November 2018 - Lung Disease Awareness
A Message from Your Hometown Health Manager
One of the BEST ways to save time at your local "Know Your Numbers" health screening event is to complete your online health assessment prior to your appointment. This can be accessed anytime on your Hometown Health Portal .

By taking this step in advance, you will only need to input your results into your health assessment and be out the door within a couple of minutes.

Once you complete your online health assessment and complete your health screening you will receive a $25 Visa gift card!
If your municipality is not hosting an onsite screening or if you are unable to attend the event, please be sure to visit your healthcare provider and bring a copy of the Qualification Form with you! You will still earn a $25 reward for your submission. 

This form is also available on your Hometown Health portal, from your local HR office, or by requesting one via email from

Check out this month’s wellness newsletter that is filled with helpful tips below! Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions.

All the Best,

Gwen Mahabir
Warning Signs of Lung Disease
A nagging cough or slight wheeze may barely register in the course of our busy days, but it's critically important to pay attention to even mild symptoms. Sometimes people think having trouble breathing is just something that comes with getting older.

It is important to pay attention to these symptoms as they could be the first signs of lung disease, including COPD, asthma and lung cancer. Knowing the early warning signs of lung disease can help you receive treatment before the disease becomes serious or even life threatening. If you experience any of the following warning signs, make an appointment with your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Early detection could save your life.

Warning Signs

  • Chronic cough: A cough that you have had for a month or longer is considered chronic. This is an important early symptom that tells you something is wrong with your respiratory system.
  • Shortness of breath: It's not normal to experience shortness of breath that doesn't go away after exercising, or that you have after little or no exertion. Labored or difficult breathing—the feeling that it is hard to breathe in out—is also a warning sign.

Twenty Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Cancer Treatment
Cancer treatment can be complex. If you’re weighing your options, your mind may be filled with questions for your doctor. But you may not be sure where to begin.
And when you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s easy to forget what you wanted to ask. Taking the time to write down your questions before doctor visits can help.
When you have answers, you may feel more confident about your choices.

Here’s a starter list of common questions. You’ll likely have ones of your own.

Explore your options
1. What are my treatment options? Can you describe the risks and benefits?*
2. Which treatment — or combination of treatments — usually works best for my type and stage of cancer?
3. What other providers should I see to help determine the best treatment plan for me?
4. How and when will you know if my treatment is working?
5. What could happen if I chose not to be treated — or to stop treatment?

Inside Your Lungs: How Smoking Does Its Damage
Smoking is bad. We all know that.

In fact, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS), cigarettes are responsible for nearly 1 in 5 deaths in the United States.

But what exactly does smoking do to your lungs?

If you smoke, the answer to that question could be important. It may give you the extra nudge you need to quit tobacco for good.
Peril in every puff

To start with, consider that when you inhale tobacco smoke, it brings more than 7,000 chemicals into your lungs. Here are just a few you might be familiar with:

  • Cyanide — sometimes used to exterminate pests and vermin
  • Formaldehyde — used as a preservative in labs and mortuaries
  • Ammonia — included in many household and industrial cleaners
  • Carbon monoxide — the same poisonous gas that’s in car exhaust fumes
  • Benzene — found in gasoline

At least 70 of the chemicals in cigarettes are known to cause cancer, says the ACS.

Feelings and Cancer
Just as cancer affects your physical health, it can bring up a wide range of feelings you’re not used to dealing with. It can also make existing feelings seem more intense. They may change daily, hourly, or even minute to minute. This is true whether you’re currently in treatment, done with treatment, or a friend or family member. These feelings are all normal.

Often the values you grew up with affect how you think about and cope with cancer. For example, some people:

  • Feel they have to be strong and protect their friends and families
  • Seek support and turn to loved ones or other cancer survivors
  • Ask for help from counselors or other professionals
  • Turn to their faith to help them cope

Whatever you decide, it's important to do what's right for you and not to compare yourself with others. Your friends and family members may share some of the same feelings. If you feel comfortable, share this information with them. 

Florida League of Cities | | 850.222.9684