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Health & Wellness resources for September

It's back to school month, which means back to the basics. As schedules change, it's a perfect time to re-establish and re-commit to healthy routines. Here are some seasonal health & wellness resources for you and your employees.

National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month - Recovery Month highlights the societal benefits of substance abuse treatment and promotes the message that recovery from substance abuse in all its forms is possible. It's a month to celebrate people in recovery and those who serve them. It's also a great reminder that addiction is a treatable disease. Treatment benefits not just the affected individual, but also their family, friends, workplace, and society as a whole. Educating the public reduces the stigma associated with addiction and treatment.

Leukemia & Lymphoma Awareness Month - Blood cancers such as leukemia, Hodgkin lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, myeloma and myelodysplastic syndromes are cancers that originate in the bone marrow or lymphatic tissues. They are considered to be related cancers because they involve the uncontrolled growth of cells with similar functions and origins. The diseases result from an acquired genetic injury to the DNA of a single cell, which becomes abnormal (malignant) and multiplies continuously. The accumulation of malignant cells interferes with the body's production of healthy blood cells.Every 4 minutes one person is diagnosed with a blood cancer. An estimated 137,260 people in the United States will be diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma in 2010. New cases of leukemia, Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma and myeloma will account for 9.0 percent of the more than 1.5 million new cancer cases diagnosed in the United States this year.

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month - More than 20,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, and approximately 15,000 women die annually from the disease. Unfortunately, most cases are diagnosed in their later stages when the prognosis is poor, but if diagnosed and treated early, when the cancer is confined to the ovary, the five-year survival rate is over 90 percent. That is why it is imperative that the early signs and symptoms of the disease are recognized, not only by women, but also by their families and the medical community. Why not educate your employees about the symptoms of ovarian cancer.

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month - Prostate cancer is a disease of the prostate gland, part of the male reproductive system. It is a common, but typically slow growing cancer when compared to other types of cancer, and curable if caught in early stages. ZERO — The Project to End Prostate Cancer works to create public awareness to fight and end prostate cancer. Here's some information for employees about prostate cancer risk factors.

National Cholesterol Education Month - High blood cholesterol affects over 65 million Americans. It is a serious condition that increases the risk for heart disease. The higher the cholesterol level, the greater the risk. A person can have high cholesterol and not know it. Lowering cholesterol levels that are too high lessens the risk for developing heart disease and reduces the chance of having a heart attack or dying of heart disease. September is a good month to encourage your employees to have their blood cholesterol levels checked and to focus on food and lifestyle choices that minimize cholesterol. Here are more resources on cholesterol from Federal Occupational Health.

National Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month - Atrial fibrillation (AF or afib) is the most common irregular heartbeat and is characterized by heart palpitations, dizziness, and shortness of breath. This progressive and debilitating disease can lead to stroke, heart failure, and Alzheimer's disease, and can double your risk of death. Afib takes a physical toll, an emotional toll, and a financial toll on those who are living with it—not just the patient, but the family, too. Here's a good Atrial Fibrillation Guide to learn more.

National Preparedness Month - It's fitting that a month in which two national disasters unfolded - The World Trade Center attacks and Hurricane Katrina - should be dedicated as month to encourage individuals and employers to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, and communities. Whether natural or man-made, unexpected emergencies occur, and being prepared can help to mitigate problems.

September 5-11 - Suicided Prevention Month and September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day - In one of the most recent studies, suicide was the eleventh ranking cause of death in the US, and the third cause of death in the young. About every 15 minutes, someone commits suicide in the U.S., leaving survivors with a heavy burden of grief, guilt and unanswered questions. It's estimated that for every successful suicide, there are 25 nonfatal attempts. Some populations are at greater risk than others. Here's a list of links to professional organizations that offer more resources.

September 26 World Heart Day - This year's theme is "Workplace Wellness," offering an employer's resource guide, which includes ideas that can be implemented in the workplace (PDF), as well as case histories of wellness campaigns in some large corporations.

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