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October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Breast Cancer is the second most common type of cancer in women. 1 in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in her life.
A mammogram is an important step in taking care of yourself and your breasts. A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray that allows specialists to look for changes in breast tissue that aren’t normal. The American Cancer Society recommends that starting at age 40 women at average risk should have the choice to begin yearly mammograms. Women should begin yearly mammograms at age 45, and they can switch to every 2 years at age 55. And all women, no matter their age, need to let their doctor know about any changes to their breasts.
Besides getting mammograms on a regular basis, there are other things you can do to proactively take control of your health and reduce your risk of getting breast cancer including:
- Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity, especially weight gain after menopause, has been associated with an increased risk of breast cancer
- Stay physically active. Women who exercise regularly decrease their risk of developing breast cancer
- Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Alcohol use has been linked to increased risk of breast cancer and the greater the intake, the greater the increase in risk.
- Avoid smoking
- Know what is normal for your breasts
- Report any changes to your doctor
Talk to your doctor about your risk for breast cancer, especially if a close family member of yours has had breast or ovarian cancer. Your doctor can help you decide when and how often to get mammograms.
If you are concerned about the cost of a mammogram, the Wisconsin Well Woman Program (WWWP) provides breast cancer screenings for women ages 45 to 64 that are uninsured, or underinsured; or aged 35-44 with breast symptoms or concerns, and that meet income guidelines. The WWWP also provides cervical cancer screenings.
For more information on the WWWP please contact Nichole Peplinski, WWWP Coordinator, at 715-369-6119.
For more information on breast cancer please visit: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/index
The Forest County Health Department reports that three horses in Forest County have tested positive for Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) which is caused by the EEE virus. The EEE virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. No EEE cases in humans have been reported in Wisconsin this year or any year since 2011. The human EEE case in 2011 was only the second case known to have occurred in Wisconsin since 1984.
EEE virus is transmitted to humans, horses, birds, and other animals during bites from infected mosquitoes. Mosquitoes acquire EEE virus by feeding on infected birds. The virus is not transmitted person to person or directly between animals or between animals and humans. Presence of a positive horse confirms that there are mosquitoes in the area infected with EEE.
Most people infected with EEE virus do not have symptoms. However, some develop encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) that typically begins with fever, headache, chills, and vomiting. The illness may become severe resulting in disorientation, seizures, coma, or death.
Clinical signs of EEE infection in horses include depression, loss of appetite, drooping eyelids and lower lip, blindness, paralysis, and death. Horse owners can vaccinate their horses against EEE virus to protect them from becoming ill.
Because EEE virus is known to be currently circulating, Wisconsin residents and visitors to the state should be vigilant in taking measures to prevent mosquito bites. It is important that people contact their healthcare provider if they suspect they have EEE illness.
The best way to avoid mosquito-borne diseases is to reduce exposure to mosquitoes and eliminate mosquito breeding sites.
The Forest County Health Department recommends the following:
- Limit time spent outside at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Apply insect repellant to clothing as well as exposed skin since mosquitoes may bite through clothing.
- Make sure window and door screens are in good repair to prevent mosquito entry.
- Properly dispose of items that hold water, such as tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots, or discarded tires.
- Clean roof gutters and downspouts for proper drainage.
- Turn over wheelbarrows, wading pools, boats, and canoes when not in use.
- Change the water in birdbaths and pet dishes at least every three days.
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs; drain water from pool covers.
- Trim tall grass, weeds, and vines since mosquitoes use these areas to rest during hot daylight hours.
- Landscape to prevent water from pooling in low-lying areas.
For more information about EEE virus, please visit:
http://www.cdc.gov/easternequineencephalitis/ or call the Forest County Health Department with any questions at 715-478-3371.