February is Cancer Prevention Month and Heart Health Month
February is Cancer Prevention Month. The percentage of cancers related to exposure in the workplace is low, only around 5 – 8%according to the National Institutes for Occupational Safety and Health(NIOSH). However, if you or someone you know has received a cancer diagnosis, it’s a devastating blow. The time that must be taken from work for chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and other treatments affects the patient and the workplace.
February is also Heart Health Month. We all probably know someone who has cardiac problems or has had a heart attack. Again, the potential for workplace exposures to cause heart attacks is low. But still, heart attacks can happen in the workplace, and someone who misses work because they are recovering from a heart attack can affect their coworkers.
Fortunately, some of the preventative measures for heart health and against cancer are the same. Here’s a few:
1. If you smoke or use tobacco products, even vaping, quit now! Tobacco is one of the most addicting substances we can think of, and quitting is difficult. There are many methods that people find helpful. Talk to your health care provider about how to stop the use of tobacco.
2. Eat a well-balanced diet, with plenty of fruits and vegetables, and fewer red meats. Both the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association have pages dedicated to healthy foods with recipes. Links are provided at the end of this safety tip.
3. Active lifestyles promote a healthier you. Take walks. Play pickleball. Do yoga. Find an activity that interests you and go for it(with emphasis on “go”).
4. De-stress. Work can be stressful. Breathe in slowly, and count to ten. Meditate. Listen to music. Watch a funny movie or cartoon. Laughter is good medicine!
5. If you can and are not allergic, get a pet. Pets can relax you, get you up and moving as you exercise them. Take a dog to a dog park, or a horse on a trail ride – you’ll become more social.
6. Drink alcohol in moderation or less. The experts recommend that, per day, women have one drink and men have two servings of alcohol. By the way, the idea that red wine is good for you has not been proven in a clinical study, according to an article published by Harvard Medical School, linked here.
Weekly Discussion Challenge:
Who do you know that has had cancer or had a heart attack? What advice did they give you, or that you think they would have given you?
In case you thought those were the only two celebrations this month, February is also Library Lovers Month, Child Dental Health Month, Senior Independence Month, and Time Management Month.
The links we promised:
American Cancer Society: https://www.cancer.org
American Heart Association: https://www.heart.org