By: Catrina Leone, intern
The leaves have changed, the weather has changed but one thing that hasn’t changed is that November is full of awareness. It is Pancreatic cancer awareness month, Lung cancer awareness month, Alzheimer’s disease awareness month and American Diabetes Month! Many hospitals around our area, including the Cleveland Clinic have been putting up guides on their websites with more information on these diseases. You might not know too much about these diseases, but that’s where I come in to fill your head with information to help you and help you, help others. Let’s start off with Pancreatic Cancer, what do you know about this cancer? Today might be Friday, but let’s pick your brain a little.
Imagine not knowing you had a cancer until you went to the doctor. That kind of news completely changes your life. That tends to happen a lot with Pancreatic Cancer, sadly people do not know they have it until the diagnosis. This cancer tends to be silent and painless which makes it all the more difficult to detect. The only potential for a cure is surgery, but there are some symptoms not to be over looked. Some of those include: yellowing skin, back pain, weight loss, nausea, or enlarged lymph nodes in the neck. Today ironically is Pancreatic Cancer action day, where all people trying to raise awareness should be in purple! The sea of purple will be adamant today! Some ways to educate others about this disease are to volunteer with organizations, and inform those around you with the treatment plans they can take on. This disease is a speed demon, spreading quickly to surrounding organs. Never be afraid to speak up to your doctor about any symptoms you or someone you know may be experiencing.
Do you know someone who smokes? Are you trying to kick the habit yourself? It isn’t as easy as it may appear to some but there are steps you can take. To support this cause, wear white to spread the knowledge and insight. Many people throughout the country band together for the Lung Cancer Community. Events are held, with the social media storm we are currently in, Facebook statuses are updated, and articles are written. Smoking is the number one cause, followed close by second-hand smoke. The largest coordinated awareness event is the Shine a Light on Lung Cancer Vigil, anticipating 125 people this year! Team lung love has people coming together to swim,bike, run, you name it, all for Lung Cancer! Faces of Lung Cancer is where people post pictures online either of themselves or their loved ones, which truly showcases the faces of this disease. The most important one I think would be to share your story! You can help, keep those statuses and tweets coming. Each cancer has its own purpose and each are equally important. We look forward to the shrew of white to be seen this month!
Back in 1983 (slightly before my time, but some of you may remember) Ronald Reagan designated November Alzheimer’s Awareness month. At that time, fewer than 2 million Americans had this disease, now in 2013, around 5.4 million struggle daily with it. The Alzheimer’s Association has marked the month by reaching out to caregivers, individuals with memory disorders, and the general public with information regarding this disease and this cause. This disease usually affects people 60 and older but rare forms can hit someone in their 30’s or 40’s. Most rightfully assume that Alzheimer’s comes with age, although that is accurate, it isn’t always the case. Smoking, depression and diabetes can raise your risk. Don’t stress out too much though because there are things you can do to promote healthy aging. Exercise regularly, eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, reduce high blood pressure/high cholesterol, don’t smoke and see a doctor if you feel like you may have depression. You are not alone. Purple is the color to wear, don’t forget purple represents pancreatic cancer as well!
Here in the United States, more than 25 million people are living with diabetes and 79 million more are at risk for type 2 diabetes. You may be at risk of you are: overweight, exercise less than three times a week, have high blood pressure/high cholesterol or have a relative with diabetes. Along with many other diseases, eating healthy, seeing your doctor regularly and maintaining your weight are the golden rules for prevention. Partner with your local gym or YMCA to be apart of the diabetes prevention party, host a cooking demo with diabetes-friendly recipes and also post any tips you may have online or at your work place! Two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke. If you may be dealing with this difficult disease, or know someone who is, help raise awareness, it is never too late. Red is in for fall, hope to see you all rockin’ your red!
That was quite a lot to absorb I’m sure, especially being a Friday and all, but It is all very useful and informative with today being the first of this great month! For additional information, check out the Cleveland Public Health website. Wellness Works! Program is a program that aims to educate City of Cleveland employees and their families on developing healthier lifestyles. The main goal of this program is to help people succeed in being healthy. Hospitals such as Hillcrest and the Cleveland Clinic are taking on Wellness! Works to help the community. Here are some links to the websites I mentioned:
As always, stay tuned to TV20 for more insight on these topics and many more.