Posted in BE SAFE, Cancer Prevention, cancer screening, Disaster Preparedness, Health & Welfare, How to stay healthy

National Cancer Prevention Month

Stop cancer sign. Prevention concept.According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and the American Cancer Society, February is not just the month set aside for heart health awareness. It is also National Cancer Prevention Month. Broadly defined, cancer is a disease caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in the body. Note that cancer doesn’t just affect humans. Canines can get the disease, as well. In fact, 50 percent of dogs over the age of 10 will get some type of cancer during the remainder of their lives. An active cancer prevention campaign is crucial, since cancer affects so many Americans:Black and white illustration of a sick dog with a thermometer.

  • More than one million people in the United States are diagnosed with cancer each year.
  • Cancer is the leading cause of death for much of the U.S. population.
  • 1,658,370 people were diagnosed with cancer in 2015.
  • 589,430 people died from cancer-associated ailments last year.
  • Approximately 39.6 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with all cancer sites at some point during their lifetime.
  • The most common types of cancer diagnoses include cancers of the breast (females), lung and bronchus, prostate, colon & rectum, bladder, melanoma of the skin, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, thyroid, kidney and renal pelvis, and endometrial.
  • Cancer isn’t fun.

The good news is that cancer diagnoses and associated death rates are declining in the U.S., due to increased awareness, early detection, new treatment protocols, and follow-through on prescribed treatments. Doctors determine the stage of a patient’s cancer relative to the extent cancer has progressed in the body. Staging helps physicians determine treatment options and has a strong influence on the length of survival rates post-diagnosis. In general, if the cancer is found only in the part of the body where it started it is localized (sometimes referred to as stage one). If it has spread to a different part of the body, the stage is referred to as regional or distant. So it’s a different stage than our son, J.R., enjoys performing on. The earlier cancer is caught; the better chance a person or a dog has of surviving five years after being diagnosed.

Each February, the AICR leads a campaign to inform the public about ways to prevent cancer. The institute considers these 10 lifestyle guidelines critical for cancer prevention:Fotolia_45015523_XS

  • Aim to be a healthy weight throughout life.
  • Be physically active every day in any way for 30 minutes or more. Limit sedentary behavior. Take your dog for more walks!
  • Choose mostly plant foods, Eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes.
  • Limit red meats (such as beef, pork and lamb) and avoid processed meat. I guess this means bacon? The horror of it!
  • Avoid sugary drinks. Limit consumption of energy-dense foods.
  • If consumed at all, limit alcoholic drinks to one per day for women and two per day for men.
  • Limit consumption of salty foods and foods processed with sodium.
  • Don’t rely on supplements to offset unhealthy dietary habits.
  • Mothers are advised to breastfeed babies for at least six months before adding other liquids and solid food to their diets.
  • Cancer survivors should consider treatments advised by medical professionals and should stringently follow recommendations for cancer prevention.

Remember that safety is a daily priority, not just where human or canine cancer is concerned. So be sure to think about ways to #BeSafe all of the time. A convenient and affordable way to make sure you are prepared for disasters and emergencies of virtually every kind is to subscribe to the RJWestmore Training System by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services, which has been designed to help improve and save lives. For more information about the best system out there, or to subscribe, click here.

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Posted in BE SAFE, Cancer Prevention, Children in Crisis, Disaster Preparedness, Health & Welfare

Summer Safety 2014

Sun iconEach June, the National Safety Council celebrates National Safety Month as a time to bring attention to key safety issues. Thousands of organizations across the country are taking part in the campaign to reduce the risk of the safety issues. Safety is a high priority for those of us at the RJWestmore Training System by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services. In fact, our motto, Be Safe, highlights the priority we put on safety.

Last week, our blog covered several safety issues, including ending prescription drug abuse; preventing slips, trips and falls; being aware of surroundings; and ending distracted driving. This week, we will continue our two-part series by focusing on summer safety. After all; it’s only fitting that we cover the all-important topic before the official start of summer on June 21 and while 4th of July plans are still in the making. I love Independence Day because I can pig out on barbecue without raising eyebrows.

BE SAFE in the Water 

Unfortunately, water-related deaths (including swimming and water-transport) are all too common in the U.S.:

  • More than one in five drowning victims are children 14-years-old and younger.
  • For every child who dies from drowning, another four receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion-related injuries.
  • Most drowning and near-drowning incidents happen when a child falls into a pool or is left alone in the bathtub.
  • According to the CDC, 80 percent of the people who drown are males.
  • Children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates.
  • Dogs don’t usually drown. We have a natural instinct to swim.

To prevent water-related injury or death, prepare:

  1. If you or anyone in your family does not know how to swim, enroll them in lessons immediately.
  2. If you own a hot tub or pool, install a fence with a locked gate or a pad-locked cover.
  3. Supervise children and puppies at all times.

National Safety Month

BE SAFE in the Sun

The drawback about many fun summer activities is that they come at a price– UV exposure.

And that is detrimental because one in five Americans develops skin cancer during their lifetime. According to the American Cancer Society, over time, excess UV radiation can cause skin cancer, eye damage, immune system suppression, and premature aging. Here are some steps to take to keep you sun safe:

  • Wear sunscreen with a SPF 15 or higher. Sunscreen gets stuck in my hair and makes a mess.
  • If you have fair skin or light hair, you are more susceptible to the sun’s rays and should use a sunscreen with a higher SPF.
  • Choose sunscreen labeled “broad spectrum,” meaning that it protects against two types of harmful rays: UVA and UVB.
  • Use waterproof sunscreen to make sure it stays on longer, even if you perspire or get wet.
  • Reapply sunscreen often – usually every two hours, but sooner if you’ve been swimming or are perspiring heavily.
  • Cover your whole body. Remember those areas that can be easy to forget, such as your ears, eyelids, lips, nose, hands, feet, and the top of your head.
  • Seek shade or avoid the sun during the peak hours of 10am – 4pm. The sun is strongest during those hours, even on cloudy days.
  • Wear a hat with a wide brim to help shade your eyes, ears and head.
  • Wear wrap-around sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection to safeguard your eyes.
  • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that protects a larger area of your skin such as long-sleeve shirts or long pants. Tightly woven fabrics in dark or bright colors are best.

BE SAFE in Hot Weather

Heat illness includes a range of disorders that result when your body is exposed to more heat than it can handle. Anybody not accustomed to hot weather is at risk of suffering from heatstroke (the most serious and life-threatening heat-related illness) as well as heat exhaustion and heat cramps.

Heatstroke in vehicles has become an increasing issue for young children, causing 43 fatalities in 2013, according to Safe Kids. Children overheat three to five times faster than adults, making hot cars lethal in just minutes. Take a second to read more on this growing issue and protect your children.

BE SAFE around Fireworks

In 2010, fireworks caused an estimated 15,500 reported fires, including 1,100 structure fires. These fires resulted in an estimated 8,600 people treated in emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries, 39 percent of whom were under 15 years of age

The National Fire Protection Association and the National Council on Fireworks Safety  recommend these tips to keep you safe around fireworks:

  • Leave fireworks to the professionals. Do not use consumer fireworks.
  • The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals. Even if the use of fireworks is legal in your community, fireworks are far too dangerous for amateurs. Leave fireworks to the professionals. Do not use consumer fireworks.
  • After the firework display, don’ let children pick up fireworks that may be left over. They could still be active.
  • Closely supervise children and teens if they are using fireworks.
  • Do not ever allow young children to handle or use fireworks.
  • If you absolutely must use fireworks, use them outdoors only and only if they are legal in your city.
  • Keep water at the ready whenever you are shooting fireworks.
  • Know your fireworks. Read the caution label before igniting.
  • Never mix alcohol and fireworks.
  • Wear safety glasses whenever using fireworks.
  • Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes, and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Soak spent fireworks with water before placing them in an outdoor garbage can.
  • Avoid using homemade fireworks or illegal explosives: They can kill you! And that’s a bad thing!
  • Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department

Over the next few months, while you are enjoying summer activities, whether they take you to the water or in the sun, #BeSummerSafe. When a disaster of any kind strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. The RJWestmore Training System by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services is a convenient and affordable solution to all of the training needs of your building(s). Choosing our service cuts property management training-related costs by 90% and saves you over 50% compared to conventional training! More importantly, IT SAVES LIVES.

Posted in BE SAFE, Cancer Prevention, Disaster Preparedness, Health & Welfare

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

oct-breast-cancer-awareness-month1October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And since we at RJWestmore Training Systems by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services encourage preparation for disasters of all kinds, we want to take this opportunity to help spread the word that screening and early detection are of paramount importance when it comes to reducing the risk of breast cancer.

Did you know?

  • One in eight women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point during their lives.
  • In 2013, about 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.
  • About 64,640 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).
  • Annually, about 39,620 women die from breast cancer.
  • After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common kind of cancer detected in women.
  • After lung cancer, breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women.
  • The chance that breast cancer will be responsible for a woman’s death is about 1 in 36 (about 3%).
  • Though relatively rate, breast cancer can occur in men. In the U.S., approximately 2,000 men are diagnosed each year.
  • Self exams and regular physical checkups are the preliminary lines of defense since early detection and treatment are crucial.
  • Under health care reform laws, mammograms are covered by most insurance carriers for women over the age of 40.
  • Women ages 50 to 74 should have a mammogram once every 2 years.
  • Women with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer should have a mammogram once a year.
  • Considered extreme, some women opt to undergo purely preventive double mastectomies. A recent high-profile example of this is Angelina Jolie, who wrote about her medical decision in an op-ed published earlier this year in the New York Times.
  • Although dogs are never diagnosed with breast cancer, they can get mammary gland cancer, which is essentially the same disease.

Despite these alarming statistics, there is good news. Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since 1989, with larger decreases in women younger than 50. These decreases are believed to be the result of earlier detection through screening and increased awareness, as well as improved treatment. Also, there are currently more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States—including women currently undergoing treatment as well as those who have completed treatment. What’s more, many who are diagnosed can survive breast cancer as long as it is found and treated early.

In fact, the National Cancer Institute reports that when breast cancer is detected early, in the localized stage, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent.

According to the American Cancer Society, there are certain risk factors over which people have no control. Family history, for example, can’t be altered. However, there are ways to reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Follow these relatively simple 10 steps—

  1. Maintain a healthy weight.
  2. Stay physically active.
  3. Limit alcohol intake.
  4. Do regular self exams. (This would be difficult for your dog. Maybe your vet could help?)
  5. Get annual checkups.
  6. Encourage the women in your life to have routine mammogram screenings.
  7. Contribute to breast cancer research or participate in walks, runs and other fundraising events held in your community.
  8. Go pink for October.
  9. Know your family history of breast cancer. If you have a parent, sibling, son or daughter with breast cancer, ask your doctor about your risk of getting breast cancer and how you can lower your risk.
  10. Find out the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy.

When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. The RJWestmore Training System by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services is a convenient and affordable solution to all of the training needs of your building(s). Choosing our service cuts property management training related workloads by 90% and saves you over 50% compared to conventional training! More importantly, IT SAVES LIVES.