March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

March 12, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month;
Take the Pledge for ‘80% by 2018 and Beyond’

SOMERVILLE – The Somerset County Board of Freeholders and the Morris-Somerset Regional Chronic Disease Coalition, along with its partners, are encouraging residents to get screened for colorectal cancer and to make good food and lifestyle choices that can reduce the risk of developing colon cancer.

A proclamation declaring March as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month was presented at the Feb. 27 Somerset County freeholders’ meeting.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, colorectal cancer affects both men and women, is the second leading cancer-related killer in the United States and is the third most common cancer in men and women.

“Please help us spread the word that colorectal cancer is preventable and outcomes are better when cancer is found at an early stage,” said Freeholder Patricia Walsh, public health and safety liaison.

An information table with literature about colon cancer is in the lobby of the county administration building, located at 20 Grove St. in Somerville, through March 30. You can pick up a Fiber-Fridays calendar, with tips on how to add delicious fiber-rich foods to your diet, as well as resources to help you take charge of your health. An online version of the calendar with interactive links can be found at http://bit.ly/ColonCan17

“Screening for colon cancer has been proven to save lives, which is especially important since in its early stages there are no symptoms,” said Freeholder Walsh, “yet many people don’t get tested because they don’t believe they are at risk, are not aware of available testing options or they believe they can’t afford the cost of being tested.

“Starting in March, we hope to enlist all RCDC members and community members at large to join us in this prevention effort,” she said. “We encourage residents age 50 and above, or younger people who have risk factors and a family history of colon cancer, to learn about the importance of screenings and lifestyle choices.”

Several screening methods are available, including take-home options. Many public and private insurance plans cover colorectal cancer screening and local resources are available to help people who are uninsured.

The RCDC is encouraging residents to add fiber-rich foods to their diet through its “Fiber Matters: Fiber Fridays” initiative by designating Fridays during March as a jumping-off point to a more healthful lifestyle.

In addition, the RCDC and its partners have taken the pledge to help increase colorectal cancer screening rates by supporting the “80% by 2018 & Beyond” initiative, led by the American Cancer Society, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable, an organization co-founded by the ACS and CDC.

The pledge is a shared goal to have 80 percent of adults age 50 and above regularly screened for colorectal cancer. More than 500 organizations already have signed the pledge to make this goal a priority. Achieving this goal would prevent 277,000 cases of colorectal cancer and 203,000 deaths by 2030.  To be part of this initiative, you can take the pledge at http://bit.ly/PledgeColonC

The RCDC, through its multi-year educational campaign and working with health care providers, has promoted projects to increase the number of people going for early-detection cancer screenings in Morris and Somerset counties for close to a decade.

For additional information on free educational programs offered in both counties during the month of March, contact RCDC Coordinator Lucille Talbot at (908) 203-6077 or ytalbot@co.somerset.nj.us.

You can follow the Somerset County Department of Health on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SCHealthDept for additional tips during the month of March.

Somerset County residents can learn if they are eligible for low-cost or reduced-cost medical care, including exams and screenings, by calling Zufall Health Center in Somerville at (908) 526-2335. (Se habla español.)

The Morris-Somerset Regional Chronic Disease Coalition is made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Office of Cancer Control and Prevention, and is administered by the Somerset County Department of Health.

For more information, to become a member or to learn more about available cancer resources, screening locations, dates, times and eligibility, contact RCDC Public Health Consultant Lucille Y-Talbot at (908) 203-6077 or YTalbot@co.somerset.nj.us

To stay up to date with Somerset County events and information, sign up for free email alerts at www.co.somerset.nj.us/subscribe or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Parent Education Series: Mindfulness

Please join us for the next session in the Parent Education Series on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 in the UMS Media Center from 7-8:30pm.

 

This interactive  workshop, “An Introduction to Mindfulness”, will be presented by Stefanie Lachenauer, 7th and 8th grade teacher at UMS, Certified MBSR-T Instructor, Certified Little Flower Yoga Teacher, and is currently completing the Mindful Schools Year-Long Certification.

Ms. Lachenauer’s focus for the evening will be on mindfulness strategies for parents. Many thanks to the Montgomery/Rocky Hill Municipal Alliance for sponsoring this event. Space is limited.

Register Here.

Carbon Monoxide from Hookah Smoking: An Unusual Source of Poisoning

– Public Health Alert – Message from the NJ Poison Control Center

(Newark, NJ) – Warning. Do NOT smoke hookah pipes in small and/or poorly ventilated spaces (i.e. basements, sheds, dorm rooms, vehicles, attics, boat cabins).

Case: A young adult male passed out after smoking hookah in a small, poorly ventilated room. The patient was transported to the emergency room and was diagnosed with severe carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning; received oxygen and was transferred to a hyperbaric oxygen chamber for further medical care. The long-term neurologic effects are not yet known.

While most people think of gas appliances, heating systems, portable gas generators, charcoal or gas grills, and chimney flues as potential sources of carbon monoxide, smoking hookah is quickly gaining recognition among the healthcare community as a potential source. There are approximately 100 cases reported in the medical literature discussing the risk for CO poisoning to hookah smokers and those around them. The risk of carbon monoxide poisoning depends on the size of the space you are smoking in, the number of people smoking in that space and how well ventilated the space is.

“As we see every heating season, carbon monoxide can and does kill,” says Diane Calello, MD, NJ Poison Control Center Executive and Medical Director, Rutgers NJ Medical School’s Department of Emergency Medicine. Carbon monoxide is known as the “Silent Killer” for a reason. It is a gas that gives no warning – you cannot see it, smell it or taste it. “While the risk of CO poisoning from hookah smoke is recognized among healthcare providers, the risk seems less familiar to hookah smokers themselves.”

Hookah pipes, also known as waterpipes, use charcoal in the process of producing vapor. Unfortunately, charcoal also produces carbon monoxide gas. This potentially deadly gas is inhaled along with the tobacco smoke, possibly leading to severe CO poisoning, particularly if ventilation is poor. Symptoms may include headaches, sleepiness, fatigue, confusion and irritability at low levels. At higher levels, it can result in nausea, vomiting, irregular heartbeat, impaired vision and coordination, brain damage, and death. Unfortunately, symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can easily be confused with symptoms of viral illnesses like the common cold or seasonal flu.

“Prevention and early detection are crucial in preventing injury and even death from carbon monoxide,” says Calello. “The well-being of hookah smokers and those around them depend on it.”

Call to Action: Any tobacco use, particularly any use associated with an additional risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, is not recommended.  Individuals who nevertheless choose to use hookah pipes should only do so in well-ventilated areas. Have battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors on every level of the building and near every sleeping area. Replace your CO detector every five to seven years because the sensors can degrade. Remember to check the batteries of both detectors (fire and CO) when changing the clocks twice a year for daylight savings time.

CO poisoning is serious and should be handled as a medical emergency. Get help immediately if you suspect someone was exposed to carbon monoxide. Call the NJ Poison Control Center unless the person is unconscious, not breathing, hard to wake up, or seizing, then call 9-1-1. Poison control centers are a great resource for information and emergencies. Keep us at your fingertips. Save the Poison Help number (1-800-222-1222) as a contact in your cell phone.

Help is Just a Phone Call Away!

We are social. Join us on Facebook (@NJPIES) and Twitter (@NJPoisonCenter) for breaking news, safety tips, trivia questions, etc.

Real People. Real Answers.

 Available for Media Interviews

Diane P. Calello, MD, Executive and Medical Director, New Jersey Poison Information and Education System (NJPIES)

Bruce Ruck, Pharm.D., Managing Director, New Jersey Poison Information and Education System (NJPIES)

 About NJPIES
Chartered in 1983, the New Jersey Poison Information & Education System (NJPIES) is New Jersey’s only poison control center. Medical professionals such as physicians, registered nurses and pharmacists offer free consultation through hotline services (telephone, text and chat) regarding poison emergencies and provide information on poison prevention, drugs, food poisoning, animal bites and more. In addition, it tracks incidences of adverse reactions to food, drugs and vaccines in order to monitor potential public health issues and provide data to the New Jersey Department of Health, U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. NJPIES’ confidential services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year. When needed, NJPIES responds to other emergent health issues by expanding hotline services.

NJPIES is designated as the state’s regional poison control center by the New Jersey Department of Health and the American Association of Poison Control Centers. It is a division of the Department of Emergency Medicine of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. NJPIES has a state-of-the-art center located at Rutgers Health Sciences in Newark. NJPIES is funded, in part, by the NJ Department of Health, NJ Hospitals and the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

New Jersey residents should save the Poison Help number, 1-800-222-1222, in their mobile phones and post the number somewhere visible in their home. NJPIES is also available via text 8002221222@njpies.org and chat www.njpies.org.

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 About Rutgers

Established in 1766, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is America’s eighth oldest institution of higher learning and one of the nation’s premier public research universities. Serving more than 65,000 students on campuses, centers, institutes and other locations throughout the state, Rutgers is the only public university in New Jersey that is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities.

Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) is the health care education, research, and clinical division of Rutgers University, comprising nine schools and their attendant faculty practices, centers, institutes and clinics; New Jersey’s leading comprehensive cancer care center; and New Jersey’s largest behavioral health care network.