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'awareness' posts

Breast cancer awareness is about information, not a color

In recent years, the colors of October seem to have changed from red, orange, and gold to pink, pink and more pink. I have always loved pink, well before becoming a breast cancer surgeon, but like many of us, I find the pink of October overwhelming, especially at this point in the month.

I appreciate and endorse the continued focus on breast cancer, but often the important information is drowned out by the rah-rah-rah of the awareness campaigns. Many women (and men) are “aware” of breast cancer, but never truly become aware of what it really is, what it really means, until they find themselves dealing with the cold terror of a palpable mass or a call-back after mammogram. They need information, not just pink blenders. 

Breast cancer is ...

2013 Heart & Stroke Walk

On October 26th the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association will be hosting the 2013 Puget Sound Heart & Stroke Walk in Seattle.

On average, someone in the U.S. experiences a stroke every 40 seconds.  Stroke can be a devastating disease, leaving many survivors with significant disabilities and leaving a permanent footprint on the lives of loved ones. 

The Puget Sound Heart & Stroke Walk gives us the opportunity to honor the survivors in our lives or the loved ones we have lost as we continue the fight to prevent stroke and improve stroke treatments. 

I will be walking in honor of ..

Cancer Awareness and Community Events

Nearly every month of the year has been recognized as a cancer-related awareness month. Cancer awareness months provide the perfect opportunity to share information about specific types of cancer in order to increase knowledge about symptoms, screenings and treatment options, to reduce the stigma of cancer, and to help raise funds for cancer research.

Whether you show your support by wearing a cancer awareness color or ribbon, discuss cancer-related information with family members and friends, or attend a community event or fundraiser, your voice counts. We encourage you to help spread the word and express the importance of education, prevention, early detection and treatment:

Atrial fibrillation (afib) awareness

September is National Atrial Fibrillation Awareness month! 

Atrial fibrillation (afib) is an abnormal heart rhythm that may lead to increased risk of stroke or other heart-related problems.  

Common signs and symptoms of afib include:

  • Rapid and irregular heartbeat
  • Fluttering or “thumping” in the chest
  • Faintness, dizziness or weakness
  • Shortness of breath and anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Chest pain

For individuals with atrial fibrillation or flutter, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  This includes following ....

Second Annual Oral Cancer Walk for Awareness

Last year marked Seattle’s first oral cancer awareness walk. The Swedish Head and Neck Surgery Clinic was proud to get behind the cause and walk alongside of our patients. The 2012 walk was a great success with about 300 participants and close to $60,000 generated in funds. Next month we hope to surpass that goal by raising $75,000 on September 14, 2013, with the second annual 5K walk for oral cancer awareness. The walk is a fundraising event for the whole family, set to take place at Magnuson Park.

Oral cancer is a type of head and neck cancer that, unfortunately, is on the rise. This is the most common site of cancer in the head and neck. We used to see  ...

What you should know about Hepatitis B or C on World Hepatitis Day

Break out the champagne and streamers—it’s World Hepatitis Day! Okay, so it might not sound like much of party, but if you are one of the millions of people with viral Hepatitis there is no reason to be a wallflower.

Over 500 million people around the world are infected with either Hepatitis B or C, the two most common forms of chronic viral Hepatitis. Both Hepatitis B and C are viruses that can cause chronic inflammation in the liver. Over the course of years this can lead to scarring in the liver and ultimately cirrhosis—severe scarring and fibrosis of the liver where liver function can be comprised. Additionally, these chronic viruses, particularly Hepatitis B, can increase the risk of developing a primary cancer of the liver called hepatocellular cancer. The liver, unlike, say, the appendix, is a vital organ that—among other functions—stores and helps process nutrients, detoxifies and filters blood, and produces blood coagulants. In short, the liver is vital to life and a failing liver absent a liver transplant means trouble.

The best first step to combating these viruses is awareness. It is important to know the risk factors for these viruses and get tested if you are at risk. Hepatitis B and C differ somewhat in risk factors and transmission. With an estimated 350 million people worldwide who are carriers (most commonly in Asia and Africa), chronic Hepatitis B is the most common chronic virus of the liver. It is most often transmitted by birth or through blood-borne or sexual contact. Hepatitis B is not transmitted through ....

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