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January is Cervical Cancer Screening Month and Family Practice Center would like to remind women to get their regular Pap screening to help prevent cervical cancer - call today to schedule an appointment (260) 423-2675.

What is Cervical Cancer?

Cervical cancer begins in the cervix, the narrow organ at the bottom of the uterus that connects to the vagina. The cervix dilates during childbirth to allow for passage of a baby.

The American Cancer Society estimates there were 12,200 new cases of cervical cancer diagnosed in the United States in 2010.

Routine Pap Screening has reduced the incidence of cervical cancer in the United States, which was once a leading cause of death. The Pap test can find changes in the cervix before cancer develops. It can also detect cervical cancer in its earliest stage.

Types of Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer starts when the cells that line the cervix begin to develop abnormal changes. Over time, these abnormal cells may become cancerous or they may return to normal. The majority of women do not develop cancer from abnormal cells.

There are two main types of cervical cancer: squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. Each one is distinguished by the appearance of cells under a microscope.

  • Squamous Cell Carcinomas begin in the thin, flat cells that line the bottom of the cervix. This type of cervical cancer accounts for 80 to 90 percent of cervical cancers.
  • Adenocarcinomas develop in the glandular cells that line the upper portion of the cervix. These cancers make up 10 to 20 percent of cervical cancers. Sometimes, both types of cells are involved in cervical cancer. Other types of cancer can develop in the cervix, but these are rare.
  • Metastatic cervical cancer is cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.

Source: Cancer Treatment Centers of America, for more information visit - .

February is Heart Health Month and Family Practice Center would like to encourage everyone to have a healthy heart. 

Do you know how these controllable risk factors affect your risk of heart disease, stroke and metabolic syndrome?

  • smoking
  • high blood pressure
  • high blood cholesterol
  • diabetes
  • being overweight or obese
  • physical inactivity

It's essential that you measure your risk of heart disease and make a plan for how to prevent it in the near future. Use this tool to help you assess your risk of having a heart attack or dying from coronary heart disease in the next 10 years. It will also check to see if you may have metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors that greatly increase your chances of developing cardiovascular disease, including stroke and diabetes. This Risk Assessment can be use by people age 20 or older who do not already have heart disease or diabetes.

After you have finished using the tool, you can upload your results into your personal Google HealthTM account or you can print a copy of your risk assessment results, risk factor summary report, metabolic syndrome assessment and action plans for those areas you need to work on in order to reduce your risk.

Source: American Heart Association, for more information and to take the risk assessment visit -

March is Colorectal Cancer Prevention Month and Family Practice Center would like to remind everyone to pay attention to their colorectal health - call today to schedule an appointment (260) 423-2675.

Colorectal Cancer Introduction

Colorectal cancer is cancer of the colon or rectum. It's as common in women as it is in men.

This year, over 142,500 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and nearly 51,400 will die of the disease. With certain types of screening, this cancer can be prevented by removing polyps (grape-like growths on the wall of the intestine) before they become cancerous. Several screening tests detect colorectal cancer early, when it can be more easily and successfully treated.

At Risk

  • People age 50 and older
  • People who smoke
  • People who are overweight or obese, especially those who carry fat around their waists
  • People who aren't physically active
  • People who drink alcohol in excess, especially men
  • People who eat a lot of red meat (such as beef, pork or lamb) or processed meat (such as bacon, sausage, hot dogs or cold cuts)
  • People with personal or family histories of colorectal cancer or benign (not cancerous) colorectal polyps
  • People with personal histories of inflammatory bowel disease (such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease)
  • People with family histories of inherited colorectal cancer or inherited colorectal problems

Risk Reduction and Early Detection

  • Be physically active for at least 30 minutes, at least five days a week.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Don't smoke. If you do smoke, quit.
  • If you drink alcohol, have no more than one drink a day if you're a woman or two drinks a day if you're a man.
  • Eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains to help you get and stay healthy.
  • Eat less red meat and cut out processed meat.

Source: Prevent Cancer Foundation, for more information visit -

April is Minority Cancer Prevention Month and Family Practice Center is here to provide critical cancer screening services - call today to schedule an appointment (260) 423-2675.

Cancer's Burden Can Be Heaviest Among the Poor, Ethnic Minorities and the Uninsured

April 6, 2011 | Heather Burchfield

While one in three Americans will develop some form of cancer according to the National Cancer Institute's Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities, it is the number one cause of death for many racial and ethnic minorities in the U.S.  Health disparities have been defined by the differences in health conditions among specific populations, and many times cancer's burden is heaviest among the poor, ethnic minorities and the uninsured.

Cancer has hit the African American population particularly hard. The American Cancer Society noted that cancer death rates for African American men were about 37 percent higher than those for white men. African American women have a lower cancer diagnosis rate than white women, but they are about 17 percent more likely to die from it. Research has indicated that African Americans do not participate in clinical trials as often as non-Hispanic whites due to mistrust or poor communication.

Debbie Wujcik , Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center's director of clinical trial training and outreach, noted that lack of health care access is linked to health disparities, which may lead to a cancer diagnosis at a late stage in the disease process. She also pointed out that cultural beliefs and fear of the medical system can cause someone to delay seeking care even if they have insurance.

African Americans are not the only group with a high rate of cancer fatalities. The Office of Minority Health reports that cancer is the number one killer for Asians and Pacific Islanders. Hispanics have a higher rate of uterine, cervical, liver and stomach cancer. Native Americans are twice as likely to suffer from stomach and/or liver cancer.

Many social factors come into play when health disparities are discussed. Differences in income and education, racial bias and environmental deterrents are some of those variables.

"The risk of certain cancers is related to health behaviors such as obesity, smoking or sedentary behavior," Wujcik said.  "These behaviors are more prevalent in some minority groups."

While it is important for you to be aware of your cancer risk, it is also important for you health care provider to be aware of and address the many factors that contribute to disparities. Wujcik said one example would be chemotherapy and targeted drugs.

"It is not known if chemotherapy and targeted drugs work the same across all populations because the drugs are not tested in significant numbers across all minority/ethnic populations. Extra effort to include all representative groups in clinical trials is one important step in our effort to address those questions," Wujcik noted. "All health care providers can discuss with their patients the risk factors for the development of cancer and the importance of prevention and early detection."

Regular cancer screenings and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are key ways to help reduce your cancer risk or improve your chances of beating cancer if you are diagnosed.  Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center's associate director of Patient and Community Education, Anne Washburn, said that the Cancer Center recommends minorities make informed decisions about their potential cancer risk by accessing educational materials and talking with their health care team.

"The Cancer Center disseminates free educational materials about cancer risk via the Patient and Family Resource Center," Washburn noted. "In addition, the VICC Office of Patient and Community Education hosts numerous community education programs and health fairs throughout the year."

Source: Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, for more information visit -

May is Osteoporosis Prevention Month and Family Practice Center is here to remind women - call today to schedule an appointment (260) 423-2675.

Osteoporosis is a debilitating disease in which bones become fragile and are more likely to break. It has been called the "silent disease" because there are often no symptoms until the fracture occurs. In most cases, osteoporosis can be prevented by:

  • Eating foods high in calcium;
  • Getting plenty of exercise;
  • Not smoking; and,
  • Limiting alcohol use.

Early detection is easy. The Department of Health advises adults to ask their doctor or health care provider if they should have a bone density scan to detect loss of bone mass. The scan is safe, quick and painless. Several options are now available to treat osteoporosis.

According to a report released in February of this year by the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), entitled America's Bone Health: The State of Osteoporosis and Low Bone Mass In Our Nation, an estimated 44 million men and women aged 50 and older either have low bone mass or osteoporosis. The current estimated price tag for America in direct medical costs for treating fractures resulting from osteoporosis is $18 billion annually in 2002 dollars and costs are rising.

The report also shows by the year 2010, it is estimated that over 52 million men and women over the age of 50 will either have osteoporosis or be at risk. When the youngest of the 77 million Baby Boomers turn 56 in 2020, the numbers climb to over 61 million-a figure that poses a staggering challenge to U.S. health care in terms of costs and the ability to provide care.

NOF also reports the increase of osteoporosis in men. The prevalence of low bone mass in men is estimated at nearly 12 million in 2002. The report further points out that these figures are expected to climb to over 14 million in 2010 and 17 million by 2020.

Source: Florida Department of Health, for more information visit - or

June is Home Safety Month and Family Practice Center wants everyone to think about safety in their home.

Health department notes June-Home Safety Month

Posted Online: June 09, 2011, 3:18 pm

Press release submitted by RaeAnn Tucker-Marshall

The Henry and Stark County Health Departments announces that June has been designated National Home Safety Month. The Health Department, in conjunction with the Home Safety Council, promotes Home Safety Month in order to educate and empower both families and businesses to take actions that will make homes safe.

Ask Americans where they feel safest and most will say their own home. However, unintentional injuries in the home result in nearly 21 million medical visits on average each year."

We hope to bring attention to the serious problem of preventable home injuries and its leading causes: falls, poisonings, fires and burns," says, RaeAnn Tucker-Marshall, Health Department Director of Public Information. "Just a few simple steps can dramatically reduce the dangers in most homes and may even make a lifesaving difference."

Throughout Home Safety Month, the Home Safety Council encourages the public to consider their home's danger areas and take some simple steps to minimize their risk from potential injuries, even death.


* Instill smoke alarms on every level of your home and in or near all bedrooms, and test the batteries at least once a month so you'll know they are working.

* Plan a home fire drill and practice it at least twice a year. Memorize the fire department's emergency telephone number.

* Use safety covers in electrical outlets and anti-scald devices in faucets in homes with young children.


* Make sure all porches, hallways and stairwells are well lit. Use the maximum safe wattage in light fixtures. (Maximum wattage is typically posted inside light fixtures.)

* Use a non-slip mat, or install strips or decals in bathtubs and showers.

* Install grab bars in bath and shower stalls.


* Keep medicines and household chemicals and cleaners up high, out of the reach of children, preferably in a locked cabinet.

* Install a carbon monoxide detector near sleeping areas in the home.

* Put your poison control center number (1-800-222-1222) near every phone.

Visit the Home Safety Resource Center at to review and download free information, including safety checklists and additional tips to help safeguard your family or contact the Health Department at or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments.

Source: Quad-Cities Online and the Home Safety Council, for more information visit - or or

July is Fireworks Safety Month and Family Practice Center wants everyone to think about safety as they enjoy July 4th weekend.

Review National Council On Fireworks Safety's Tips...

1.       Use fireworks outdoors only.

2.       Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.

3.       Always have water handy. (A hose or bucket).

4.       Only use fireworks as intended. Don't try to alter them or combine them.

5.       Never relight a "dud" firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.

6.       Use common sense. Spectators should keep a safe distance from the shooter and the shooter should wear safety glasses.

7.       Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Have a "designated shooter."

8.       Only persons over the age of 12 should be allowed to handle sparklers of any type.

9.       Do not ever use homemade fireworks of illegal explosives: They can kill you! Report illegal explosives to the fire or police department in your community.

Source: National Council On Fireworks Safety, Inc., for more information visit -

August is Immunization Awareness Month and Family Practice Center wants everyone to be aware of when immunizations are needed and to keep them up-to-date - call today to schedule an appointment (260) 423-2675.

  • August is National Immunization Awareness Month. This observance provides the opportunity to remind the community of the importance of immunization. Make sure that your family and friends are up-to-date on their immunizations.
  • In August, parents are enrolling children in school, older students are entering college and adults and the health care community are preparing for the upcoming flu season. This makes August a particularly good time to focus community attention on the value of immunization.
  • Vaccines are responsible for the control of many infectious diseases that were once common in this country. Vaccines have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that once routinely killed or harmed tens of thousands of infants, children and adults.
  • The viruses and bacteria that cause vaccine-preventable diseases and death still exist and can infect people who are not protected by vaccines. Vaccine-preventable diseases have a costly impact, resulting in doctors' visits, hospitalizations and premature deaths. Sick children can also cause parents to lose time from work.
  • Maintaining high immunization rates protects the entire community by interrupting the transmission of disease-causing bacteria or viruses. This reduces the risk that unimmunized people will be exposed to disease-causing agents. This type of protection is known as community or herd immunity, and embodies the concept that protecting the majority with safe, effective vaccines also protects those who cannot be immunized for medical reasons.

Source:, for more information visit -

September is Cholesterol Education Month and Family Practice Center wants everyone to be aware of their cholesterol levels - call today to schedule an appointment (260) 423-2675.

September is National Cholesterol Education Month, a good time to get your blood cholesterol checked and take steps to lower it if it is high. National Cholesterol Education Month is also a good time to learn about lipid profiles and about food and lifestyle choices that help you reach personal cholesterol goals.

High blood cholesterol affects over 65 million Americans. It is a serious condition that increases your risk for heart disease. The higher your cholesterol level, the greater the risk. You can have high cholesterol and not know it. Lowering cholesterol levels that are too high lessens your risk for developing heart disease and reduces the chance of having a heart attack or dying of heart disease.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute offers helpful resources to use during National Cholesterol Education Month.

Source: National Heart Lung and Blood Institute - National Institutes of Health, for more information visit -

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Family Practice Center wants every woman to take an active role in their breast health - call today to schedule an appointment (260) 423-2675.

What is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. It is considered a heterogeneous disease-differing by individual, age group, and even the kinds of cells within the tumors themselves. Obviously no woman wants to receive this diagnosis, but hearing the words "breast cancer" doesn't always mean an end. It can be the beginning of learning how to fight, getting the facts, and finding hope.

Women in the United States get breast cancer more than any other type of cancer except for skin cancer. It is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death in women.

Each year it is estimated that nearly 200,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die. Approximately 1,700 men will also be diagnosed with breast cancer and 450 will die each year. The evaluation of men with breast masses is similar to that in women, including mammography.

Common signs & symptoms of breast cancer include:

  • A change in how the breast or nipple feels
    You may experience nipple tenderness or notice a lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm area.
  • A change in how the breast or nipple looks. This could mean a change in the size or shape of the breast or a nipple that is turned slightly inward. In addition, the skin of the breast, areola or nipple may appear scaly, red or swollen or may have ridges or pitting that resembles the skin of an orange.
  • Nipple discharge

Source: National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc., for more information visit -

November is Diabetes Awareness Month and Family Practice Center wants everyone to understand their risk for developing diabetes - call today to schedule an appointment (260) 423-2675.

Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), or simply, diabetes, is a group of diseases characterized by high blood glucose levels that result from defects in the body's ability to produce and/or use insulin.

Not sure what that means? This is the place to find out. We've covered all the basics here-and you'll find plenty of links to more in-depth information on a variety of topics and issues.

Type 1 - diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin.

Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. Only 5% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children with type 1 diabetes can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy, happy lives. You may also be interested in our book, Official Pocket Guide to Diabetic Exchanges, 2nd Edition.

Type 2 - diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Millions of Americans have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and many more are unaware they are at high risk. Some groups have a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes than others. Type 2 diabetes is more common inAfrican Americans,Latinos,Native Americans, and Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, as well as the aged population.

In type 2 diabetes, either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin. Insulin is necessary for the body to be able to use glucose for energy. When you eat food, the body breaks down all of the sugars and starches into glucose, which is the basic fuel for the cells in the body. Insulin takes the sugar from the blood into the cells. When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, it can lead to diabetes complications.

Gestational Diabetes - During pregnancy -- usually around the 24th week -- many women develop  gestational diabetes . A diagnosis of gestational diabetes doesn't mean that you had diabetes before you conceived, or that you will have diabetes after giving birth. But it's important to follow your doctor's advice regarding blood glucose (blood sugar) levels while you're planning your pregnancy, so you and your baby both remain healthy.  

Source: American Diabetes Association, for more information visit -

December is Handwashing Awareness Month and Family Practice Center wants everyone to understand the benefits of good hygiene and hand awareness.

The 4 Principles of Hand Awareness:

1. Wash your hands when they are dirty and BEFORE eating 

2. DO NOT cough into your hands 

3. DO NOT sneeze into your hands 

4. Above all, DO NOT put your fingers into your eyes, nose or mouth

Source: Henry The Hand - Infection Prevention Partnership, for more information visit -