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October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Understanding the cause and risk factors is fundamental, yet even more so is taking steps towards breast cancer prevention. The National Breast Cancer Foundation provides a useful application – Early Detection Plan, which is available on their website, App store, and Google play. The application allows individuals to set notifications, reschedule appointments, log exams, get email notifications, and explore local breast clinics.

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The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention accounts prostate cancer as the leading cause of cancer diagnosed among U.S. men. The prostate is a walnut-sized gland located in the male’s reproductive system just below the bladder. Prostate cancer develops when cancerous cells form and multiply in the prostate gland. The American Cancer Society states, “Prostate cancer is very rare in men younger than 40, but the chance of having prostate cancer rises rapidly after age 50. About 6 in 10 cases of prostate cancer are found in men over the age of 65.” The cause of prostate cancer remains uncertain, yet demographics and lifestyle choices are prominent factors seen in men with this type of cancer. It’s essential for men to stay informed and proactive towards prostate cancer prevention. Get moving towards cancer prevention with facts, stats, and health tips just for men!

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September is National Yoga Awareness month. Yoga combines physical and relaxation modalities originating back from ancient Indian traditions. Endurance training, breathing techniques, and meditation merge to create mind and body health and wellbeing. Yoga practices vary; some target physical training while others concentrate on stress reduction. Researchers continue to highlight positive attributes of yoga, making its practice a building block in the management of chronic diseases. As noted in WebMD, “Yoga has long been known to lower blood pressure and slow the heart rate…Yoga has also been linked to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and better immune system function.” 

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Dr. Kent Brantly, a 33-year-old Ebola survivor, was discharged from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Brantly acquired the Ebola virus while caring for infected patients in West Africa. Nancy Writebol, a 59-year-old aid worker also contacted Ebola while doing missionary work in Liberia. Brantly and Writebol were the first two individuals to receive an experimental drug for the Ebola virus. Physicians aren’t certain if health improvements were a result of the experimental drug, or related to the quality of medical care given in the U.S. as opposed to the care received in West Africa.

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It’s a great opportunity to focus on disease control and prevention as we acknowledge Immunization Awareness this month. Vaccinations aren’t intended just for children, but for healthy adults as well. Immunizations aim to protect individuals from acquiring infections and controlling the spread of disease.  Elderly and infant caretakers, as well as people who interact with clients of low immunity or other health conditions should get vaccinated. The National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC) states, “Immunization is especially important for adults 60 years of age and older, and for those who have a chronic condition such as asthma, COPD, diabetes or heart disease.” There are many health benefits to staying current with recommended immunizations – even for adults!

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