February is a month filled with important awareness efforts including National Cancer Prevention Month. National Cancer Prevention Month includes the Coaches vs. Cancer 3-point college basketball challenges held throughout the month as well as World Cancer Day, which takes place annually on February 4th. American Heart Month is another important awareness effort that occurs in February each year. Learn more about how to get involved and support these impactful missions!
National Cancer Prevention Month
The focus of National Cancer Prevention Month is to support research to prevent cancer, raise national awareness of the preventable causes of cancer and to increase early detection of cancer [i]. Nearly one third of cancer cases in the United States can be prevented by known methods such as diet and exercise [ii]. Due to the large amount of preventable cases in America, raising awareness and encouraging small yet impactful lifestyle changes can make a difference [iii]. How can you join the movement?
- Get moving! Help to decrease your risk of preventable cancers by making small changes in your lifestyle [iv].
- Be smart in the sun! Wear sunscreen, hats, and layers to decrease the risk of skin damage and sunburns [ii].
- Practice self-care. Get annual check ups and the recommended screenings for your age group, gender and risk factors [iv].
- Establish healthy practices at home. Healthy practices and routines can be established in childhood to encourage healthy weight, regular exercise, and limiting the use of tobacco and alcohol [iii].
- Check out the American Institute for Cancer Research to learn more about cancer prevention and raising awareness this month [v].
American Heart Month
In the United States, heart disease is the number one cause of deaths for both men and women each year [vi]. American Heart Month aims to increase the practice of healthy lifestyles of men and women in an effort to decrease the preventable causes of heart disease. This month also focuses on raising awareness of the amount of those impacted by heart disease each year and ways in which this can be decreased [vi]. How can you make a difference?
- Spice up your food! Use spices and seasonings to flavor meals in the place of salt [vi].
- Bring awareness into your school or institution. Encourage administrations to consider hosting events to support American Heart Month at your place of work or school [vi].
- #OurHearts movement: Use Twitter as a way to spread awareness! Check out this calendar to find the #OurHearts theme for each week in February [vii].
- What do you know about heart disease? Click here to take the CDC’s Heart Disease Quiz to test your knowledge about heart disease! [viii].
[i] Advancing the Science of Cancer Prevention. Retrieved from: https://www.aacrfoundation.org/Pages/february-is-national-cancer-prevention-month.aspx
[ii] National Cancer Prevention Month. Retrieved from: https://www.cancersupportcommunity.org/blog/2017/02/national-cancer-prevention-month
[iii] February is National Cancer Awareness Month. Retrieved from: https://catchinfo.org/cancer-prevention-month/
[iv] National Cancer Prevention Month. Retrieved from: https://www.nfcr.org/blog/national-cancer-prevention-month/
[v] American Institute for Cancer Research. Retrieved from: http://www.aicr.org/press/press-releases/2019/aicr-can-prevent-month-2019.html
[vi] American Heart Month. Retrieved from: https://healthfinder.gov/NHO/FebruaryToolkit.aspx
[vii] About American Heart Month. Retrieved from: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/education-and-awareness/american-heart-month/about
[viii] Heart Disease Quiz. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/quiz.htm