What is the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout? It's an annual event, held the third Thursday of every November, a date on which smokers nationwide are asked to give up smoking. This year, 2017, that mean it’s on November 16th. Quitting for just one day helps you take action toward a healthier life, and reduce your lung cancer risk.
Head and neck cancers are a group of cancers that originate from the base of skull to the clavicles. It comprises diverse diagnoses of cancers that begin in the sinuses, throat, mouth, salivary glands, and larynx. Cancers in this region have a variety of causes including use of alcohol and tobacco. Head and neck cancers often present as a lump or sore that does not go away. It can be painful or painless. In some cases, the mass can cause difficulty swallowing or even breathing and may cause a hoarse voice. There are many non-malignant causes of these symptoms and concerned patients should be evaluated by a physician or dentist.
During the flu season, it’s hard to miss the messaging that “You should get a flu shot.” Now is the time to understand why you should be up-to-date on all your vaccinations, take inventory of other vaccinations that are recommended and know where to find more information.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) calls vaccinations one of the top ten public health achievements of the 20th century because vaccinations have prevented millions of diseases, deaths, and hospitalizations. Unfortunately, over 50,000 Americans die annually from diseases that could have been prevented with vaccinations. The cost of caring for Americans with these diseases was $8.95 billion in 2015 (Health Affairs, 2016).
There are a number of prescription and over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapies that can help greatly when stopping the use of tobacco. But quitting typically takes more than that. It requires a change in your lifestyle. It can be done! Here are four things you can do to get on the path to reducing your risks of lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
1. Prepare before you quit smoking.
Preparation is the key to success in any new endeavor. Decide on a specific date to quit smoking, make a plan, and then stick to it. Don’t try to pick a date if you’re in the middle of a major life change such as starting a new job or the death of a loved one. You may end up reverting back to your smoking habit quickly which can be discouraging.
There is good news about breast cancer death rates! They're on the decline! Breast cancer deaths dropped nearly 40% between 1989 and 2014. The primary reason for the decline is an increase in breast cancer screening that helps detect breast cancer earlier. And that results in a higher survival rate.
If you're not sure what breast cancer screening is or if you should get it, here are some questions to ask your primary care doctor or OB-GYN:
1. At my age, do I need breast cancer screening?
If your breast cancer risk is average, meaning you don't have a family history of the disease, your doctor will explain the pros and cons of breast cancer screening based on your age. Different organizations have different recommendations. The American Cancer Society recommendations for screening are: