Category: Health Facts

April is National Alcohol Awareness Month

Excessive alcohol use is responsible for approximately 95,000 deaths in the United States each year. This month, let’s increase the awareness of alcohol abuse.

 

Get the Facts.

  • People who drink alcohol are more likely to have job performance issues.
  • Drinking too much alcohol may cause health problems, such as:
    • high blood pressure
    • brain, liver, heart, nervous system problems
    • cancer
    • learning and memory problems, including dementia
    • mental health problems, including depression and anxiety

Take Action.

  • Identify your reasons. Make a list of the reasons you want to cut down on or stop drinking alcohol. You might want to ask a trusted friend or family member to help you make a complete list.
  • Make a plan. Set a date to stop drinking. Post the list in places where you can see it often.
  • Avoid stumbling blocks. Many things can interfere with meeting your goal to cut down on or stop drinking. If your current life revolves around alcohol use, you might need to choose new friends or a new lifestyle.
  • Reward yourself. Use the money that you are no longer spending on drinking to do something fun with your family or friends. Go out to eat, see a movie, or play sports or a game.

Getting Help

  • Some people can stop drinking on their own; others need medical help to manage the physical withdrawal process.
  • Many people attend self-help groups to help them stick to their plan to cut down or stop drinking. If you are not sure whether a self-help group is for you but would like to try, go to a group at least 3 times before you make your decision.
  • If you drank after successfully stopping (relapse), it does not mean that you have failed. Relapse is common. Begin again, using your experience to help you learn how to stick with your plan this time.
  • Alcoholism is a disease. Never feel ashamed for getting help.

 

Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or visit www.communityhealthnet.org for more information.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.

March is National Nutrition Awareness Month!

This month, all are encouraged to make informed food choices and develop sound eating habits they can follow all year.

Get the Facts.

Malnutrition occurs with too much or too little of certain nutrients. Undernutrition is a lack of vitamins, minerals, and other essential substances in their body.

Some signs and symptoms of malnutrition include:

  • a lack of appetite or interest in food or drink
  • tiredness and irritability, an inability to concentrate always feeling cold
  • loss of fat, muscle mass, and body tissue
  • a higher risk of getting sick
  • longer healing time for wounds

Take Action.

  • Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein foods, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products are healthy choices.
  • Include a variety of protein foods such as seafood, lean meats, poultry, beans, peas, lentils, nuts, seeds, and eggs.
  • Choose fresh foods when possible or low-sodium packaged foods.
  • Limit foods and beverages higher in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium.
  • As you age, manage your calories to stay healthy.

What Does Healthy Eating Prevent?

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Some types of cancer
  • It can also help you feel your best and have plenty of energy.
  • It can help you handle stress better.

Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or visit www.communityhealthnet.org for more information. Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.

February is American Heart Month

Heart disease is preventable with healthy choices, such as maintaining a healthy weight, getting moderate-intensity physical activity, and regular checkups.

Get The Facts.

  • Heart disease kills more people than all forms of cancer combined.
  • Heart attacks affect more people every year than the population of Dallas, Texas.
  • 83% believe that heart attacks can be prevented but aren’t motivated to do anything.
  • 72% of Americans don’t consider themselves at risk for heart disease.
  • And 58% put no effort into improving their heart health.

Take Action.

  • Quit Smoking. No matter how old you are, you will decrease your heart attack risk, stroke, and many other health problems.
  • Eat Healthy Foods. Eating healthy is one of the best things you can do to prevent and control many heart diseases.
  • Be Active. Improving your fitness is beneficial for your heart and blood vessels, as well as the rest of your body.
  • Maintain a Healthy Weight. Staying at a healthy weight is also part of a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Heart Healthy Diet

  • Eat more fresh foods, like fruits and vegetables.
  • Buy plenty of spinach and broccoli.
  • Watch your sodium intake.
  • Eat whole grains likes oats, whole wheat pasta and bread, and brown rice.
  • Choose healthy fats like olive, sunflower, and canola oils.

Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or visit www.communityhealthnet.org for more information.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month

 

Beat the odds and win! Cervical Cancer is preventable with an annual exam and HPV vaccination. 13,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with Cervical Cancer each year.

Get the Facts.

  • The cervix is the lower part of the uterus. Cervical Cancer occurs when abnormal cells on the cervix grow out of control.
  • Most cervical cancer is caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV.
  • HPV is contracted through intercourse with someone who has it.

Symptoms may include but are not limited to bleeding between menstrual periods, after intercourse or after menopause, pain in the lower belly/pelvis, pain during intercourse, or a discharge that isn’t normal.

Take Action.

  • Cervical cancer can often be successfully treated when it’s found early.
  • A screening test (Pap) can find changes in cervical cells before they turn into cancer.
  • If you are age 26 or younger, you can get the HPV vaccine, which protects against types of HPV that cause most cases of cervical cancer.
  • The best way to avoid getting an STI is to not have intercourse. If you do, be safe by using prophylactics and limiting the number of partners you have.

How is it Treated?

  • Surgery, such as a hysterectomy and removal of pelvic lymph nodes with or without removal of both ovaries and fallopian tubes.
  • Chemotherapy.
  • Radiation therapy.

Finding out that you have cancer can change your life. You may feel like your world has turned upside down and you have lost all control. Talking with family, friends, or a counselor can really help. Ask your doctor about support groups. Or call the American Cancer Society (1-800-227-2345) or visit its website at www.cancer.org.

 

Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or visit www.communityhealthnet.org for more information.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.

December is National Influenza Awareness Month

The flu isn’t a “bad cold.” It can result in serious health complications that could lead to hospitalization. The flu can sometimes even lead to death. Now is the time to consider the flu vaccination.

Get the Facts.

  • The flu comes from influenza viruses A and B. There are different strands of the flu virus every year.
  • The flu causes fever, body aches, a headache, a dry cough, and a sore or dry throat. You will probably feel tired and less hungry than usual.
  • For people with higher risk, the flu is more likely to lead to severe complications resulting in hospitalization or even death.
  • Most people will recover in several days to less than two weeks. Some people will develop serious flu complications.

Take Action.

  • You can help prevent the flu by getting a flu vaccine each year. It’s best to get the vaccine as soon as it’s available.
  • See a medical provider immediately at the onset of symptoms.
  • Stay home, keep your distance from others, cover your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing, wash your hands frequently, and wear a mask if you must leave home.
  • Flu symptoms can be treated at home by getting rest, drinking plenty of fluids, and taking medicine to lower your fever.

Why Get the Flu Shot?

Many people don’t get the flu shot because they think that it doesn’t work. Indeed, you can still get the flu because the flu is constantly evolving, but getting a vaccine can lower your chances of getting the flu and make the symptoms less severe. The flu can be very dangerous to people with health issues. Get the flu shot to protect the people you love.

Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or visit www.communityhealthnet.org for more information.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public in learning more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.

November is American Diabetes Awareness Month

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. It can cause blindness, nerve damage, kidney disease, and other health problems.

Get the Facts.

  • One in 10 Americans – more than 30 million people have diabetes. Another 84 million adults in the United States are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Type 1 diabetes occurs at every age, in people of every race, and in every shape and size.
  • In type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system destroys the cells that release insulin so that over time the body can’t produce insulin at all.
  • The most common form of diabetes – type 2 – happens when your body can’t use insulin the right way. Over time, the pancreas can’t make enough.
  • High blood sugar can harm many parts of the body, such as the eyes, heart, blood vessels, nerves, and kidneys.

Take Action.

  • Learn as much as you can about diabetes, working closely with your provider.
  • With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, anyone can learn to manage diabetes and live healthy lives.
  • Stay Fit and Eat Healthily! Having excess body fat and a poor diet contributes to risk factors.
  • Quit Smoking! This can help you reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • See Your Medical Provider! Regular checkups are important to monitor your health.

Additional Information

Visit Community Health Net’s free Patient Education Center for more information on Diabetes.

Start here:

Diabetes
Education on type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes. Includes info on juvenile diabetes and prediabetes. Discusses symptoms and treatment. Also looks at how to manage blood sugar levels, diet, and medicines, including insulin.

Diabetes and Exercise
Find out how exercise helps you control your blood sugar and feel better in other ways too.

Diabetes and Infections
High blood sugar from diabetes can affect the body’s immune system, impairing the ability of white blood cells to come to the site of infection, stay in the infected area, and kill microorganisms. Because of the buildup of plaque in blood vessels associated with diabetes, areas of infection may receive poor blood…

Find a Doctor

Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or visit www.communityhealthnet.org for more information.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years old or older. About 10% of all new cases in the United States are found in women younger than 45.

Get the Facts.

  • 62% of breast cancer cases are diagnosed at a localized stage, for which the 5-year survival rate is 99%
  • 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.
  • Female breast cancer represents 15.2% of all new cancer cases in the U.S.
  • Men get breast cancer too. The lifetime risk for U.S men is about 1 in 1,000.

Take Action.

  • Every person should know the symptoms and signs of breast cancer.
  • By performing breast cancer self-exams, you will be able to identify any changes in your breast easily.
  • Look for nipple tenderness, a lump or thickening in or near the breast/underarm area, a change in the skin texture, or an enlargement of pores.
  • Also, look for any unexplained change in the breast’s size or shape, dimpling, swelling, shrinkage, or recent asymmetry.

Additional Symptoms

  • The skin on the breast may dimple or look like an orange peel.
  • A change in the nipple. It may turn in. The skin around it may look scaly.
  • A fluid that comes out of the nipple.

Talk to your doctor about your risk. Find out when to start having mammograms and how often you need one. If your doctor confirms that you have a high or very high risk, ask about ways to reduce your risk, such as getting extra screening, taking medicine, or having surgery.

If you have a strong family history of breast cancer, ask your doctor about genetic testing. The test can check for gene changes that increase your risk of getting breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or visit www.communityhealthnet.org for more information.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

Ovarian Cancer is known as the deadliest cancer in the US and causes more death than any other cancer of the female reproductive system.

Get the Facts.

Several factors may increase a women’s risk for ovarian cancer, including if you:

  • Have close family members who have had ovarian cancer.
  • Are middle-aged or older.
  • Have genetic mutation called BRCA1 pr BRCA2, or one associated with Lynch syndrome.
  • Have had breast, uterine, or colorectal (colon) cancer.
  • Have endometriosis.
  • Have never given birth or have had trouble getting pregnant.

Symptoms

  • Recent, frequent bloating.
  • Pain in the belly or pelvis.
  • Trouble eating or feeling full quickly.
  • Urinary problems, such as an urgent need to urinate or urinating more often than usual.

These symptoms may be common in women who don’t have ovarian cancer. But if these symptoms are new for you, and they happen almost daily for 2 to 3 weeks, you should see a doctor.

Take Action.

  • Stop smoking! Smoking can increase the risk of certain types of ovarian cancer.
  • Stay fit and eat healthily! Having excess body fat is linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer.
  • Risks are lower for those having used birth control pills for five or more years.
  • Women who have breastfed for a year or more may have a modestly reduced risk of ovarian cancer.

Treatment

Surgery is the main treatment. The doctor will remove any tumors that he or she can see. This usually means taking out one or both ovaries. It may also mean taking out the Fallopian tubes and uterus. Chemotherapy is often part of treatment. It may be given before and after surgery.

For most women, the chances of getting this cancer are small. It most often affects women who are past menopause. You may be more likely to get it if other women in your family have had it. Also, some women inherit gene changes that increase their chances of getting it. Talking with other women who are going through the same thing may help. Your doctor or your local branch of the American Cancer Society can help you find a support group!

Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or visit www.communityhealthnet.org for more information.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc

August is Children’s Eye Health & Safety Awareness Month

During the month of August, parents are encouraged to learn how to protect their child’s eyesight and save their vision through regular eye exams, early detection, and treatment. 

Get the Facts.

  • 1 in 20 children ages 3 to 5 have a vision problem that could result in permanent vision loss.
  • 80 percent of preschoolers do not receive an eye screening.
  • About 100,000 sports-related eye injuries happen every day, where one-third of these injuries occur in children under age 16.
  • 60 percent of children with learning difficulties have an undetected vision problem.
  • Vision problems in children include, but are not limited to, frequently rubbing eyes, closing or covering one eye, and tilting the head or thrusting the head forward.

Signs to Look For

Parents are often the first to notice vision problems in a young child. A vision exam may be needed if your child:

  • Is clumsy (beyond normal toddler clumsiness) and fails to notice new things around him or her.
  • Rubs his or her eyes when the child is not tired (rubbing eyes when tired is normal).
  • Squints when the light is turned on or stares at lights.
  • Has excessive tearing when not crying.
  • Has frequent eye infections, swollen eyelids, or frequent styes. Conjunctivitis (pinkeye) is a common problem in children.
  • Has eyes that seem to bulge, bounce, or dance in rapid regular movements.
  • Often tilts the head to one side as though trying to see better.
  • Avoids tasks or play that requires good vision, like looking at books, or holds books or toys too close, or sits too close to the TV screen.
  • Has eyes that look mismatched or crossed or that don’t move together.
  • Has pupils that are not the same size or that appear white instead of black.

Take Action.

  • Protect your children from sports-related eye injuries using protective eyewear with polycarbonate lenses.
  • Early detection of vision conditions is crucial.  Children should have an eye exam beginning at 6 months.
  • See a doctor immediately if you detect red flags, such as uneven focus, lazy eye, or crossed eyes.
  • Make sure children play with age-appropriate toys and take frequent breaks while using digital devices.

Start Early.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recommend that all children have an eye exam during the newborn period and again at all routine well-child visits.

The AAO recommends that vision screening start around age 3 and occur each year at ages 4 and 5. After age 5, the AAO recommends screening every 1 to 2 years.

Find a Doctor

Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or visit www.communityhealthnet.org for more information. Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.

 

July is Ultraviolet Safety Month

Be Safe in the Sun! Learn more about the link between the sun’s rays and skin cancer, what you can do to help protect yourself, and how to spot skin changes that may require a doctor’s attention.

Get the Facts.

  • You are at an increased risk of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays during summer months, between 10 am and 4 pm.
  • You can even be exposed to UV rays on cloudy days.
  • Reflection from the snow, sand, and water increases sun exposure.
  • Most are vulnerable during outdoor activities, such as water sports, spending time at the beach, swimming, and sailing.

Take Action.

  • Reduce your risk of skin damage and skin cancer by seeking shade under an umbrella, tree, or other shelter.
  • Long-sleeved shirts and long pants and skirts can provide protection from UV rays.
  • Wear a hat with a brim all the way around that shades your face, ears, and the back of your neck.
  • Put on a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher before you go outside.

Avoid Sun Exposure.

The best way to prevent a sunburn is to avoid sun exposure.

Stay out of the midday sun (from 10 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon), which is the strongest sunlight. Find shade if you need to be outdoors. You can also calculate how much ultraviolet (UV) exposure you are getting by using the shadow rule: A shadow that is longer than you are means UV exposure is low; a shadow that is shorter than you are means the UV exposure is high.

Other ways to protect yourself from the sun include wearing protective clothing, such as:

  • Hats with wide 4 in. (10 cm) brims that cover your neck, ears, eyes, and scalp.
  • Sunglasses with UV ray protection, to prevent eye damage.
  • Loose-fitting, tightly woven clothing that covers your arms and legs.
  • Clothing made with sun protective fabric. These clothes have a special label that tells you how effective they are in protecting your skin from ultraviolet rays.

Sunscreen Protection

If you can’t avoid being in the sun, use sunscreen to help protect your skin while you are in the sun.

Be sure to read the information on the sunscreen label about its SPF value and how much protection it gives your skin. Follow the directions on the label for applying sunscreen so it is most effective in protecting your skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

Choosing a Sunscreen

  • Sunscreens come in lotions, gels, creams, ointments, and sprays. Use a sunscreen that: Has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 or higher. Says “broad-spectrum” that protects the skin from ultraviolet, and A and B (UVA and UVB) rays.
  • Use lip balm or cream that has SPF of 30 or higher to protect your lips from getting sunburned.
  • Take extra care to protect your skin when you’re near water, at higher elevations, or in tropical climates.

Sunscreens labeled “water-resistant” are made to protect people while they are swimming or sweating. The label will say if the sunscreen will protect you for 40 minutes or 80 minutes.

Find a Doctor

Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or visit www.communityhealthnet.org for more information.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.

Call us at (814) 455-7222