Here are just a few facts about cervical health that you might not be aware of:
- Every year, more than 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in the United States.
- 91 percent of women who catch cervical cancer in its early stages survive.
- Cervical cancer is most common in women 35-44 years of age.
- Six out of ten women who are diagnosed with cervical cancer have never had a pap smear.
Can I Reduce my Risk of Cervical Cancer?
The answer is yes. There are many things women can do to reduce the risk of getting cervical cancer, including:
- Get pap smears regularly – Pap smears detect cervical changes prior to cancer forming. Check with your physician about how often you should get a pap smear.
- Follow up after having an abnormal pap smear – Follow up tests or colposcopies are necessary if you have an abnormal pap smear.
- Practice safe sex – Women with fewer sexual partners and women who practice safe sex decrease their risk of developing HPV, which is one of the causes of cervical cancer.
- Get vaccinated – The HPV vaccine prevents the formation of high-risk strains of HPV. The vaccine is most effect for young women who are not sexually active. If you are older than 27, you might not be eligible for the vaccine.
Contact a physician to get more information on cervical cancer.
The number of smokers is decreasing among the general population, but 3,000 teenagers each day in the United States still light up. Here are a few important facts about the teen smoking epidemic in the United States:
1. 4,000 kids under the age of eighteen try smoking each year, and 1,000 of those kids start smoking regularly.
2. Teenagers under the age of 18 purchase 1.5 million packs of cigarettes each year.
3. People who start smoking as teenagers die, on average, 13 to 14 years earlier than those who do not smoke.
4. According to recent studies, teenagers who smoke are three times more likely to use alcohol.
5. Because smokers typically start the habit during their teenage years, advertisers gear their advertisements towards teenagers and young adults by making smoking look like a pleasure of adulthood. They also emphasize feelings of freedom and rebellion for teens.
6. Teens who are involved in sports and after school activities have lower rates of tobacco and alcohol use.
What Can Parents Do to Stop Teen Smoking?
- Keep a close eye on your child and look for signs, such as the smell of cigarette smoke.
- A lot of teenage smokers start due to peer pressure. Get to know your child’s friends so you can ensure they will be a positive influence.
- Talk to your teen and keep an open dialogue so they feel comfortable discussing it with you.
Sources: American Lung Association, Centers for Disease Control and Foundation for a Smoke Free America
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Even though domestic violence is one of the most common forms of violence in America, the awareness month doesn’t get as much attention as other topics.
Every nine seconds, a woman is assaulted or beaten by a partner. However, very few leave or file a report against their partner. It’s important to be aware of the signs of domestic violence to ensure that both you and your loved ones aren’t in an abusive relationship.
If you or someone you know experiences the following signs of domestic violence, contact authorities immediately.
1. Frequent injuries, such as unexplained bruises, cuts, cigarette burns, etc. The injuries are often explained as an accident.
2. Loss of self worth and lowered self esteem
4. Increased anxiety
5. Anxiousness when communicating with a significant other
What to do about Domestic Violence
If you suspect a loved one is in an abusive relationship, first bring the issue up to them. Ask direct, closed-ended questions to avoid them making excuses. If you’re in an abusive relationship and feel that you are in immediate danger, contact law enforcement. There are also many support networks, including:
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women.
In 2013, an estimated 232,340 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, while 64,640 will be diagnosed with non-invasive breast cancer. With early detection and treatment, women can fight back against breast cancer.
Diagnosed with Breast Cancer?
Here Are Your Treatment Options:
- Breast-conserving surgery and radiation therapy. An operation to remove the breast cancer, but not the breast itself.
- Total mastectomy. The entire breast is removed. Many celebrities, including Angelina Jolie, Christina Applegate, Kathy Bates and Sharon Osbourne, have spoken out about their choice to receive a double mastectomy.
You Are Not Alone in Your Fight Against Breast Cancer!
Receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer can be overwhelming. Hearing the perspective of others who have survived cancer can give you a better perspective on treatment and survival.
Here are a few quotes from famous faces who won the battle against breast cancer:
- “Having had cancer, one important thing to know is you’re still the same person at the end…most people come out the other end feeling more like themselves than ever before.” -Kylie Minogue
- “I look at my cancer journey as a gift: It made me slow down and realize the important things in life and taught me to not sweat the small stuff.” – Olivia Newton-John
- “Cancer gave me the gift of being fearless.”- Today show co-host Hoda Kotb
- “I was diagnosed with breast cancer two months ago and am recovering from a double mastectomy. I don’t miss my breasts as much as I miss Harry’s Law.” – Kathy Bates
What Can I Do To Show My Support in the Fight Against Breast Cancer?
“With over 3 million women battling breast cancer today, everywhere you turn there is a mother, daughter, sister, or friend who has been affected by breast cancer.” -Betsey Johnson
Even if you don’t suffer from breast cancer, you most likely know someone who is. Show your support by:
- Donating to charities
- Participating in walks and races that give proceeds to breast cancer foundations. Some of the most popular races include the Race for the Cure, Three-Day Walk for Breast Cancer and “Tour De Pink.”
Do your part in the fight against breast cancer!
People are living longer than ever thanks to medical improvements. Even though we now have access to the best medical care and medical treatments for a range of diseases, it’s still important to focus on living healthy as you age.
1. Focus on a healthy, well-balanced diet.
Focus on eating a diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fiber is most important. It’s also important to avoid foods high in cholesterol and saturated fats.
2. Visit your doctor regularly.
Routine checkups with your doctor can help catch problems early on. A physician will also be able to tell you what exams and check ups you’ll need to be getting, such as blood work to test cholesterol, mammograms and colonoscopies.
3. Be physically active.
Incorporating at least 30 minutes of activity into your day will help reduce your chance of stroke, heart attack and other diseases. Make sure you choose activities that don’t strain your joints too much, such as walking, yoga classes or light bike rides.
4. Avoid overdoing alcoholic drinks.
It’s especially important to focus on drinking in moderation as you age. For men and women over the age of 65, one drink is considered healthy.
5. Focus on proper skin care.
Because your skin becomes even more sensitive with age, it’s important to use at least SPF 15 any time you will be exposed to the outdoors.
Consult your physician for more information on health aging.
The addition of fruits to your diet guarantees better health and a well-rounded diet in the long run. Here are just a few reasons fruits should be included in your daily diet:
1. Dietary Fiber
Fruits are high in dietary fiber, so they help improve the function of the digestive tract.
2. Natural sugar provides an increase in energy
Fruits, such as bananas and apples, contain a lot of natural sugar, which increases your energy.
3. Helpful in weight loss and maintenance
Studies show that people who eat at least one serving of fruit a day are less inclined to have snacks and junk food. Fruit is also composed of 90 percent water, which means it helps flush out the unwanted toxins in your body.
4. They promote healthy skin and hair
Fruits that relieve constipation, such as bananas and apples, can help alleviate acne. Grapes can also help cleanse the skin to alleviate acne and soften the texture of your hair.
5. Fruits help keep you disease-free
The amount of flavonoids and antioxidants in fruits lower the risk of strokes, high blood pressure, indigestion, cancer, heart disease and other chronic diseases.
All fruits are high in nutrients, but here are the healthiest fruits to include in your diet:
All vegetables provide a range of nutrients and health benefits. But, these vegetable powerhouses are the most nutritious vegetables to include in your next grocery list:
Carrots contain the highest amount of pro-vitamin A. Vitamin A protects vision and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cance
This vegetable powerhouse includes more than 20 vitamins and minerals. In just one cup of tomatoes, you can get a healthy dose of vitamin A, C and K. Other nutrients in tomatoes include potassium, magnesium, folate, copper and iron.
One cup of asparagus is a great source of vitamins A, C and K. It also includes folate, which is a vital nutrient for women of childbearing years.
Green and Red Pepper
Just one cup of a red bell pepper includes 100 percent DV of vitamin A. In addition to being a great source of vitamin A, it also includes high amounts of vitamin C and B6.
Spinach includes more than 35 vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin K and a range of flavonoids.
Broccoli contains vitamin A, C and K in addition to high amounts of folate and fiber.
Brussels sprouts boost high levels of B complex, folate, fiber, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin E.
Heat rash, or prickly heat, develops when sweat ducts become blocked. More often than not, the infected area is an area that is covered by clothing.
Identifying a Heat Rash
Typically, a heat rash doesn’t require medical attention. If you suspect you may have a heat rash, watch for the following symptoms:
- Red dots on head, neck and shoulders
- Increased swelling in some areas
If the heat rash doesn’t go away within three to four days or symptoms worsen, medical attention might be necessary.
How Do I Treat Heat Rash?
Most heat rashes heal on their own. The following suggestions can help relieve symptoms:
- Wear loose clothing
- Sit in cool, shady spots
- Let your skin air dry until heat rash heals
- Use calamine lotion to soothe itching
- Avoid ointments other than calamine lotion because they might increase irritation
Men, don’t ignore your health! It’s important to know about the main health issues impacting men, one of which is prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer found in men, and it is the second leading cause of cancer death in men.
What is Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer starts in the prostate gland, which is a small, walnut-sized structure that is part of the man’s reproductive system. Though there are some cases of prostate cancer that are more aggressive, prostate cancer usually grows slowly and remains confined to the prostate gland.
Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer in its early stages might not cause noticeable symptoms. As it becomes more advanced, it may cause symptoms including:
- Discomfort in the pelvic area
- Blood in both semen and urine
- Difficulty urinating
- Pain in lower back
- Pain in hips or thighs
- Light stream of urine
Treating Prostate Cancer
Treatment options for prostate cancer depend greatly on the stage the cancer is at. The stages of prostate cancer include:
- Stage I – During this stage, the cancer isn’t considered aggressive. During this stage, your physician may decide that treatment isn’t necessary and may choose to simply monitor the cancer.
- Stage II – Cancer at this stage may still be considered aggressive. It may be larger and may involve both sides of the prostate gland.
- Stage III – The cancer has spread from the prostate gland to other nearby tissues.
- Stage IV – During stage IV, the cancer has spread to nearby organs, such as the bladder or lymph nodes.
Depending on the stage of the prostate cancer, your physician may choose radiation therapy, hormone therapy, surgery to remove the prostate, chemotherapy or immunotherapy.
According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, osteoporosis affects more than 200 million women worldwide. Women over the age of 45 are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis, so it’s important to be knowledgeable about preventing it.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that is caused by a decrease in bone mass and bone density. The decrease in bone mass and density often lead to fractures, back pain and radicular pain.
How to Prevent Osteoporosis
Having an adequate amount of calcium, Vitamin D and regular exercise are all important in osteoporosis prevention.
How to Get Enough Calcium
The daily amount of calcium increases from 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day to 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day when women turn 50 and men turn 70. Good sources of calcium include:
- Calcium-fortified cereals
- Orange juice
- Leafy vegetables
- Low-fat dairy products
- Soy products
- Calcium supplements
- Sources of Vitamin D
The most common source of Vitamin D comes from sunlight, but there are other ways to get adequate Vitamin D, such as Vitamin D supplements.
Exercise and Osteoporosis Prevention
Exercise is beneficial in osteoporosis prevention for a variety of reasons, including:
- Helps build strong bones
- Helps slow bone loss
- Strengthens muscles and bones in your arms and upper spine