Previous "For Your Health" Topics

Monthly Health Promotion Topics and References  

October - Breast and Testicular Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer

Did you know?

  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States next to skin cancer
  • Estimated 41,000 will die from breast cancer each year
  • There are over 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States today!
  • Breast cancer can affect women and men
  • All breast lumps do not mean cancer (eight of 10 lumps are benign)
  • There are many different types and stages of breast cancer. Early detection is essential for the best outcomes.

Symptoms

  • New lump in your breast or underarm
  • Nipple discharge
  • Pain in the nipple area
  • Changes in the appearance of the nipple
  • Changes in the skin of the breast, including thickening, swelling, irritation or dimpling
  • Abnormal mammogram

What can I do?

  • Maintain healthy diet and exercise
  • Don’t smoke, avoid excessive alcohol
  • Obtain sufficient sleep, strive to reduce stress
  • Learn self breast exam technique early and perform monthly. Report changes or symptoms to your physician promptly!
  • Obtain baseline mammogram at age 35, annually after 40
  • Support those who are personally fighting breast cancer
  • Support breast cancer research and awareness!

Testicular Cancer

Did you know?

  • Testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer in men between the ages of 15 and 34
  • About 8,000 men are diagnosed with testicular cancer and about 390 men die of this disease each year
  • Accounts for 1 percent of all cancers in men in the U.S.
  • Is more common in white men than black or Asian
  • If found early, testicular cancer is almost always curable
  • Self exam should be done monthly

Symptoms

  • A painless lump or swelling in a testicle
  • Pain or discomfort in a testicle or in the scrotum
  • Any enlargement of a testicle or change in the way it feels
  • A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
  • A dull ache in the lower

Sources

For more information, stop into Student Health Services or call 716.286.8390

Healthy Summer Prep 101 for new and returning students:

  1. Schedule routine health maintenance appointments. Visit a family physician for any required physicals, a follow-up on any chronic medical conditions, renewal of prescriptions, routine lab work and necessary vaccinations.
  2. Get to your specialist! If a student is receiving care for a mental health concern, summer is a good time for a reassessment. Women should schedule their annual gynecological visit. Get a routine dental exam and cleaning.
  3. Schedule a routine eye exam and update glasses and contact lenses. A contact lens wearer should bring a pair of backup glasses of the same prescription strength to campus in case an eye issue develops that prohibits contact use for several days.
  4. Sleep problems are common among college students – especially new students – and establishing and maintaining a routine sleep schedule now can pay great dividends toward a healthy academic year. Get up and go to bed on a regular schedule to get yourself into a good routine of 7 — 8 hours sleep a night.
  5. Don't stop reading. Keep your mind sharp and engaged by staying in the habit of reading. Maybe even take a note or two for yourself and keep your comprehension skills sharpened too! Books, blogs, magazines, newspapers — doesn’t really matter what you read, just keep reading!
  6. Begin or continue a summer exercise program and plan to continue it through the academic year.
  7. Heed the rule of "strive for five" servings of fresh fruits and vegetables per day and develop tips you can utilize at school.
  8. Recharge your batteries. Though it's important to keep your mind and body active during the summer lull, making time to relax is paramount before heading back to a full course load. Find the balance of work and relaxation that works best for you.
  9. Try something new. Engage your curious side. Prepare yourself to be open to new ideas and experiences during the upcoming academic year. Take a look at activities and clubs on the university website and see what peaks your interest.
  10. Earn some cash. Managing your money is vital to being able to have that that quick meal off campus, a ticket to an event or a shopping trip for some needed supplies. You’ll probably spend more than you think, so stockpile a bit before school to have on hand.
  11. Go to orientation. For incoming freshman or transfer students, this is key to feeling at home on campus. Nothing beats feeling familiar with the campus and being “in-the-know” about the layout, faculty and staff, and meeting new classmates.

Preparation is essential for college students to have a productive academic year. Use your summer to give a little thought  to a  healthy lifestyle on campus and it will make your academic year both successful and fulfilling.

Sources

For more information, stop into Student Health Services or call 716.286.8390

May is Exam Time!

Ten Study Habits of Successful Students

  1. Try not to do too much studying at one time.
    If you try to do too much studying at one time, you will tire and your studying will not be very effective. Space out the work you have to do over  shorter periods of time. Taking short breaks will restore your mental energy.
  2. Plan specific times for studying.
    Study time is any time you are doing something related to schoolwork. It can be completing assigned reading, working on a paper or project, or studying for a test. Schedule specific times throughout the week for  your study time.
  3. Try to study at the same times each day.
    Studying at the same times each day establishes a routine that becomes a regular part of your life, just like sleeping and eating. When a  scheduled study time comes up during the day, you will be mentally  prepared to begin studying.
  4. Set specific goals for your study times.
    Goals will help you stay focused and monitor your progress. Simply sitting down to study has little value. You must be very clear about what you  want to accomplish during your study times.
  5. Start studying when planned.
    You may delay starting your studying because you don't like an assignment or think it is too hard. A delay in studying is called "procrastination."    If you procrastinate for any reason, you will find it difficult to get everything   done when you need to. You may rush to make up the time you wasted    getting started, resulting in careless work and errors.
  6. Work on the assignment you find most difficult first.
    Your most difficult assignment will require the most effort. Start with your most difficult assignment since this is when you have the most mental energy.
  7. Review your notes before beginning an assignment.
    Reviewing your notes can help you make sure you are doing an assignment correctly. Also, your notes may include information  that will help you complete an assignment.
  8. Tell your friends not to call them during their study times.
    Two study problems can occur if your friends call you during your study times. First, your work is interrupted. It is not that easy to get back to what you  were doing. Second, your friends may talk about things that will distract  you from what you need to do. Here's a simple idea - turn off your cell   phone during your study times.
  9. Reach out! Call another student when you have difficulty with an assignment.
    This is a case where "two heads may be better than one."
  10. Stay Healthy!
    Staying well rested, well fed and well hydrated makes your body and mind function at its best!

April 2011:   Get Yourself Tested Month!

Steps to GYT:

  1. Take The Lead! Healthcare providers don’t always bring up getting tested for STDs including HIV. So don’t assume that if they don’t bring it up that you’re STD-free. The only way to know is to GYT.
  2. Just Ask! So you have to ask. You may feel a little nervous or embarrassed asking to be tested - that’s okay, a lot of people do. STDs are very common, so this is nothing new to your doctor.They do this every day. Ask away — spit it out however you can. Let him/her know you’d like to be tested for STDs. You are doing the right thing. Asking to be tested shows that you are taking care of your sex life.
  3. Be Proactive! Once you’ve answered the healthcare provider’s questions, be sure to ask what’s going to happen next. Since you’re already having a heart-to-heart with your healthcare provider (or at least getting all the facts and getting tested for STDs!), have a conversation about protecting yourself in the future.
  4. Be Honest! As part of your exam, you might be asked what seems like a lot of very personal questions about your sex life. They are not doing this to judge you or be nosy, they’re there to help you stay healthy. You may feel a little embarrassed, but the best way that they can help you is if you answer truthfully about your sex life.

Fast Stats

  • An estimated 6.2 million new cases of HPV are diagnosed each year. At least 20 million people already have it.  
  • If you’re sexually active, the only way to know if you have an STI is to GYT (that’s Get Yourself Talking and Tested.)
  • You cannot tell who has an STD just by looking. GYT. (Get yourself tested!)
  • Most women and many men who have chlamydia have no symptoms.
  • Many people who are infected with the herpes virus do not have any symptoms and do not know they are infected, but they can still spread the infections to others.
  • Oh, and bust out the diapers! One out of three of you young ladies will be pregnant by age 20 — mostly by accident.
  • By age 25, half of you people reading this will have an STD, if they’re having sex.
  • STDs — sexually transmitted diseases or infections - are also called STIs.
  • GYT means Get Yourself Tested and Talking.  
  • There are many different kinds of STDs — and they are more common than you may think.
  • One in 2 sexually active young people will get an STD by 25 — most won’t know it.

For more information, check out  

Link to talking tips!

March 2011:    Nutrition Awareness Month!

To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.

La Rochefoucauld You are unique! There is no one else who has the same nutritional needs you do.

What makes you unique

  • Metabolism
  • Activity level
  • Genetics
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol usage
  • Stress level
  • The foods you eat

What’s to be done about it? Work good nutrition into your daily diet to promote a healthy lifestyle and healthy aging.  
You’ll feel great and it will also help prevent diseases and help your body to recover quickly when you're ill.

How to do that?

  • Don’t compare yourself to others ~ establish a nutrition plan that works for you!
  • Pay  attention to your body ~ listen when it’s telling you you're hungry or full and recognize when you are eating for reasons other than feeling hungry (stress, boredom, etc.).
  • Don't  diet ~ decide instead to improve your health!
  • Don't  smoke.
  • Keep  the following points in mind for healthy eating:
    • Eat a daily diet that helps you to either lose weight or maintain a weight that is appropriate for your height and sex
    • Choose a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol
    • Eat high fiber foods
    • Reduce your diet calories that come from processed sugars
    • Eat foods with less salt
    • Drink eight to 10 cups of water a day
    • Drink no more than one (if you are a woman) or two (if you are a man) alcoholic beverage(s) per day

The nutrition pyramid developed by the USDA has these suggestions for each food group.

  • Grains:  Eat at least three ounces of whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice, or pasta every day.
  • Vegetables: Eat more dark green vegetables, more orange vegetables and more dry beans and peas.
  • Fruits: Eat a variety of fresh, frozen, canned or dried fruit, but limit fruit juices.
  • Milk: Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products when possible. If you can’t tolerate milk products, choose other sources of calcium.
  • Meat  and Beans: Choose low-fat or lean meats and poultry and prepare them by baking, broiling, or grilling them. Try getting your protein from a variety of fish, beans, peas, nuts, or seeds.
  • Fats, sugars and salt: Get most of your fat sources from fish, nuts and vegetable oils. Limit solid fats and the foods that contain them. Choose food and beverages that are low in added sugars. Learn to read the Nutrition Facts labels so you can limit your saturated fats, trans fats and salt.

No matter who we are, we can all learn to choose our foods and beverages more wisely. That way we can live healthier, happier, and longer lives.

For more information go to:

www.MyPyramid.gov

www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines

February 2011:    Eating Disorders  Awareness Month!

Eating disorders are a complex issue. It is estimated that more than half of college students, especially women, have some form of body image concerns, although most do not have an eating disorder. Both men and women in college are vulnerable to developing an eating disorder as a way of managing the feelings of stress and the pressure of college life. There are many reasons why someone will develop an eating problem, however, common triggers are an over focus on physical appearance as a means of gaining self-esteem, difficulty talking about feelings, peer pressure, and a desire to fit in. In addition, there are societal pressures telling us that being thin is an ideal standard, when in fact most people are not naturally as thin as the images portrayed.

Though occasional overeating and restrictive dieting do not necessarily signal a problem, increased frequency and duration of certain eating-related patterns may indicate the existence of a more serious problem. It is when these behaviors begin to dominate a person's life and take precedence over everything else that an eating disorder may exist. What frequently begins as a solution to a problem can become an even bigger problem itself.

The three most common eating disorders are:

  • Anorexia Nervosa is characterized by a person being 15 percent below their normal body weight; feels fat, despite being thin; persistent fear of being fat; restricted eating; and erratic menstrual cycle or a loss of menstrual cycle for at least three months.
  • Bulimia  Nervosa is characterized by a person engaging in recurrent episodes of binge eating, followed sometimes by attempts to purge through self-induced vomiting, use of laxatives, or excessive exercising. The person may or may not purge. The person is often secretive about binging and/or purging. The person will also feel a loss of control over eating.
  • Binge  Eating Disorder is similar to bulimia, however, the person does not engage in behaviors to manage uncomfortable feelings about eating such as vomiting, excessive exercising, laxatives, etc. The person engages in recurrent episodes of binge eating and feels a loss of control.

Some of the warning signs of an eating problem include the following:

  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Feeling  weak or fatigued
  • Constipation
  • Excessive or compulsive exercising
  • Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
  • Dehydration and kidney problems
  • Amenorrhea (absent of menstrual cycle)
  • Fine  body hair called "lanugo" develops on the arms
  • Stomach  acid erodes tooth enamel

Many students may not even know that they have an eating disorder, and for those who know they have an eating disorder it can be difficult for them to seek help. If you are concerned that you, or someone you know may have an eating disorder, get help. The longer an eating disorder goes untreated, the greater the medical and psychological consequences.

Checklist of Symptoms for Eating Disorders

Websites to check out:

For more information stop into Student Health Services or call 716.286.8390

January 2011: HPV Awareness Month

  • Approximately 20 million Americans are currently infected with HPV.
  • Another 6 million people become newly infected each year.
  • HPV is so common that at least 50 percent of sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives.

Did you know?

Student Health Services offers the HPV vaccine to college students? Check out these websites to get the facts on HPV.

Get Your Butt Out of My Face

Over 3,000 people a year develop lung cancer without ever touching a cigarette. Smokers don't just hurt themselves...

Thinking About Quitting?

  • You can get a month's supply of nicotine patches free from the New York State Smoker's Quitline (1.888.609.6292)
  • You can also get a free Quit Kit with helpful tips and information at Student Health Services
  • Health Services also offers support and advice - for free, of course. Drop in or call us at 716.286.8390, we're here to help you quit! www.cancer.org

For more information stop into Student Health Services or call 716.286.8390