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Health Awareness Observances for the Month of November

Posted Nov 05 2012 6:00am

Did you know that 5.4 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s disease, and that 8.3 percent of the population has diabetes? Or that more people die from lung cancer than of breast, colon and prostate cancer combined? You can learn more about these statistics by celebrating the following health observances in the month of November:

Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month

On October 5, 2011 Apple visionary Steve Jobs passed away after a seven-year battle with pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer , which is the fourth ranked cause of cancer death, begins in the tissues of your pancreas and typically spreads rapidly. Signs and symptoms such as abdominal pain, loss of appetite, depression, fatigue and blood clots typically do not appear until the cancer is advanced, so oftentimes surgery to remove the cancerous tumors does not help. The exact cause of pancreatic cancer is not known, but it is commonly found in people who smoke and have diabetes. Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month hopes to raise awareness about this type of cancer and increase visibility of the disease in local communities.

Learn more about pancreatic cancer from this video:

Visit the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network for additional information.

Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

Did you know that today, almost 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease ? Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia that affects memory, language, perception, thinking and behavior. It is a progressive disease that gradually gets worse over time, as the majority of people who have it are 65 years or older. Current treatment can not completely cure Alzheimer’s, but it can slow down the worsening of symptoms.  Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month recognizes those who live with the disease and the caregivers who support them.

Learn more facts and figures about Alzheimer’s disease by watching this video:

Watch a 3D animation video of the disease here , and learn more from the Alzheimer’s Association .

Bladder Health Month

The bladder is the organ in your body that stores urine. If you find that you have to use the bathroom more often than usual, or if urination is accompanied by pain and discomfort, you may have a bladder infection. Other bladder conditions include urinary incontinence (loss of bladder control), interstitial cystitis (the bladder wall becomes inflamed and irritated) and bladder cancer (sixth most common cancer in the U.S.). Bladder Health Month increase public awareness about bladder conditions and advocates for further research on bladder diseases.

Learn more on the American Urological Foundation .

American Diabetes Month

Diabetes , which is a group of disease characterized by high levels of blood glucose, is the seventh leading cause of death the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , “As of 2010, 25.8 million people—8.3 percent of the population—have diabetes; 1.9 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in people aged 20 years or older in 2010.” The three types of diabetes are Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational Diabetes. If left untreated it can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness and kidney failure. American Diabetes Month raises awareness of the disease and the complications that can arise from it.

This video explains more about diabetes:

Learn more by visiting the Diabetes and Nutrition Center at Northwest Hospital and the American Diabetes Association .

Epilepsy Awareness Month

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological brain disorder in which a person has repeated seizures or convulsions over time. Seizures are episodes of disturbed brain activity that cause involuntary change in body movement, function, sensation, awareness or behavior. Epilepsy affects 2 million Americans and results in an estimated annual cost of $15.5 billion in medical costs. Common causes of epilepsy include stroke, dementia, traumatic brain injury and brain tumors. Epilepsy Awareness Month hopes to educate others about the common myths of the seizure disorders and raise awareness of the disorder.

This video tells you more about epilepsy:

Learn more from the Epilepsy Foundation .

Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know that more people die from lung cancer than of breast, colon and prostate cancer combined? Although smoking cigarettes is the leading cause of lung cancer, according to the American Cancer Society an estimated 3,000 nonsmoking adults will die each year from lung cancer related to breathing secondhand smoke. Other causes of lung cancer include exposure to asbestos, cancer-causing chemicals like uranium, and high levels of pollution and radiation. Lung Cancer Awareness Month educates people about the cancer and encourages more research to find a cure for it.

This video reveals the risks of lung cancer:

Learn more from the American Lung Association .

-Trish Broome

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