Heart Association, high blood pressure is defined as readings of 140/90 mm Hg or greater that stay high over time.  An optimal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mmHg.

Tobacco Smoke:  People who smoke have a much higher risk of developing heart disease, a stroke, peripheral arterial disease and several forms of cancer.  And, constant exposure to other people’s smoke increases your risk!  When you stop smoking, your risk starts to drop.  Need help with tobacco cessation?  Call it Quits!  Call RFGH’s Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist and Community Health Educator for information about cessation or the support group, call the Maine Tobacco Helpline at 1-800-207-1230, or contact Somerset Heart Health at 474-7473 and ask about the Quit and Win program.  Please feel free to join us for a presentation on Thursday, November 6th from 5:30 – 7 pm in Conference room 1 with Jim Fortunato “Tobacco Free”.  Call 858-2318 to pre-register for this free presentation.

Diabetes is controllable, but having it greatly increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.  Many people with diabetes also have high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and are overweight.  Call the Diabetes Educator at 858-2261 to learn about the Diabetes Self Management Training program.  

Overweight and Obesity: If you have too much fat, especially in the waist, you are at higher risk for high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, high blood fats, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.



Eating one or two servings of fruits and vegetables from each group to make sure you get enough vitamins and minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals.  Then you will be able to maintain good health and energy levels, protect yourself against the effects of aging, and reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease.  They taste great and can help you stay healthy and fit.  Choosing healthy foods and getting regular physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and avoid obesity.    


         BLUE – helps maintain a lower risk of some cancers, urinary tract health, memory function and healthy aging {blueberries, blackberries, raisins, plums, purple grapes, eggplant, purple cabbage, potatoes}


GREEN – Help maintain a lower risk of some cancers, vision health, strong bones and teeth

{Green apples and grapes, limes, lettuce, green pepper, peas, broccoli, spinach, etc…}


WHITE – helps maintain heart health, cholesterol levels that are already healthy and a lower risk of some cancers (does include white, tan, and brown fruits and vegetables -potatoes, turnips, mushrooms, onions, cauliflower, bananas, brown pears, white peaches, dates)


YELLOW / ORANGE – help maintain a healthy heart, vision health, a healthy immune system, and a lower risk of some cancers {apricots, cantaloupe, grapefruit, lemon, mango, nectarines, oranges, peaches, squash, carrots, sweet corn or potatoes}


RED – help maintain a healthy heart, memory function, a lower risk of some cancers, and urinary tract health {red apples, cherries, cranberries, raspberries, watermelon, strawberries, beets, red potatoes, red peppers, tomatoes}

Call the Education Department at RFGH today at 858-2318 and ask about the Weigh to Go program, an eight week weight management program.  The next Weigh to Go program starts September 8, 2014.  There are two sessions to choose from:  10am or 5pm.  The program is just $24 for the 8 weeks.  The classes are taught by RFGH dietitians and other health professionals.   RFGH is offering an additional weight loss program Road to Wellness for those who want to lose 100 pounds or more.  This is an eight week program, starting September 8, 2014 with a cost of $24.00 facilitated by Tricia Sprengel, MS, RD, LD, RFGH Dietitians


 Know the warning signs of a stroke and heart attack:



Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg on one side of the body.


Sudden dimness or loss of vision, particularly in one eye.


Loss of speech, or trouble talking or understanding speech.


Sudden, severe headaches with no known cause.


Unexplained dizziness, unsteadiness or sudden falls, especially along with any of the previous symptoms.

Chest discomfort in the center of the chest that may feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.


Discomfort or pain in one or both arms, the back, the neck, jaw or stomach.


Shortness of breath, often coming along with chest discomfort.


Other signs like breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness

Not all of these warning signs occur with every heart attack or stroke.

Heart attack and stroke are Medical Emergencies.  Call 9-1-1 immediately















Many serious diseases may be prevented by vaccinations or immunizations. Vaccines work to protect infants, children, and adults from illnesses, disease, and death caused by infectious diseases. 

The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) work to make vaccines as safe as possible.  Unfortunately, no vaccine is completely safe or effective.   It is important for you to understand the benefits and the potential risks of the vaccine before you or your child receives it. There have been concerns raised about the risks of receiving vaccinations and some people should not get certain vaccines. 

Some tips about receiving vaccinations:

·         Talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks for you or your child.

·         Keep the immunization records up to date. 

·         Follow schedules provided to you by your doctor or nurse.

·         When traveling abroad, contact a doctor or public health department as early as possible to check on vaccines you may need.

Mild, short lasting side effects are not uncommon upon receiving vaccinations.  These mild side effects may include general discomfort, a low fever, or soreness where the vaccine was injected.  Very rarely, people experience more serious side effects such as an allergic reaction.   The nurse giving you the vaccine is alert to signs of serious allergic reactions such as hives, difficulty breathing to very fast heart rates.  This type of reaction to a vaccine would require medical treatment right away.  It is also important to communicate to your doctor exactly what happened, the date and time you received the vaccine and when you had the reaction.    All significant reactions are reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).  The doctor, nurse, or health department will file a form to report the reaction.


Entering the flu season……………Influenza (flu) is a contagious disease that is caused by the influenza virus.  It can be spread by coughing, sneezing or nasal secretions. 

Text Box: What do I do if I get the flu? v Stay at home and rest v Drink plenty of fluids v Avoid close contact with well people so you do not make them sick v Treat fever and cough with medicines you can get at the store v If you are sick, pregnant, or have a medical condition that puts you at a higher risk of flu complications, call your doctor. You may need antiviral medicine to treat the flu. .  

Some people are at risk for getting sicker than others if they have the flu.  The people more at risk are infants, pregnant people, elderly people and people with certain health conditions such as kidney disease, heart disease, lung disease, or a weakened immune system.  This is because the flu can cause a high fever and pneumonia and make any existing medical condition worse.  In children it can cause diarrhea and seizures.  By getting vaccinated, you can protect yourself from the flu and may also avoid spreading the flu to others.

It is recommended by the CDC that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated each year.  Anyone can transmit the flu.  Vaccination is the first and most important step in protecting those you care about and yourself against the flu. 

It is important for those who care for others who are high risk of developing serious complications should receive the influenza vaccine.  In addition, those at high risk for developing serious complications if they get sick should receive the flu vaccine.     This includes anyone pregnant, anyone with asthma or diabetes and anyone with chronic lung disease.  This also includes anyone 50 and older or anyone who lives with anyone listed above.

Many ask “why do we need a flu shot every year?” The reason is because the flu viruses are always changing.  Every year the vaccine is changed by scientists to match the virus that is most likely to cause the flu that year.  The 2014-2015 vaccine is made to protect against the following three viruses:  an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus; an A/Texas/50/2012 (H3N2)-like virus; and a B/Massachusetts/2/2012-like Virus.  Some of the 2014-2015 flu vaccine also protects against an additional B virus (B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.  Vaccines that give protection against three viruses are called trivalent vaccines.  Vaccines that give protection against four viruses are called quadrivalent vaccines.  The influenza vaccine will not prevent illness caused by other viruses.  One can expect the flu vaccination to last about one year.  It takes about two weeks for full protection to develop after you receive the flu shot.  The flu shot is an inactivated (killed) vaccine.

For certain people, there is also a vaccine available that is sprayed into the nostrils that may be taken instead of the shot.  This is a live, attenuated (weakened) influenza vaccine.  LAIV is recommended only for healthy people 2 through 49 years of age, who are not pregnant and do not have certain health conditions.  The nasal vaccine is not recommended if one has close contact with someone whose immune system is so weak they require care in a protected environment.

Adults and older children need one dose of influenza vaccine each year.  Those younger than 9 years of age need two doses to be protected if this is the first year they have received the flu vaccine.

Everyday actions can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza.

¨      Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze (throw the tissue in the trash after you use it).

¨      Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water.

¨      Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth to avoid spreading germs.

¨      Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

¨      Stay home if you are sick.

Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

In 2010, the US began to see a significant increase in pertussis (whooping cough) cases.  These cases included infants and several of them died.  Maine, and specifically our local community of Somerset County, has also been affected by this pertussis increase.

The best way to prevent pertussis is to get vaccinated. 

v  The childhood vaccine is DTaP

v  The pertussis booster vaccine for adolescents and adults is called Tdap.  This vaccine provides protection from Tetanus – Diphtheria and Pertussis.  Tetanus, or Lockjaw, causes painful muscle spasms, and stiffness.  It can lead to severe tightening of the muscles in the head and neck so the person cannot breathe and or swallow.  It kills one out of five people it infects.  Tetanus is caused by bacteria and enters the body through cuts, wounds or scratches.  Diphtheria can cause a thick membrane to cover the back of the throat leading to difficulty breathing, paralysis, heart failure and even death.  Diphtheria is caused by bacteria and is spread from person to person.  Pertussis causes such severe coughing spells that people have difficulty breathing, may vomit and have a difficult time sleeping.  Pertussis is caused by bacteria and is spread from person to person.  It can cause complications such as pneumonia and death.

Please see the RFGH posted clinic dates for Influenza (flu), Pertussis (whooping cough) and Pneumonia vaccination                              References:  http//www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu







Welcome to Redington-Fairview

The Mission of Redington-Fairview General Hospital (RFGH) is to develop, provide, and facilitate quality comprehensive, cost-effective health services for the people we serve.

Redington-Fairview General Hospital is an independent community hospital located in Skowhegan, Maine. RFGH has provided quality, comprehensive health services to the residents of Somerset County since 1952. A member of the Maine Hospital Association, RFGH offers inpatient and outpatient services in many specialities, has a network of community-based primary care and pediatric physicians, and provides 24-hour emergency medical services.

Where To Find Us

Redington-Fairview General Hospital
46 Fairview Avenue
P.O. Box 468
Skowhegan  Maine


TTY 207-858-4769

Contact Us