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Take care. Be well.

September 
 
is National Awareness Month  for Ovarian Cancer 

Ovarian cancer is a deadly disease and the survival rates for black women diagnosed with ovarian cancer are lower than for any other racial or ethnic group in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, black women have a higher incidence of ovarian cancer and are more likely to be diagnosed at an advanced stage. Additionally, black women have a lower survival rate and a higher mortality rate from ovarian cancer compared to white women.

There are several obstacles and barriers that contribute to these disparities in ovarian cancer outcomes for black women. These include socioeconomic factors, lack of access to healthcare, limited awareness of ovarian cancer symptoms and risk factors, and systemic racism and bias in the healthcare system.

Despite these challenges, there are ongoing efforts to improve ovarian cancer outcomes for women of color. For example, there are clinical trials that specifically focus on improving outcomes for women of color with ovarian cancer. These trials aim to identify effective treatments and improve access to care for underserved populations. Additionally, there are organizations dedicated to educating women about ovarian cancer risk factors and symptoms, and advocating for better healthcare access and outcomes for all women.

The Black community in the United States has a long-standing history of distrust in healthcare due to a number of factors. One of the main reasons is the history of medical experimentation on Black bodies without their consent, such as the infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, in which Black men were intentionally left untreated for syphilis for decades. This history of mistreatment and exploitation has contributed to a deep-seated mistrust of the medical establishment among many Black Americans.

Furthermore, there is also a well-documented racial bias in the healthcare system, which can lead to disparities in treatment and outcomes for Black patients. These biases can manifest in a number of ways, from doctors prescribing less pain medication to Black patients to Black women experiencing higher rates of maternal mortality.

This mistrust and bias can certainly contribute to lower participation rates in clinical trials among the Black community. It is important for researchers and healthcare professionals to acknowledge and address these issues in order to build trust and improve diversity in clinical trials. This includes actively engaging with and involving members of the Black community in the research process, as well as ensuring that clinical trials are designed to be inclusive and equitable. By doing so, we can work towards a more just and effective healthcare system for all.

Early Aging

September is an important month for raising awareness on several important topics, including early aging. Age-related changes are inevitable, but it is important to recognize that there are factors that can accelerate the aging process, leading to health problems and a decrease in quality of life.

Many people are unaware of the effects that factors such as smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise, and exposure to environmental toxins can have on their bodies. These factors can cause inflammation, oxidative stress, and damage to cells and DNA, which can accelerate aging and increase the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer's.

Early aging awareness month serves as an opportunity to educate individuals on the importance of making healthy choices and adopting lifestyle habits that promote healthy aging. This includes maintaining a healthy diet, engaging in regular physical activity, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, and protecting oneself from environmental toxins.

By taking proactive steps to promote healthy aging, individuals can reduce their risk of chronic disease and enjoy a better quality of life as they age. Let's work together to spread awareness about the importance of early aging prevention and promote healthy aging for all.

Childhood Obesity Awareness

National Childhood Obesity Month is observed in September every year. The purpose of this month is to raise awareness about the increasing rate of obesity among children and to encourage healthy eating habits and physical activity. Childhood obesity is a significant public health concern, particularly within black and brown communities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children from these communities experience higher rates of obesity than white children. This can lead to a higher risk of developing chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure later in life.

The percentage of children who are overweight and have chronic illnesses due to obesity is quite significant. According to the CDC, about 1 in 5 children (or 19%) in the United States is obese. Obese children are more likely to develop chronic illnesses such as asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, and type 2 diabetes. It is important to note that obesity is preventable. By promoting healthy eating habits, regular physical activity, and limiting screen time, we can reduce the risk of obesity in children.

When it comes to discussing weight, it is essential to be sensitive to the person's feelings and avoid using language that may sound judgmental or hurtful. Instead of using terms like "fat" or "overweight," try using phrases like "body mass index" or "BMI" when talking about a person's weight. Focus on promoting healthy habits, such as eating a balanced diet and engaging in regular physical activity, rather than solely focusing on weight. Remember, it's essential to be kind and supportive, so the person doesn't feel shamed or judged.

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Healthy Eats

One great healthy snack or dinner recipe for the fall that is easy to make and inexpensive is roasted sweet potato rounds. To make this recipe, preheat your oven to 400°F. Slice one sweet potato into rounds about ¼ inch thick, and toss them with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Spread the sweet potato rounds out in a single layer on a baking sheet, and roast for 20-25 minutes, or until they are tender and lightly browned. These sweet potato rounds are packed with fiber and vitamins, and make a great snack or side dish that is perfect for the cooler fall weather.

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