The Great American Smokeout

Pile of used cigarettes
Image Source: Paweł Czerwiński/Unsplash

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, accounting for 29% of all cancer deaths. Not only does smoking cause cancer, it can damage nearly every organ in the body, including the lungs, heart, blood vessels, reproductive organs, mouth, skin, eyes, and bones.1 Tomorrow is The American Cancer Society’s 43rd annual Great American Smokeout® (GASO). GASO is the perfect opportunity for everyone to commit to living tobacco-free. We know that quitting smoking can be difficult and can take more than a day. GASO isn’t necessarily the day for smokers to quit smoking, but rather the day for smokers to start their journey toward a smoke-free life.

How to Get Started

Quitting isn’t an easy task. It takes planning, commitment, trial and error, and a lot of support. Smokers are strongly advised to use proven cessation methods, such as prescription medications and counseling, or a combination of both, to quit smoking. It’s a good idea to talk to your doctor or pharmacist to get their advice.1 If you’re interested in creating your quit plan, click here for more info.

How to Help Someone that Smokes

If you have a friend or family member ready to quit, here are a few recommendations to help you along the way2:

  • Ask the person whether they want you to ask regularly how they’re doing. Ask how they’re feeling – not just whether they’ve stayed quit.
  • Don’t judge, nag, preach, tease, or scold. This may make the smoker feel worse about him or herself. You don’t want your loved one to turn to a cigarette to soothe hurt feelings.
  • If the person relapses, encourage them to try again. Studies show that most people who don’t succeed in quitting are ready to try again in the near future.

For more tips, click here.

Tria Health and Tobacco Cessation

For employers that offer Tria Health’s Tobacco Cessation Program, Tria provides free confidential counseling with a clinical pharmacist. If you ready to quit smoking, Tria Health’s pharmacist will assist you in managing your medications and finding a treatment plan that works for you.

Tria Health assists, not only members who smoke cigarettes, but members looking to end their use of all tobacco products (e-cigarettes, smoke-free tobacco, hookah, etc.) While scientists are still learning more about the effects of e-cigarettes or e-hookahs, there is already enough evidence to justify efforts to prevent e-cigarette use. We know that the vapor from e-cigarettes is harmful because it contains harmful ingredients, including nicotine. Nicotine exposure during adolescence can cause addiction and can harm the developing brain.3 In addition, smokeless tobacco products also contains many harmful ingredients.4 Tria Health believes in order to maintain optimal health, it is imperative to end the use of all tobacco products.

Have any questions?

Contact the Tria Health Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/great-american-smokeout.html
  2. https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/helping-a-smoker-quit.html
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/features/ecigarettes-young-people/index.html
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/smokeless/health_effects/index.htm

Why Did the Screening Age for Colon Cancer Change?

Person sitting in doctors office while doctor is taking notes
Image Source: vadimguzhva/iStock.com

The American Cancer Society has recently lowered its guidelines regarding colon cancer screening. It is now recommended that people should start getting screened at age 45 instead of at 50. Research has showed that people are getting colon cancer at younger and younger ages within the U.S. While there is no direct cause associated with this increase, the trend is clear enough to warrant a shift in the age guidelines.

1 Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the U.S. There are an estimated 97,220 new cases of colon cancer in 2018. Overall, the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is: about 1 in 22 (4.49%) for men and 1 in 24 (4.15%) for women.

Lower your risk of colon cancer

Unfortunately, you cannot prevent colon cancer. You can, however, take steps to lower your risk.

Here are a few tips to help lower your risk:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Have a diet high in vegetables, fruits and wholegrains
  • Avoid excess alcohol
  • Stop smoking
  • Most importantly, get tested if you’re age 45+

What are symptoms of colon cancer?

  • Bleeding from the rectum
  • Blood in the stool
  • Abdominal cramping
  • A change in the shape of the stool, diarrhea, constipation
  • A change in bowel habits, or the feeling you need to make a bowl movement but there is none

If you notice any symptoms, go to your doctor for a checkup.

 

If you have any additional questions regarding your medications,

reach out to the Tria Health Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742

 

Source: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer/about/key-statistics.html

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

What Do You Need to Know? 

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death for women. In fact, 1 in 8 women could develop breast cancer in their lifetime.

The World Health Organization reports that “early detection in order to improve breast cancer outcome and survival remains the cornerstone of breast cancer control.” Make sure that you are practicing the recommended steps for early detection:

  1. Breast self-awareness
  2. Well-Woman exams
  3. Mammograms

How Can You Lower Your Lifestyle-Related Breast Cancer Risk Factors?

While there is no sure way to prevent breast cancer, there are some risk factors that can be changed and may lower your risk of developing breast cancer.

The American Cancer Society reports that “a risk factor is anything that affects your chance of getting a disease, such as breast cancer. But having a risk factor, or even many, does NOT meant that you are sure to get the disease.”

Certain breast cancer risk factors are related to lifestyle choices, such as diet and exercise. What can you do to decrease your risk factors?

  • Limit Alcohol Consumption

Drinking alcohol is linked to increased risks of breast cancer. “Compared with non-drinkers, women who have 1 alcoholic drink a day have a very small increase in risk. Those who have 2-3 drinks a day have approximately a 20% higher risk compared to women who don’t drink all.” Excessive alcohol consumption is known to increase the risk of other cancers also. The American Cancer Society recommends that women who drink have no more than 1 drink per day.

  • Get to and Stay at a Healthy Weight

Being overweight or obese after menopause may increase breast cancer risk. “After menopause, most of a woman’s estrogen comes from fat tissue. Having more fat tissue after menopause can raise estrogen levels and increase your risks.”

  • Be Physically Active

Exactly how physical activity might reduce breast cancer risk isn’t clear, but it may be due to its effects on body weight, inflammation, hormones and energy balance. “The American Cancer Society recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each week (or a combination of these), preferably spread throughout the week.”

  • Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet

Most studies of American women have not found a link between breast cancer and fat in the diet. However, studies have shown that breast cancer is less common in countries where the diet is low in total fat, polyunsaturated fat, and saturated fat. High-fat diets can lead to being overweight or obese, which is a known risk factor of breast cancer.

How can you help?

Money posted an article on September 29, 2017 outlining different ways to give, outlining who you’re trying to help and shows explanations regarding where the money goes. The article identified the “five best breast cancer charities where you can feel confident that your dollars will be put to good use funding prevention research, education, and patient support.” Not to mention, by giving directly to a charity, you get to report the tax-deductible contribution.