World Leprosy Day is annually observed around the world on the last Sunday of January. The day was initiated in 1954 by French philanthropist and writer, Raoul Follereau, as a way to raise global awareness of this deadly ancient disease and call attention to the fact that it can be prevented, treated and cured. Doctors and other medical professionals spend time talking to the public about how to recognize the symptoms of leprosy. Seminars are held around the world to address the problems faced by leprosy patients and to find ways to reduce the social stigma faced by them.
The month of July has been dedicated to spreading the awareness of an uncommon disease that strikes children — juvenile arthritis. When you think of arthritis, you probably think about older people who develop aches and pains in their joints, but that isn’t the only kind of arthritis there is. Around 300,000 children in the U.S. have juvenile arthritis, an autoimmune disease in which the child’s immune system mistakenly targets and attacks healthy tissue. There are nine different kinds of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (the most common type of juvenile arthritis), each with their own particular symptoms, treatments and prognosis.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. The skin protects against heat, sunlight, injury, and infection. Skin also helps control body temperature and stores water and fat. Most cases of melanoma, the deadliest kind of skin cancer, are caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Melanoma is a kind of skin cancer. It isn’t as common as other types of skin cancer, but it is the most serious. Melanoma can affect your skin only, or it may spread to your organs and bones. As with other cancers, treatment for melanoma works best when the cancer is found early.
May is National Stroke Awareness Month and the experts would like to remind people to know the signs and symptoms of stroke. Every stroke is a medical emergency because it means that blood flow to part of the brain has been interrupted. Everyone needs to be able to recognize the signs of a stroke and get to a hospital fast because “time is brain.” The longer you wait, the more brain cells could die. Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death in America and a leading cause of adult disability.
The American Cancer Society is actively fighting cervical cancer on many fronts. We are helping women get tested for cervical cancer, helping them understand their diagnosis, and helping them get the treatments they need. The American Cancer Society also funds new research to help prevent, find, and treat cervical cancer. Nearly 13,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, but the disease is virtually always preventable with vaccination and appropriate screening.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to raise awareness of breast cancer risks, the value of screening and early detection, and treatment options available to women and men who are diagnosed with one of the many forms of breast cancer. More than 249,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with invasive breast cancer every year, and nearly 41,000 die from the disease. Over the years, a loop of pink ribbon has come to symbolize breast cancer awareness, and today the image of a pink ribbon can be found emblazoned on thousands of products, from apparel to dishware to office supplies. But there’s more to awareness than just wearing pink.
As the month of September brings prostate cancer into focus, it’s time to increase public understanding of the disease. 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, making it the most common cancer in men. The need for greater public education is why we have designated September Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, a month dedicated toward engaging and connecting the public, media, academia, and government around a disease that affects us all on some level. Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is geared towards spreading the word in as accurate, diverse, and widespread a manner possible.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, some five million Americans have a hernia. Yet, only about 750,000 Americans seek treatment each year.The balance do not because they perceive surgery, the only way to treat a hernia, to be an inconvenience to their daily lifestyle and those around them. Others perceive surgery to be a major invasive procedure that requires an extended hospital stay, followed by a long and painful period of recovery.
September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Ovarian Cancer is one of the most deadly of women’s cancers. Each year, approximately 21,980 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer. In 2014, approximately 14,270 women will die in the United States from this disease. It is estimated by the World Health Organization Department that there are over 238,000 new cases diagnosed annually and nearly 152,000 deaths worldwide.
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease. Chronic means that the signs and symptoms tend to last longer than six weeks and often for many years. The Month of May is Lupus Awareness Month and I hope to raise awareness and educate others about this life changing disease. In a healthy immune system, the body produces antibodies which destroy unhealthy cells such as bacteria, viruses and foreign waste. However, lupus causes an overactive immune system to produce auto antibodies which attacks healthy body tissue. This can affect most parts of the body including any organ.