Celebrating National Cancer Research Month

Celebrating National Cancer Research Month

National Cancer Research Month

May is National Cancer Research Month. It was started by the American Association of Cancer Research whose mission is focused on the prevention and cure of cancer through research, education, communication, collaboration, funding and advocacy. This is a time to commit ourselves to the fight against this life threatening disease and recognizing the importance of research needed to beat cancer.

Cancer is considered the second leading cause of death after heart disease in the US. However, due to advances in cancer research, it has saved lives and increased the survival rate in the past few years. According to the American Association for Cancer, the overall cancer death-rate declined by 27%. In 2019, it was reported that there are more than 16.9 million people who are cancer survivors. 64% of the survivors are aged 65 and older. And, it is estimated that in the coming years, around 73% of cancer survivors in the U.S will be aged 65 or older. Despite these achievements, more research needs to be conducted as this killer disease continues to be a public health issue in every corner of the globe.

Although there are a number of factors that may increase one’s risk of cancer, there is evidence that physical activity and adopting exercise as part of our lifestyle, plays a crucial part in both preventing and treating of cancer. Exercise can help in reduction of inflammation and help regulate blood sugar while improving metabolism and immune function. Research as shown that those who exercise at least 30 minutes a day are at lower risk of cancer and other chronic diseases than those who are sedentary. It also reduces the chances of cancer recurrence.

There are several benefits of exercise in cancer prevention and treatment including:

  • Lowering of hormones levels
  • Boosts immune health- secondary malignances increase the survival rate while it helps in flushing out bacteria through the lungs
  • Helps to maintain a healthy weight- obesity is a risk factor for many patients. Exercise can help ensure your body weight to help regulated and decrease risk of cancer
  • Helps to adverse side effects of treatment.

It is highly recommended that people with cancer should be physically active as possible as they are able. The recommended goal is 150 minutes per week (30 minutes a day; 5 days a week). Before starting any new exercise program, one should always consult with your doctor for more information and the dos and don’ts. Notable organizations such as Moving for Life and Strength for Life provide tailored exercise programs for cancer patients and survivors.

Remember, exercise can be as simple as taking walks, gardening or taking breaks in between long sitting hours or taking the stairs instead of the lifts.

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Celebrating our Nurses

Celebrating our Nurses

Nurses Week

The week of May 6-12 is National Nurses Week. What a more fitting time as we are currently facing a global health crisis than to celebrate the nurses who are working the front lines of this pandemic. They are the ones who are risking their health and making sacrifices to save lives. In their honor and the honor of the 200th birthday anniversary of Florence Nightingale, the World Health Organization (WHO) has designated the year 2020 as “The year of the Nurse.” They are our heroes and play a very vital role in the hospitals such as ensuring the proper care and hygiene of the patients under their care. Now more than ever they need our support. We can be their support system by recognizing them for all that they do.

The standard of the nurses’ honesty and ethics has been ranked the highest in any profession now for eighteen years in a row. That speak volumes about the skills the nurses are bringing to the healthcare industry. They are truly making a lifesaving difference every single day. The National Nurses Week is a time to celebrate and give recognition to nurses and the impact of the profession on health and our daily lives. The week culminates on May 12: which is also the birthday of Florence Nightingale. She worked in the field when nursing was viewed as the lowest of jobs and patients were admitted to a crowded and dirty hospital. Nightingale led a team of nurses to improve the unsanitary conditions and keep patient records at a British hospital during the Crimean war. This elevated the professionalism of nurses and led to changes in the design and practice of hospitals.

National Nurses Week began as a day proposed by Dorothy Sutherland of the US Department of Health, Education and Warfare in 1953. The proposal was unsuccessful, and no action was taken by the federal government. However, this didn’t stopped the movement to celebrate and recognize nurses. No momentum was gained until the 1970s. In 1974, the International Council of Nurses announced May 12 would be International Nurses Day. During the same year, the White House and President Richard Nixon issued a proclamation for National Nurse Week and it has been celebrated ever since. There are several ways in which you can celebrate:

  • Recognize the nurses in your family. Check on them regularly and show love
  • Create and send thank you cards to your local hospital
  • Donate food or have it delivered for the nurses
  • Donate money to a nonprofit that supports the Nursing profession.

At a time like this, nurses are the backbone of our health system and we want to celebrate you. What you do is a calling and now more than ever we are saying thank you! Tell us your story, why you decided on this journey using the hashtag #ibeacameanursebecause.

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