Next month is National Breast Cancer month, and hopefully (if you’re a woman) you’ve scheduled a mammogram, if you haven’t had one yet this year already. 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer at some point in her lifetime and 1 in 75 will develop ovarian cancer. An assessment tool created by BrightPink assesses your personal risk level for breast and ovarian cancers. But remember, women aren’t the only ones at risk: XXX men are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. So, male or female, if you have a history of this disease in your family, make sure your doctor knows about it. The more you know, the better prepared you are to take actions that can help reduce that risk.
As kids head back-to-school, parents and caregivers are once again headed to their doctor or clinics for the required annual health check-ups. Cursory eye exams, however, may or may not catch developing eye problems in your child. If your child has trouble seeing the board during class or difficulty with reading and writing, these may be reasons to get a more-thorough eye examination. The mission of Prevent Blindness is to inspire parents and teachers to make good vision a priority. They have partnered with other organizations to create educational materials for use at home or in the classroom. For more information, call 1-888-98-SIGHT or visit the website.
Do you still smoke? An estimated 36 million Americans do, and if you’re one of them, you may also have tried to stop in the past. While stopping “cold turkey” used to be the go-to method, studies have shown that of the 68% of smokers who have tried that method, only 22% reported success. Today, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is widely-used, and is the most commonly used family of medications used to quit smoking. NRT works by minimizing withdrawal symptoms by giving you small amounts of nicotine without the dangerous added chemicals. It comes in a variety of forms, and is recommended for use as part of your strategy for success. For more information, visit the website, or talk to your doctor about NRT.
More than 102 million Americans have blood cholesterol levels greater than 200 mg/dl, which is above a healthy level. And levels greater than 240 mg/dl put people in serious danger of heart disease, a level that applies to more than 35 million Americans. A simple blood test is all it takes to measure the levels of both “good” and “bad” cholesterol, and the CDC recommends that you take the test at least every 5 years. September, during Cholesterol Education Month, is a great time to get those levels checked if you’re “due.” And while you’re at the doctor’s, ask him (or her) what you can do to keep those levels in a healthy range. Don’t think that this only applies to adults, either. If your child is 2 or older and is overweight/obese, has a family history of high cholesterol, a family history of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or certain chronic condition (chronic kidney disease, chronic inflammatory diseases, congenital heart disease, and childhood cancer survivorship, this applies to them, too. A combination of a good diet, moderate exercise, and not smoking helps lessen anyone’s risk of high cholesterol and maintain a heart-healthy life!
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