Cancer Awareness Month

December: Safe Toy Awareness Month

December Is Safe Toys Awareness Month

Toys are very popular gifts for the holidays. Unfortunately, the lovely-looking, fun-engaging, and pleasantly low-priced toys can be hazardous to your kids’ health, in addition to the danger related to injuries and deaths.

Parents, family members and friends should become vigilant when purchasing toys. To keep all kids safe, let’s share these memorable S-A-F-E tips.

1. Spread words: Some toys pose health hazards.
2. Avoid, at least minimize, phthalate-, lead- and other toxin-containing toys.
3. Facts check. When in doubt, do your own research, read the labels and online tips, etc
4. Ensure or Enforce safe play, clean hold, and long-term health at home.

This is important because young children are most vulnerable to the detrimental effects of toxic chemicals, along with their hand-to-mouth behavior patterns.

November: Lung Cancer Awareness Month

November is lung cancer awareness month. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among both men and women in the United States and worldwide. Smoking is the killer in approximately 90% of men and 80% of women who have died of lung cancer.

The good news: — Lung cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer. Here are top 8 strategies to prevent lung cancer:

1.    Don’t start smoking.
2.    Quit smoking.
3.    Avoid secondhand smoking.
4.    Get your home tested for radon.
5.    Minimize the exposure to environmental carcinogens at home    and at work.
6.    Eat plenty of nutritious foods, esp. fruits and vegetables.
7.    Lung cancer can be symptomless; however, visit your doctor if you experience any of following signs:

  •  A persistent cough that does not go away
  •  Onset of wheezing
  •  Shortness of breath
  •  Recurrent pneumonia or bronchitis
  •  Coughing up blood
  •  Weight loss or loss of appetite

8.    Be aware of your family history and genetic susceptibility.

October: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is national breast cancer awareness month. Nearly 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, but nowadays advanced technology can catch it early and treat it early. However, the best cure is prevention. So, let’s take action and spread words in key areas:

1. Go mammogram for early detection, esp. women over 40.
2. Go risk assessment, esp. for those with family history.
3. Go “self-examine your breasts”.
4. Go healthy weight.
5. Go “move”.
6. Go “Rainbow” on your plates.
7. Go limited hormonal therapy.

Finally, limit alcohol intake.

September: Childhood Cancer Awareness Month 

Losing a child to cancer is unthinkable pain and despair to all parents, that’s why we work to prevent the worst loss.

The most common childhood cancers are brain tumors, leukemia and lymphoma. Although what causes childhood cancer remains unclear, most childhood cancers result from inherited gene mutation or environmental factors or both.

Because genetic errors occur randomly and unpredictably, there’s little you can do to prevent them. However, early life exposure to toxic substances can be harmful to children and affect their health decades later. Therefore, let’s start cancer prevention from childhood.

Here are 10 ways to protect safety of your kids while raising awareness of childhood cancer: 
1.      Avoid or minimize chemicals/toxins exposure.
2.      Avoid the exposure of your kids to secondhand smoke.
3.      Avoid or minimize radiation exposure.
4.      Limit cell or mobile phone use.
5.      Practice sun protection.
6.      Prevent childhood obesity by healthy diet and regular exercise.
7.      Drink safe, filtered water.
8.      Prevent infectious diseases.
9.      Educate teens to practice safe sex and vaccinate.
10.  Ensure your kids’ regular checkups and early detection.

August: Summer Sun Safety 

Summer heat is still on, so take precautions in key areas:
1.      Continue UV safety practice as advised previously to prevent skin cancer.
2.      Seek shade, wear sunglasses, skin-protective clothing, and apply sunscreens.
3.      Protect infants with a hat, an umbrella or tent and sunscreen to make sure they are not exposed to direct sun.
4.      Drink a lot of water to prevent dehydration.
5.      Check out family members and friends esp. the elderly and those without air-conditioning.
6.      Self-examine your skin head-to-toe monthly.

July: UV Safety Month

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a known carcinogen. UV from the sun can get through to you not only on sunny or summer days and at the beach, but also cloudy and hazy days. UV rays also reflect off of surfaces like water, sand, and snow. Here are top 6 tips for your UV safety.

1.  Say “Good bye” to indoor tanning.
2.  Protect against UV rays by seeking shade, wearing protective cloths, etc. and follow our “SHADE” guide.
3.  Check the UV index. EPA and the National Weather Service provide the UV Index to help you plan outdoor activities.
4.  Avoid the strongest, most hazardous sun exposure, i.e. the hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. daylight saving time.
5.  Use sunscreens with “Broad Spectrum” (UVA/UVB protection) and with SPF 15 or above.
6.  Important – Remember that UV radiation can reach you all year round!

June: Men’s Health & Cancer Awareness Month

Let’s take special care of our men this month. Health is the greatest gift for Dad’s Big Day. Here are 8 Essential Checkups or Screeningsfor men’s health and cancer prevention.

1.      Regular physical exam, at least annually for men over 50 years old.
2.      Cardiovascular checkup, including blood pressure, ECG (electrocardiogram), and blood tests (e.g. blood sugar, cholesterol level, etc.)
3.      Chest X-Ray to screen lung cancer, esp. those smokers at age of 45+.
4.      PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) test for early detection of prostate cancer.
5.      Colonoscopy for colorectal health, esp. for men over 50. Early detection and treatment of polyps (benign growth) help prevent the developing of colon cancer.
6.      HIV test for sexually active adults concerned about their risk for STDs (sexually transmitted diseases).
7.      Hemoccult, a screen for microscopic amount of blood from the stool, which could be an early indication of digestive tract ulcer, polyps or colon cancer.
8.      Skin cancer screening, esp. if there is any suspicious, new growth or change in the skin.

Remember self-exams too.

May: Skin Cancer Awareness Month

More than 90% of skin cancer is caused by excessive exposure to the sun. However, skin cancer is one of preventable cancers.

Melanoma is a malignant form of skin cancer, while non-melanoma skin cancer is treatable.

Watch out symptoms of skin cancer or changes in the skin, such as
·   A small lump (or mole) with shiny, waxy, pale color
·   A red lump (or mole) that becomes firm
·   A sore that doesn’t heal or a spot that bleeds.
·   Rough and scaly patches, red or brown.

Key actions for skin care and sun protection include (but not limited to):

·   Avoid overexposure to UV radiation and to sun at its peak time.

·   Apply a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB radiation.

·   Self-examine your skin by A (asymmetry), B (border), C (color), D (diameter).

·   See you doctor for early detection and treatment, if any suspicious, new growth.

April: Oral, Head & Neck Cancer Awareness Month

Oral cancer includes cancers of the lips, tongue, cheek, mouth, sinuses, and pharynx (throat). Here are top 5 tips to prevent oral cancer.

1.      Quit smoking any type of tobacco product.
2.      Curb alcohol consumption. Alcohol is associated with 75-80% of cancer of throat and oral cavity.
3.      Limit sun exposure. When in the sun, use sun block to protect your skin and the lips.
4.      See your dentist regularly for oral cancer screening. Check it out with the dentist if you see or feel any white, red or gray patches, lumps, and other suspicious issues.
5.      Have cancer-fighting diet. Eat lots of colorful vegetables and fruits, and plan-based foods.

March: Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States, but most of it is preventable!

The following are known risk factors:

1.      Aging: Over 90% of colon cancer occurred in people aged 50 or older.
2.      Colon polyps: i.e. abnormal growth inside the colon that most colon cancer develops first.
3.      Personal history: e.g. a person who had colon cancer before, women who have a history of ovarian, uterine, or breast cancer.
4.      Family history: colon cancer in primary or close relatives
5.      Inherited/genetic syndromes
6.      Inflammatory bowel conditions
7.      Race: African-Americans have a greater risk.
8.      Lifestyle factors: including

  • SAD diet (i.e. the standard American diet featuring processed red meat, low-fiber, low-fruit/veggie, and high-fat)
  • Physical inactivity
  • Obesity
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Smoking

Two immediate actions you can take:
1.      Get screened.
2.      Modify your lifestyle.

February: World Cancer Day 

World Cancer Day (Feb. 4th, each year) is a global observance and initiative. Much focus goes towards raising awareness of cancer, reducing risks of cancer, and learning how to prevent, detect and treat cancer early.

January: Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

Message: Cervical cancer is preventable!

Here is cervical cancer prevention Checklist:

  • Take regular Papanicolaou (Pap) test to detect any precancer.
  • Get screening for human papillomavirus (HPV), the main cause of cervical cancer.
  • Get vaccinated to prevent HPV infection.
  • Have regular check-ups with your doctor.
  • Stay away from unprotected sex.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Treat pre-cancerous cells without delay.

The key to saving lives is to get cancer screening exams regardless of age, especially when you are concerned about the likelihood to develop cancer because of personal or family medical history.