The news of today reported by the journalists of tomorrow

The Beacon

The news of today reported by the journalists of tomorrow

The Beacon

The news of today reported by the journalists of tomorrow

The Beacon

Increase awareness for lesser-known health concerns

October has come and gone, and Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign has come to a close. As a supporter of the issue, I am very glad people use this month to increase awareness of this devastating illness.

Although it is important to continue to fund and acknowledge breast cancer, I think by this point we are decently “aware” that it is a problem and should focus on other issues that we should recognize as serious threats to health and safety.

That being said, I have compiled a list of several diseases and health risks or days of importance that people are hardly aware of:

The month of January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. Cervical cancer affects approximately 11,000 to 13,000 woman a year, and is directly related to Human Papillomavirus.

There are more than 100 types of HPV, with two specific high-risk types: HPV-16 and HPV-18.  HPV is said to be the most common sexually transmitted disease. Nearly 80 percent of women by the age of 50 will contract some type of HPV.

The majority of these strains only last about two years. Those who do not detect the HPV early have a greater chance of getting cervical cancer. Safe sex and routine check-ups can help lower your chances of contracting HPV or cervical cancer.

February 14th is National Donor Day. According to, there are currently over 116,000 people in need and waiting for an organ. Each day, 18 people will die waiting for a match.

By becoming an organ donor, you can help people recover from trauma, bone damage, spinal injuries, burns, hearing impairment and vision loss. One donor can help save up to eight lives. You can register in your state to become an organ donor today at

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. (the advocates for cell-free driving) stated that cell phones are a factor in one of four vehicle crashes.  In 2009, about 448,000 people were injured in cell-phone related accidents while 5,474 people were killed.

Cell phones require the brain to multitask, which diminishes the brain’s capacity by 37 percent to collect and process information necessary for safe driving. Texting while driving is 100 percent preventable, yet it causes over 100 thousand crashes and thousands of deaths every year.  Don’t drive distracted.

The month of May is Lupus Awareness Month. Lupus is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease that affects various areas of the body including the skin, joints, blood, and kidneys. Antibodies that are supposed to attack foreign bodies instead attack healthy tissue causing inflammation, pain and damage to parts of the body.

Lupus is a genetic disease and cannot be passed to another person.  Woman ages 14 to 44 are the most likely to get lupus, as well as women of color. However, men, women and children can also have the disease.

September is National Cholesterol Education Month. More than 65 million Americans are affected by high cholesterol. High cholesterol increases your risk for heart disease and the chances of having a heart attack. Cholesterol, which is a waxy fat-like substance found in the body, can build up in the arteries if there is excess. Maintaining a healthy diet, exercising and not smoking can decrease your chances of having high cholesterol.  Have your cholesterol levels checked every five years.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. The definition of bullying according to is, “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance.” There are three types of bullying. Verbal; saying or writing mean things, social; ruining someone’s reputation or relationship, and physical; hurting another person’s body or personal belongings.

Bullying usually takes place during or after school hours, such as at school or on the bus, as well as on the Internet. Bullying can have a lasting effect on the victims. Kids who are bullied often have anxiety or depression, loss of appetite, sleep, and interest in activities. Bullying is often linked to suicide. Talking about and understanding bullying can help prevent it in the future.

I do hope this article has educated you on atlleast one issue that you were truly unaware of. These issues may not get nearly as much publicity as breast cancer receives but they exist and are important none the less. Please take the time to educate yourself on other national health observances at


About the Contributor
Carly Yamrus
Carly Yamrus, Opinion Editor
Carly is a senior Communications Studies major with concentrations in public relations and rhetoric and a minor in marketing. Carly has completed internships with Motor Media, a boutique branding and marketing company, and the City of Wilkes-Barre. This past summer, she worked for Verizon selling phone Internet and television services to businesses in North Jersey. Carly has had over 2 year experience writing and editing for The Beacon as the Opinion Editor, and has now stepped aside in her last semester to help others learn the position. She now serves as a Senior Editor. Carly also enjoys the arts, snowboarding and writing, and is looking forward to traveling and volunteering abroad in the future.