Health Awareness Calendar
Cervical Cancer Screening Saves Lives, yet…
11% of United States women report that they do not have their Pap test screenings.
In the United States, About 11,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year and 4,000+ women die in the USA each year from this disease.
Women in developing countries account for about 85 percent of both the yearly cases of cervical cancer (estimated at 473,000 cases worldwide) and the yearly deaths from cervical cancer (estimated at 253,500 deaths worldwide).
In the majority of developing countries, cervical cancer remains the number-one cause of cancer-related deaths among women.
A woman who does not have her three shot prevention vaccine and her regular Pap test screen and HPV test when recommended, significantly increases her chances of developing cervical cancer.
High-Risk HPV Types are directly related to cervical cancer, yet many women are unaware of what HPV is or the relationship it has to cervical cancer. www.nccc-online.org/
The National Blood Foundation (NBF), established in 1983, has a history of supporting research and education that advances transfusion medicine and blood banking to benefit both patients and donors. Funds are raised annually from corporations, blood centers, foundations, and individuals by NBF for the National Blood Foundation Research and Education Trust Fund (NBFRET) and NBF. NBF and NBFRET, which are 501(c)(3) organizations, provide grants for scientific research in the fields of transfusion medicine and cellular therapies and support educational initiatives that benefit the transfusion medicine community. www.aabb.org
While the National Council on Folic Acid (NCFA) sees every week as folic acid awareness week, these seven days represent a special time to shine the spotlight on what folic acid is and why it is important to women of childbearing age.
Educating all women, especially Latinas, that folic acid can help prevent birth defects of the brain and spine should be a priority. These women should take a multivitamin with folic acid every day.
They should also eat foods fortified with folic acid, in addition to a healthy diet. www.folicacidinfo.org
Get in the habit of eating normally, without dieting. This means usually eating at regular times, typically three meals and one or two snacks to satisfy hunger, with eating regulated by internal signals of hunger, satiety and appetite.
Normal eating means having a healthy relationship with food. It is flexible and trusting. With normal eating patterns, we eat as do small children and babies, consuming food naturally when hungry and stopping when full, attuned to inner signals. Normal eating refers to eating behavior – how a person eats, not what. Typical emphasis today focuses only on what foods people eat. How we eat gets ignored, yet it is at the root of many eating and weight problems. Normalizing eating can improve life immeasurably for the chronic dieter or disordered eater and help them move on with their lives. www.healthyweightnetwork.com
Cardiovascular diseases, including stroke, are our nation’s No. 1 killer. To urge Americans to join the battle against these diseases, since 1963 Congress has required the president to proclaim February “American Heart Month.”
The American Heart Association led initial efforts to develop Annual American Heart Month. During American Heart Month, thousands of our volunteers visit their neighbors. Their goal is to raise funds for research and education and pass along information about heart disease and stroke.
To learn more, visit www.americanheart.org
Inspire friends, family and coworkers to wear red and speak up about heart disease — our No. # 1 killer — on National Wear Red Day!
The concept is simple: people across the United States are being urged to wear red to show support for women’s heart disease. The “Go Red For Women” first launched in 2004 and since then, individuals, companies, and even entire cities have joined the movement. The American Heart Association has compiled a number of resources for those interested in participating.
To learn more, visit www.goredforwomen.org
Colorectal cancer is cancer of the colon or rectum. It is equally common in men and women. An estimated 146,970 people will be diagnosed in 2009, and an estimated 49,920 people will die from the disease. With recommended screening, this cancer can be prevented (by removing polyps before they become cancerous) or detected early, when it can be more easily and successfully treated.
To learn more, visit www.preventcancer.org
Diabetes is a serious disease that strikes nearly 24 million children and adults in the United States. An additional 57 million, or one in five Americans have pre-diabetes, which puts them at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is named the “silent killer” because nearly one-fourth of those with the disease – 5.7 million – do not know they have it. For many, diagnosis may come seven to ten years after the onset of the disease. Therefore, early diagnosis is critical to successful treatment and delaying or preventing some of its complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, amputation and death.
To learn more, visit www.diabetes.org
By Presidential proclamation, April is National Cancer Control Month. Cancer control efforts encourage healthy lifestyles, promote cancer screening, increase access to quality cancer care, and improve quality of life for cancer survivors. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) funds and supports a variety of cancer control research initiatives and projects. We also develop resources to help reduce the risk of cancer and to improve the lives of all those diagnosed with cancer.
To learn more, visit www.cancer.gov
Genetics play a large role in understanding how we can prevent and treat diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Heart Disease, Hepatitis, and Cancer, to name a few. Know your risks and what steps you should take to stay healthy.
To learn more, visit www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov
May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month. About 74.5 million people in the United States have high blood pressure, which is also called hypertension. Hypertension increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, the first and third leading causes of death in the United States. Researchers estimate that high blood pressure will cost $76.6 billion in direct and indirect costs in 2010.
Blood pressure is written as two numbers. The first (systolic) number represents the pressure when the heart beats. The second (diastolic) number represents the pressure when the heart rests between beats.
To learn more, visit www.cdc.gov/features/highbloodpressure
Since 1983, May has been observed as National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. Individuals and organizations everywhere have joined in the fun to promote awareness of the value of physical activity in the pursuit of happier, healthier, more productive lives. To further this vital mission, the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports reached out in 1994 to both public and private organizations to form the Presidential Fitness Partners in May. By working together in this partnership, our individual health and fitness messages will achieve increased public resonance.
To learn more, visit www.fitness.gov
Advocates for Youth sponsors National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month (NTPPM). Observed each May by states and communities throughout the country, NTPPM seeks to involve communities in promoting and supporting effective teen pregnancy prevention initiatives. The vast majority of teen pregnancies (at least 85 percent) are unintended. Young people of color are disproportionately affected by teen pregnancy. Most teenage mothers come from socially and/or economically disadvantaged backgrounds and adolescent motherhood often compounds this disadvantage – creating barriers to achieving educational goals and life aspirations. But research has shown that science-based, comprehensive sexuality education, contraceptive access and youth development programs can help young people make choices that can protect them from pregnancy.
To learn more, visit www.advocatesforyouth.org
100,000 older adults will participate in activities at more than 1,000 locations throughout the U.S. on the 19th annual National Senior Health & Fitness Day. The common goal for this day: to help keep older Americans healthy and fit. Always set for the last Wednesday in May, National Senior Health & Fitness Day is the nation’s largest annual health promotion event for older adults. National Senior Health & Fitness Day is organized as a public-private partnership by the Mature Market Resource Center, a national information clearinghouse for the older adult market.
To learn more, visit www.fitnessday.com
The objectives of Men’s Health Week, as defined by the Men’s Health Network, are to
• Save men’s lives by reducing premature mortality of men and boys
• Foster health care education and services that encourage men of all ages to implement positive lifestyles for themselves and their families
• Increase the physical and mental health of men so that they can live fuller and happier lives
• Significantly reduce the cycles of violence and addiction that afflict so many men
• Energize government involvement in men’s health activities so that existing government health networks can be utilized to increase the health and well-being of men and boys
• Encourage women to expand on their traditional role as the family’s health care leader and activist for enhancement of health care services
To learn more, visit www.menshealthnetwork.org
September is National Cholesterol Education Month, a good time to get your blood cholesterol checked and take steps to lower it if it is high. Cholesterol is a waxy, fatlike substance found in your body and many foods. Your body needs cholesterol to function normally and makes all that you need. Too much cholesterol can build up in your arteries. After a while, these deposits narrow your arteries, putting you at risk for heart disease and stroke. National Cholesterol Education Month is also a good time to learn about lipid profiles and about food and lifestyle choices that help you reach personal cholesterol goals.
To learn more, visit www.cdc.gov/features/cholesterolawareness
Ovarian cancer is one of the most deadly of women’s cancers. Each year, approximately 21,500 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer. In 2008, approximately 15,500 women will die in the United States from ovarian cancer. Many women don’t seek help until the disease has begun to spread, but if detected at its earliest stage, the five-year survival rate is more than 93%. Recent research suggests that together the four symptoms of: bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly and urinary urgency or frequency may be associated with ovarian cancer.
To learn more, visit www.ovariancancerawareness.org
Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer found in American men, other than skin cancer. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men. (Lung cancer is the first.) More than 2 million men in the United States who have had prostate cancer at some point are still alive today. The death rate for prostate cancer is going down, and the disease is being found earlier, too. The American Cancer Society’s estimates that in 2010 there were 217,730 new cases of prostate cancer and 32,050 deaths from prostate cancer. Prostate cancer can often be found early by testing the amount of PSA (prostatespecific antigen) in your blood.
To learn more, visit www.cancer.org/Cancer/ProstateCancer
Women’s Health & Fitness Day is the nation’s largest annual health promotion event for women of all ages. This unique national program — with participation by local organizations throughout the U.S. — focuses attention on the importance of regular physical activity and health awareness for women. The goal of this event is to encourage women to take control of their health: to learn the facts they need to make smart health choices, and to make time for regular physical activity.
To learn more, visit www.fitnessday.com/women
Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. It is considered a heterogeneous disease—differing by individual, age group, and even the kinds of cells within the tumors themselves. Obviously no woman wants to receive this diagnosis, but hearing the words “breast cancer” doesn’t always mean an end. It can be the beginning of learning how to fight, getting the facts and finding hope.
To learn more, visit www.nationalbreastcancer.org
Battering is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person with whom an intimate relationship is or has been shared through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence. Battering happens when one person believes that they are entitled to control another.
To learn more, visit www.ncadv.org
World Osteoporosis Day is observed annually on 20 October, and launches a year-long campaign dedicated to raising global awareness of the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and metabolic bone disease. Organized by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) every year, World Osteoporosis Day involves campaigns by national osteoporosis patient societies from around the world with activities in over 90 countries.
To learn more, visit www.worldosteoporosisday.org
The American Cancer Society has scheduled the Great American Smokeout (GASO) each year to encourage smokers to quit for a day in the hope they may quit for good. The Smokeout is always the third Thursday of November, one week before Thanksgiving.
To learn more, visit www.quitsmoking.com
Alzheimer’s is brain disease that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks. Currently, more than 5.3 million Americans and 35 million people worldwide are affected.
To learn more, visit www.alz.org
COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is a common lung disease that obstructs the airways, making breathing difficult.
Chronic means it won’t go away.
Obstructive means partly blocked.
Pulmonary means in the lungs.
Disease means sickness.
To learn more, visit www.uscopd.org
Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), or simply, diabetes, is a group of diseases characterized by high blood glucose levels that result from defects in the body’s ability to produce and/or use insulin. According to the ADA, it is estimated that 57 million people in our country are at risk for type II diabetes, the type that occurs later in life instead of during childhood as type I is often known to be found. Experts predict that it is a possibility in the near future that one of every three children born will have to live with diabetes at some point in his or her life because of the ongoing rate at which the disease is spreading.
To learn more, visit www.diabetes.org
Recent statistics show that more than half of the 20 million Americans with diabetes have no idea what a foot ulcer is, yet more than three million (15%) of them will develop a foot ulcer, and 25% of those will require a lower limb amputation as result of their ulcer not healing and becoming infected. Unfortunately, many people with diabetes are unaware of the importance of routine foot care. Physicians and educators are constantly reminding the public of the importance of measuring insulin levels and making sure to follow a diet and exercise plan. What about checking your feet for ulcers, callous and sores? This is a critically important preventive measure as it can potentially save your limb.
To learn more, visit www.battlediabetes.com/diabetes-foot-issues
During November, across the country, hospices are honoring patients and families coping with life-limiting illness. Hospices are recognizing the professionals and volunteers who provide high quality care to those who need it most. National Hospice Month also provides an opportunity to promote important discussions with our loved ones and our health care providers about the care we would want at the end of life.
To learn more, visit www.nhpco.org