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Health Observances MAY 2017

Melanoma Awareness Month:

According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common of all cancer types and it outnumbers all other cancers combined. On any day, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes. Protect yourself and your family from the sun’s harmful rays every day by seeking shade, wearing protective clothing, hats, sunglasses that block UV rays, and broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15. Remember, tanned skin is damaged skin. Help spread the word by sharing this bulletin with your community.

May is Melanoma Awareness Month

Mayo es el Mes de Concientización sobre el Melanoma


Lyme Disease Awareness Month:

Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia borgdorferi and is typically transmitted by the Blacklegged Tick (lxodes scapularis). A characteristic sign of Lyme disease is a red circular rash (bull’s-eye rash) that may appear a few days to a month, at the site of the bite, after being bitten by an infected tick. Multiple rashes may develop. About 60-80 percent of people who get Lyme disease develop a bull’s-eye rash. Studies have shown that a tick must stay on the body for 36 hours to transmit disease so it is important to check yourself and your children and pets for ticks every day, especially if you are on the east end of Long Island or if you have been spending time in grassy or wooded areas. Help us spread the word about personal protection by sharing this brochure with your community.

Ticks and tick-borne diseases of Suffolk County

Garrapatas y enfermedades transmitidas por garrapatas del Condado de Suffolk

Learn how to avoid tick bites; follow Dr. Scott Campbell’s advice -- Video


Perinatal Mood Disorders Awareness Month:

In recognition of Perinatal Mood Disorders Awareness month, Suffolk County and its partner organizations will host a free screening of Dark Side of the Full Moon, official selection of the Women’s International Film Festival 2015, on Thursday, May 11, 2017, from 6:15 to 8:30 at the H. Lee Dennison Building Media Room located at 100 Veterans Memorial Highway, Hauppauge, NY. Light refreshments will be served. Seating is limited.

RSVP to or call 631-853-8284.


Neurofibromatosis Awareness Month:

Neurofibromatosis (NF) is a genetic disorder of the nervous system that causes tumors to form on nerve tissue. Facts about NF:

  • NF affects more than 100,000 Americans and is usually diagnosed in childhood or early adulthood. NF tumors can develop anywhere in the nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord and nerves.
  • The tumors are usually noncancerous (benign) but can become cancerous (malignant).
  • Symptoms are often mild, however, complications of NF can include hearing loss, learning impairment, heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) problems, loss of vision, and severe pain.
  • NF includes three genetically distinct forms: NF-1, NF-2 and Schwannomatosis, which are caused by different genes and chromosomes, and have varying manifestations and degrees of severity.

Neurofibromatosis can't be cured, but treatments are available for its symptoms. Early diagnosis of neurofibromatosis usually leads to a better outcome. For more information about neurofibromatosis, self-management, treatment and research, visit the Mayo Clinic website.


Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month:

Cystic fibrosis is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time. People with CF have inherited two copies of the defective CF gene -- one copy from each parent. Symptoms of CF vary widely from person to person. Facts about CF:

  • More than 30,000 people are living with cystic fibrosis (more than 70,000 worldwide).
  • Approximately 1,000 new cases of CF are diagnosed each year.
  • More than 75 percent of people with CF are diagnosed by age 2.
  • More than half of the CF population is age 18 or older.
  • Approximately 1 in 30 Americans is a carrier.

There is currently no cure for CF, however, due to improved care the average life expectancy has been steadily increasing. Sixty years ago, children diagnosed with CF usually did not survive childhood. Today the median predicted survival age is close to 40. To learn more about Cystic Fibrosis, treatments, assistance services, and clinical research, visit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation or the American Lung Association websites.


Brain Tumor Awareness Month:

Brain tumors can be deadly, significantly impact quality of life, and change everything for a patient and their loved ones. They do not discriminate, inflicting men, women, and children of all races and ethnicities. Today, nearly 700,000 people in the United States are living with a primary brain tumor, and approximately 78,000 more will be diagnosed in 2016. No screening tests exist for early brain tumor detection; therefore, public education on the symptoms of brain tumors is crucial.

Symptoms of a brain tumor can be general or specific. A general symptom is caused by the pressure of the tumor on the brain. Specific symptoms are caused when a specific part of the brain is not working well because of the tumor. Many people with brain tumors are diagnosed when they get to the doctor after experiencing a problem. General symptoms include: headaches, (which may be severe and worsen with activity or in the early morning), seizures, sensory-change in sensation, vision, smell, and/or hearing, without losing consciousness; personality or memory changes, nausea or vomiting, fatigue, drowsiness, sleep problems, memory problems, and changes in ability to walk or perform daily activities.

Treatment options and recommendations depend on several factors: the size, type, and grade of the tumor, whether the tumor is putting pressure on vital parts of the brain, If the tumor has spread to other parts of the CNS or body, possible side effects, and the patient’s preferences and overall health. To learn more about brain cancer, treatment options, questions to ask before treatment, and where to find support, visit the National Brain Tumor Society or


Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in Suffolk County:

According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, motorcycle fatalities have been on the rise an average of 10 percent per year over the last 20 years. Below are several tips for drivers on how to “Share the Road” with motorcycles: A motorcycle has the same rights and privileges as any other vehicle on the roadway.

  • Allow the motorcyclist a full lane width.
  • Motorcycles are small and may be difficult to see.
  • Remember that a motorcyclist can be hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot or missed in a quick look due to its smaller size. Don’t be fooled by a flashing turn signal on a motorcycle – motorcycle signals may not be self-canceling and riders sometimes forget to turn them off.
  • Remember that road conditions that are minor annoyances to motorists can pose major hazards to motorcyclists.

For more information, visit: the National Center for Rural Road Safety:


Speech and Hearing Awareness Month:

Communication: The Key to Connection. Each May provides an opportunity to raise awareness about communication disorders. For information, visit the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association website.


Youth Arthritis Awareness Week - May 7 - 13:

“Arthritis” means joint inflammation. This term refers to a group of diseases that cause pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of motion in the joints. Juvenile arthritis (JA) is a term often used to describe arthritis in children. Children can develop almost all types of arthritis that affect adults, but the most common type that affects children is juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Learn more about Juvenile Arthritis from the National Institutes of Health website.


Cooley Anemia Awareness Week - May 7 - 13:

The week starting May 7 is Cooley Anemia Awareness Week in Suffolk County. Cooley Anemia is also known as thalassemia major. Thalassemia is an a inherited blood disorder characterized by less oxygen-carrying protein (hemoglobin) and fewer red blood cells in the body than normal. It predominantly strikes those of Mediterranean, Asian, Indian, South Asian and Chinese ancestry. Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, paleness, and slow growth. Treatment of mild forms of may consist of vitamins; severe forms may require blood transfusions or a donor stem-cell transplant. - Cooley Anemia