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March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

colon cancerMarch is Colorectal Cancer Awareness month. Did you know that it is the third most common cancer in the United States, and it is the second leading cause of cancer deaths? Colorectal cancer, or colon cancer, affects men and women equally and is usually found in people ages 50 years or older. With the right precautions, colorectal cancer is preventable and can be detected early with regular screenings.

Since 90 percent of new cases occur in people ages 50 or older, it is recommended for men and woman to begin getting screened at that age. Survival rate for individuals who have early stage colorectal cancer is 90 percent but only 10 percent when diagnosed after it’s spread to other organs. Colonoscopies and other screenings help detect abnormalities and can save lives.

Remember, colon cancer is preventable, treatable and beatable in most cases. Screening and early detection is key!

To schedule your screening for colorectal cancer, call NurseDirect at 1-800-362-9900.

To show your support and help raise awareness for Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, join us in wearing blue this Friday, March 7.

 

Five Guidelines to Follow When Stretching

shutterstock_171467156“So, how much do you bench?”
“What’s your mile time?”
“How far can you get on the sit-and-reach?”

One of those doesn’t sound so familiar. Flexibility is something that is often forgotten by many. This is unfortunate because maintaining, or even increasing our flexibility, is something that greatly benefits our body in the long run.

As we age our body’s ability to go through its full range of motion naturally decreases. This is due to the fact that many of our daily activities cause our muscles to be in shortened positions without us even realizing it. For example, sitting at our computers often causes the front muscles of our chest to become tight and the muscles of our backs to lengthen. Sitting at a desk over-activates the hip flexor muscles. This causes the pelvis to become rotated, which can lead to several other problems. All of these imbalances can lead to aches, pains and additional injuries down the road.

What we do on a daily basis can put our bodies into poor and imbalanced positions, so it becomes increasingly important that flexibility exercises become part of our daily routine. Stretching allows us to maintain the body’s full range of motion and can correct any inequalities in muscle length.

Continue Reading »

This Valentine’s Day Give a Gift From the Heart!

shutterstock_165701831A lot of people start to sweat and panic when thinking about what to give their sweetheart on Valentine’s Day. The usual gifts come to mind: a box of chocolates, a bouquet of flowers, dinner and a movie or other tried and true gifts. However, February is not only the month to celebrate love. It’s also American Heart Month. With that in mind, here are a few tips on how to spice up your Valentine’s Day the healthy way.

For your culinary-minded friends

  • Consider a basket containing a variety of whole-wheat pastas and different kinds of spaghetti sauce.
  • A gift-boxed container of several types of spices or salts from different parts of the world.
  • A basket containing an array of teas or coffee may be just what your tea (or coffee) loving friend wants.
  • Several bottles of wine packed with an assortment of cheese would be a gift to consider. Studies show that moderate* consumption of red wine may be beneficial to your heart. Naturally occurring flavonoids and other compounds such as resveratrol help reduce the risk of some forms of heart disease.
  • Go to a wine tasting event and learn about bouquet, balance and body. Learn what it means when a sommelier speaks of a wine’s legs, tears or what a vertical tasting means.**
  • Cooking classes provide a fun opportunity for couples to enjoy a culinary experience and share what they have learned. Continue Reading »

February is Heart Awareness Month

heart monthFebruary is American Heart Awareness Month. It’s dedicated to raising awareness about heart disease and increasing knowledge about prevention. Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States? The good news is that heart disease can be prevented, and the first step is education.

What is heart disease?
Heart disease is a term for any type of disorder that affects the heart. It may also be referred to as cardiovascular disease or coronary heart disease.

A disease in the heart can manifest in four major ways:

  1. Heart attack
  2. Stroke
  3. Heart failure
  4. Arrhythmia

Causes of heart disease correspond to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, family history and smoking. Continue Reading »

Get Heart Healthy

heart foodHeart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. This includes heart attack, stroke and peripheral artery disease.

Most of the risk factors for heart disease can be prevented or treated with lifestyle changes and medication. Risk factors include:

  • Diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Dyslipidemia (high triglycerides and low HDL or “good” cholesterol)
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Heavy alcohol use

People with multiple risk factors are at higher risk for developing heart disease. Here are some steps you can take to decrease your risks. Continue Reading »

Disclaimer: The information found on Affinity's blog is a general educational aid. Do not rely on this information or treat it as a substitute for personal medical or health care advice, or for diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your physician or other qualified health care provider as soon as possible about any medical or health-related question and do not wait for a response from our experts before such consultation. If you have a medical emergency, seek medical attention immediately.

The Affinity Health System blog contains opinions and views created by community members. Affinity does endorse the contributions of community members. You should not assume the information posted by community members is accurate and you should never disregard or delay seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this site.