Sunday, September 27, 2009

What happened here - who's responsible?

This segment on CNN really captured my attention as I would normally flip through channels, I watched the guests as they all spoke about breast cancer. Of course breast cancer is quite popular a common type of cancer in women. We have seen the pink ribbons that symbolizes awareness on pins, T-shirts, candies, perfumes, jewelry accessories, etc. In addition, there are many events and activities that are organized around breast cancer. Thousands of women gather to shout it out loud and clear that they have fought and won the fight against breast cancer.

However, this story was not about women with breast cancer, it was a case of men with breast cancer. As many of us are aware that breast cancer does affect men but far less cases have been reported than that of women. What makes this story even more unique is that these men are all connected to the same community/environment. Furthermore, other reports have included stories like Mike Patrian who has shared his story and those of at least 19 other men with breast cancer and Jerome Ensminger whose six year old daughter, born and raised at Camp Lejeune was diagnosed with Acute Lymphosytic Leukemia (A.L.L.)

Mike's Site The Few, The Proud,The Forgotten

Jerome Ensminger Testimony

Unfortunately, some of these men do not have much more time left to fight the disease. Hopefully, all of this attention will ensure that this will never happen again.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Puff Puff - Give It Up!

Smoking can be traced back for centuries with pictorial records as far back as the 11th century. In 1864, the first American cigarette factory opened, producing around 20 million cigarettes a year. By 1898, there was a concern about the effects of cigarettes and a ban was placed in Tennessee. Two years later, Iowa, North Dakota and Washington decided to outlaw the sale of cigarettes. By 1901, 43 of the 45 states were actively engaged in support of banning cigarettes. In that same year,3.5 billion cigarettes and 6 billion cigars were sold. According to the reports of that era, 4 out of 5 men smoked a cigar at least once a day.

As time went on, the debates continued. Television commercials were banned, as well as smoking in airplanes, buses,trains, hotels,restaurants and of all places the bars where having a drink and a smoke goes hand in hand. Community activists held meetings and spoke out against the cigarette companies that appeared to target the youth demanding that their billboard advertisements be removed. The surgeon general placed warnings on the boxes to warn that cigarette smoking is dangerous to your health yet smoking continues. Some states raised the prices on cigarettes,increased taxes yet the tobacco companies are thriving. The anti smoking commercials are graphic with their message. Even closer to home, the loss of family and friends - have not deterred others from smoking.

What will it take to give it up?

Here are the current statistics
Smoking and Tobacco Use
Trying to Quit?

Videos made to appeal to smokers

Clearly, quitting is certainly not an easy task. It is a habit that has developed over time - one that has become a source of comfort during social gatherings and stressful periods. In some cases, smokers who have had the success of giving it up have found that a traumatic event triggered the urge to return to smoking and many of them have and are having a difficult time giving it up once again. There are many programs that are available to help smokers regain control of their lives and their health. If this post relates to you or someone you know, please take a moment and explore the following links.

Smoking Cessation
Smoke Free
Your Guide to Quit
American Lung Association
American Cancer Society
World Health Organization