One of the best tools we have for creating a healthy community is the power of human connection. That’s why raising awareness for the numerous conditions and diseases that impact us every day is so important: It raises our level of understanding, makes us more mindful of our health and of those around us, and rallies us together to show support.
KIRO 7 - through KIRO 7 CARES – partners with many local organizations whose mission it is to prevent and eradicate diseases and other health problems that plague so many locally, nationally, and globally. All throughout March we are shining a light on the important work being done by these organizations with the hope that through awareness and activism we can all play a part in making a positive impact. In addition to providing important information and resources, we will promote events and activities that help to create a ripple effect of positivity and empowerment for not only those living with health conditions, but their loved ones too.
We hope through this endeavor you will be more informed, empowered, and motivated to make a difference.
How do you know if your joint symptoms mean you have arthritis? Only a health care professional can tell you for sure, but certain signs usually point to arthritis. There are four important warning signs that should prompt you to talk to a health care provider.
Pain from arthritis can be constant or it may come and go. It may occur when at rest or while moving. Pain may be in one part of the body or in many different parts.
Some types of arthritis cause the skin over the affected joint to become red and swollen, feeling warm to the touch. Swelling that lasts for three days or longer or occurs more than three times a month should prompt a visit to the doctor.
This is a classic arthritis symptom, especially when waking up in the morning or after sitting at a desk or riding in a car for a long time. Morning stiffness that lasts longer than an hour is good reason to suspect arthritis.
4. Difficulty moving a joint.
It shouldn’t be that hard or painful to get up from your favorite chair.
Your experience with these symptoms will help your doctor pin down the type and extent of arthritis. Before visiting the doctor, keep track of your symptoms for a few weeks, noting what is swollen and stiff, when, for how long and what helps ease the symptoms.
For more information, visit the Arthritis Foundation web site at www.arthritis.org.
Autoimmune diseases strike one in 15 Americans including about 18 million women and 5 million men. Autoimmune diseases are among the top 10 causes of death in female children and women in all age groups up to 64 years of age. The National Institutes of Health estimate autoimmune diseases cost an estimated $100 billion a year in medical care.
There are approximately 80 different types of autoimmune diseases. However, all autoimmune diseases have one thing in common: the immune system – which is designed to protect the body against infection - makes a mistake and attacks its own healthy tissue.
Learn more here from the Benaroya Research Institute
You might not realize it, but by donating blood, you’re essentially giving the gift of life to someone in need in your community. Blood donations are constantly needed to ensure that there’s an ample fresh supply on hand to provide for those who need blood transfusions because of illness or injury. To learn how you can make a life-saving donation, visit www.bloodworksnw.org.
Whether you or someone you love has cancer, knowing what to expect can help you cope. From basic information about cancer and its causes to in-depth information on specific cancer types – including risk factors, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment options – you'll find it here with the American Cancer Society’s Cancer A-Z.
Cancer Pathways (formerly Gilda’s Club) also provides unique programs to learn how to live with cancer and can help you discover the pathways of support you want and need. Some of their offerings include:
- When Cancer Comes to Work - Employee-employer navigation of cancer in the workplace (for both patients and caregivers)
- Cancer Happens - Free teen cancer prevention education for teenagers
- Camp Sparkle - Free, week-long summer day camp for children ages 6-12 who are affected by cancer
- Cancer Education & Health Advocacy Seminar for Migrant and Seasonal Farm Workers
- Other support & educational programs:
- Adult support groups
- Family support program
- Helpful articles on recently popular topics - including vaping and e-cigarettes
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is at the forefront of the fight to cure cancer and are the largest nonprofit dedicated to creating a world without blood cancers – which includes leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma. LLS has great resources available on disease information, support resources, and education resources.
Air pollution can have a huge impact on health, and the Seattle-Tacoma area is ranked as the 15th most polluted area for short term particle pollution in the U.S. You can view your area’s air pollution levels through the American Lung Association’s State of the Air report and take steps to make our air cleaner and healthier and see 10 tips to keeping your lungs healthy. Want to take a more active role in cleaning up the air? Participate in the Lung Association’s Climb for Clean Air mountaineering program or Reach the Beach Cycle for Air ride to get active and fight for clean air.
Additional article: 10 Tips to Keep Your Lungs Healthy
Cystic fibrosis is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time.
Diabetes is the name given to disorders in which the body has trouble regulating its blood-glucose, or blood-sugar, levels.
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas are mistakenly destroyed by the body’s immune system. T1D seems to have a genetic component and can be diagnosed early in life but also in adulthood. Its causes are not fully known, and there is currently no cure. People with T1D are dependent on injected or pumped insulin to survive.
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is often diagnosed later in life and can be due to genetic predisposition or behavior. T2D is a metabolic disorder in which a person’s body still produces insulin but is unable to use it effectively. It can be managed with diet and exercise or medication. More serious cases may require insulin therapy.
Though they share the name diabetes, the two diseases are quite different.
JDRF Greater Northwest has the following resources to help you navigate your experience with diabetes:
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs). "Chronic" means that the signs and symptoms tend to last longer than six weeks and often for many years.
In lupus, something goes wrong with the immune system, which is the part of the body that fights off viruses, bacteria, and germs ("foreign invaders," like the flu). Normally our immune systems produce proteins called "antibodies" which protect the body from these invaders.
On average, it takes nearly 6 years for people with lupus to be diagnosed from the time they first notice their symptoms. The Lupus Foundation of America is working to change this. Getting an early diagnosis of lupus is critical to preventing long-term consequences of the disease.
To learn more, visit www.lupus.org.
Lung Cancer is the number one cancer killer of both men and women in the U.S, according to the American Lung Association. And in the last 41 years, the rate of new lung cancer cases has increased 87 percent among women. Anyone can get lung cancer. Smoking is the greatest risk factor, but there are others like exposure to radon gas and air pollution. Do you know if you’re at risk for lung cancer? Visit SavedBytheScan.org to see if you meet certain criteria to get a lung cancer screening quiz. Lung cancer screening can help find lung cancer at an early stage when it is easier to treat.
- Stroke can be caused either by a clot obstructing the flow of blood to the brain (called an ischemic stroke) or by a blood vessel rupturing and preventing blood flow to the brain (called a hemorrhagic stroke).
- Treatment Options depend on the type of stroke.
- A TIA (transient ischemic attack), or "mini stroke", is caused by a temporary clot.
- F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember how to recognize a stroke and what to do. Spot a stroke FAST.
Learn more about stroke from these resources from the American Heart Association.
March 7th: Komen Puget Sound Grace Notes Gala
March 7th: JDRF Seattle Guild Dream Gala
March 25th: Lung Force Walk Kickoff
MARCH CAUSE AWARENESS MONTHS
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