Nancy Lee Grahn is one actor who often uses her platform to make a difference. On social media, she can usually be seen posting about political and humanitarian causes she believes in. And on General Hospital, Grahn will be using her character to raise awareness about an important health issue for women.
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Alexis is suspected to have osteoporosis on ‘General Hospital’
On the week of Sept. 14, viewers watched as Alexis struggled with pain in her wrist. She tried to ignore the problem but eventually decided to go get it checked out at the hospital.
Alexis told Dr. Portia Robinson that she had sustained an injury to her left wrist last summer after she fell on her porch. Things got better for her, but when she recently fell at the gym, the pain came back.
Dr. Robinson ordered an X-ray for Alexis, which ended up revealing a fracture in her wrist. She also explained to Alexis that “women can lose bone rapidly at the time of menopause,” which could be the reason behind her falling. Dr. Robinson suspected Alexis could have osteoporosis.
Alexis was hesitant to believe it. “Isn’t that for women somewhat older than me?” she asked.
“That’s a common misconception,” Dr. Robinson said. “Postmenopausal women age 50 and over can be at risk for osteoporosis.”
Alexis accepted Dr. Robinson’s words and agreed to take more tests to determine the real underlying condition behind her fractured wrist.
Nancy Lee Grahn opened up about the significance of Alexis’ diagnosis
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At first glance, Alexis’ fractured wrist might just seem like any other story line on the show. However, to Grahn, it is an opportunity for her to advocate for women’s health. She recently visited The View to talk about the significance of her character’s osteoporosis diagnosis.
“Soaps, historically, have been a great venue to bring up important issues and this certainly is one,” she shared, according to Soaps In Depth. “And add to that that I’ve always been an advocate for women’s rights and so to use my soapbox to advocate for women’s health rights is really a privilege for me. What’s going to happen is you’re going to see my character, Alexis, get diagnosed with osteoporosis, try to wrap her head around it, and go through a serious bout of denial.”
Grahn explained that it is “important” for her character to experience this diagnosis on TV because of the way people currently see this disease.
“Osteoporosis is not a conversation that most women want to have. It brings up aging,” she said. “But one out of two women over 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis in their remaining lifetime, which is no small thing. A break is life-altering and it can cause lots of pain, loss of mobility, and changes in lifestyle. That’s the first thing. The second thing is that this disease is chronic. And it’s progressive.”
Finally, she shared some ways in which fans can learn more about osteoporosis. Grahn noted, “The good news — and there is good news — is that there are lifestyle changes and treatment options. Don’t deny this, ignore it… Over 50, talk to your doctors. What I really want people to do for expert advice is go to takechargeofosteo.com… and then, of course, tune in to GH!”