January 2016
Health Observances 
Awareness Month 


The American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) and the National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC) have named  January  Cervical Health Awareness Month Cervical Cancer was once the most common cancer among American women Over the course of last 40 years, the death rate of cervical cancer has decreased tremendously. This decline can be attributed to preventive screening tests and vaccinations .   Human papillomavirus (HPV), a class of more than 100 viruses that causes various skin conditions, is associated with 99% of cervical cancer diagnoses. HPV is very common with roughly 70% of the U.S. population carrying some form of the virus.

Despite being one of the most common cancers among women, cervical cancer is a highly preventable and treatable cancer. Women over the age of 30 can have both a pap test and an HPV test to screen for cervical cancer risk. The HPV vaccines is recommended for younger females ages 11-12 and women 13-26 by the CDC There are significant disparities in cervical cancer.  Compared to White women, cervical cancer rates are 45% higher among Black women and 65% higher among Hispanic women. Women of color are also more likely to die from cervical cancer in comparison to White women. Visit the NCCC site to learn more about cervical cancer and w hat you can do to help educate the public about cervical health.

Speed the cure. Spread the word.

Glaucoma refers to several degenerative eye complications that can lead to vision loss or blindness resulting from damage to the optic nerve. Over 3 million Americans suffer from glaucoma, this number is projected to increase by more than 40% by the year 2030, according to the National Eye Institute. Many effected by glaucoma are not aware of it until it is too late to reverse the damages. Older adults, people with diabetes and certain minorities are at a higher risk for developing Glaucoma. African Americans, for example, are 6 to 8 times more likely to suffer from glaucoma than their White counterparts. Studies have also shown that Blacks are less likely to receive glaucoma screenings.

There are many efforts underway to educate the public about glaucoma, promote preventive methods and find a cure. The Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF) recommends routine eye exams for early detection of Glaucoma. Join the National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP) to help promote awareness glaucoma and eye health.  Click here to learn more about Glaucoma and access useful educational materials.

Thyroid Awareness Month

January is Thyroid Awareness Month! The thyroid is a small, gland located in the center of the neck just below the Adam's apple. P laying  a significant role in the body, the thyroid influences the function of many important organs, including the heart, brain, liver, kidneys and skin. Two common thyroid conditions are hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism is an under-active thyroid that may result in an abnormally low heartbeat, weakness, fatigue, weight gain, depression and poor memory. Hyperthyroidism is an overactive thyroid that causes weight loss, high blood pressure, anxiety and insomnia. Other thyroid-related conditions include Graves' Disease, thyroid cancer and Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Though small, the thyroid is a vital gland that contributes to optimal health. For  more information on thyroid health click here.
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HPRC is supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) of the National Institutes of Health under award number #1U54MD008608-01. This content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.