UA Cares November Awareness Month

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, National Alzheimer’s Month, and National Diabetes Awareness Month.  Cumulatively, these diseases impact millions of people across the United States every day.  Let’s join together to spread awareness about these diseases.

Lung Cancer Awareness

Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women, and is the leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women, according to the American Cancer Society.

Unfortunately, most lung cancers are detected at an advanced stage, making it very hard to cure.  However, if you go to your doctor when you first notice symptoms, the cancer might not have reached an advanced stage and treatment is more likely to be effective.

Symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • A cough that does not go away or gets worse
  • Blood colored phlegm
  • Chest pain that worsens with deep breathing, coughing, or laughing.
  • Weight loss and loss of appetite
  • Infections (bronchitis, pneumonia, etc.) that do not go away

Alzheimer’s Awareness

The Alzheimer’s association defines Alzheimer’s as a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior.  Symptoms develop slowly and gradually worsen over time, and is not a normal part of aging.

Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but treatments for symptoms are available.  Although these treatments cannot stop the progression of the disease, they can temporarily slow the worsening of the symptoms to improve the quality of life of the patient.

Worldwide, there is a very strong effort to find a way to treat the disease, delay its onset, and prevent its progression.

What are the warning signs that someone has Alzheimer’s?

The most common early symptom of Alzheimer’s is difficulty remembering newly learned information.  This will develop into slowed thinking and occasional problems with remembering certain things.  As this progresses further, serious memory loss, and confusion are likely to occur.

The person with Alzheimer’s may find it difficult to recognize that they have a problem, so it is very important for family members, close friends, colleagues and anyone who spends a lot of time with them to learn the warning signs.

Diabetes Awareness

In 2015, 30.3 million Americans (9.4% of the population) had diabetes.  Every year, there are an estimated 1.5 million additional Americans diagnosed with diabetes.  This disease was also the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2015.

This means that the early detection and treatment of this disease is extremely important, as it can improve one’s chance of survival.

Common Symptoms of Diabetes:

  • Urinating often
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Feeling very hungry
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts/ bruises are slow to heal
  • Weight loss (type 1)
  • Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2)

If you or someone you know are experiencing any of these symptoms, you are urged to see a doctor.

The most powerful tool?  Prevention.

A good way to stay ahead of Diabetes is to routinely test your blood glucose using an A1C test.  You can also opt for a Fasting Plasma Glucose test, an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test, and a Plasma Glucose test to determine your risk for diabetes.

A healthy lifestyle, with the inclusion of exercising, eating a balanced diet, and maintaining a healthy body weight are also ways you can prevent the onset of Diabetes.

Looking to make a difference?

  1. Donate to an initiative that is searching for a cure, or researching the disease. (the American Cancer Society, the Alzheimer’s Association, or the American Diabetes Association)
  2. Raise awareness of the disease by participating in local walks, fundraisers, and of course, the conversation regarding the disease.

Hopefully, through education, and helping each other, we will one day have a cure and/or effective treatments for these diseases that affect so many millions of people every day.

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