OCTOBER IS BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH:
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer that mainly affects women. Around 1 in 8 women will develop invasive cancer, but the survival rate of breast cancer is 89%. Some common risk factors are if a woman has a late menopause after the age of 55 or an early menstruation period before the age of 12. Also, family history of breast cancer such as in a close relative, or genetic testing revealing the presence of certain breast cancer genes, increases a woman’s risk for breast cancer. Lifestyle factors that lead to obesity can also contribute to contracting Breast Cancer.
Additionally, breast cancer can also occur in men. Although cases of men with breast cancer are rare, they do exist and can result in around 500 deaths each year.
Women should be familiar with normal breast appearance and feel, and check regularly for any lump or sign of a tumor in the breast area, or anything unusual. Any other abnormal changes in the breast area may also be a sign of breast cancer. You can do a quick and free breast cancer assessment at https://bcrisktool.cancer.gov/. Anything out of the ordinary should be reported to the physician.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) also recommends regular mammograms, based upon the woman’s risk. For those with average risk:
- Ages 40 to 44 are recommended to have a yearly mammogram, but a woman may choose to do one every other year.
- Ages 45 to 54 are recommended to have a yearly mammogram.
- Ages 55+ are recommended to do a mammogram every year or may choose to do one every other year.
Please see the American Cancer Society recommendations for mammogram frequency in average and high-risk individuals at https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/screening-tests-and-early-detection/american-cancer-society-recommendations-for-the-early-detection-of-breast-cancer.html
A few simple habits can help reduce the chance of getting breast cancer.
- Eating vegetables and/or fruits
- Getting regular physical activity like walking or recreational sports.
- Limiting the intake of alcohol
- Limiting the use of tobacco or quitting smoking completely.
- National Breast Cancer: www.nationalbreastcancer.org
- Free Breast cancer guide: https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-awareness-month
- Breast Cancer Risk Assessment: https://bcrisktool.cancer.gov/
- American Cancer Society Recommendations: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer.html
My Family Health Portrait
Family History is a Risk Factor for Chronic Disease and is one of the unchangeable risk factors such as age and sex that can have a significant effect on risk for certain diseases, including heart disease. Please see My Family Health Portrait at familyhistory.hhs.gov to keep track of your risk of chronic illness.
Risk Factors for Heart Disease Awareness Campaign Project for Hillsborough Township, New Jersey.
Click here for more information.
Annual Disease Statistics
Click here to view the statistics for the State of New Jersey.
*NEW* – Head Lice
*NEW* – Hepatitis B & C
Lyme Disease is one of the most prevalent communicable diseases in New Jersey. It is not communicable person to person, but it is carried by a “vector”. It is caused by a spirochete (curvy shaped) bacterium, which is carried by the deer tick (now called the black-legged tick- the vector) to animals and people. Not all black-legged ticks carry Lyme Disease, and it is believed that a tick must be feeding on the host for at least 24 hours for infection to occur.
University of Rhode Island Tickencounter Resource Center
Click here for more information.
Sexually Transmitted Disease
The number of diagnosed Sexually Transmitted Disease cases in the US increases each year. Half of all 20 million newly diagnosed STD infections are in people ages 15 to 24. If left untreated, these diseases can cause infertility, as well as other serious health problems. One kind of STD, the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), can cause cancer, but it can now be prevented by vaccinating adolescents. Information about this vaccination is on the Hillsborough Health Department website. Many of these diseases can be cured or treated and all it takes is to GET YOURSELF TESTED. The Centers for Disease Control Recommends regular testing by risk level for early detection, and you can read more about it at the CDC link on the Hillsborough Website under “health” and “disease prevention”. You can be tested at your physician’s office, or at Zufall Health in Somerville, or other locations in NJ. Links to these sources re available on the on the Health Department Website.
April is also Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The Health Department would like to recognize Zufall Health in Somerville for their Sexual Assault Prevention and Recovery Services, Survivor accompaniment to the police station, hospital, court and Counseling Services. Their Confidential Hotline number is: 908-526-7444
Planning a trip out of the United States? Visit the CDC Travel Information page to for travel health notices, updates and vaccine information.
Zika Virus is the newest mosquito-borne virus to be reported circulating in different parts of the world. Like Zika, the Chikungunya, and Dengue Viruses are also new mosquito-borne viruses that have been circulating. Zika virus is carried by certain types of mosquitoes, that don’t live in NJ, but may live in warmer climates in the U.S. However, there is a new resident mosquito in New Jersey, the Asian Tiger Mosquito (Aedes albopiticus), that can possibly carry these diseases, so we must watch for this occurrence.
There have not been any cases of Zika that have originated in people within the US, only in several people who returned from travel outside the country to areas where Zika has been spreading. Please read the information at the Centers for Disease Control link:www.cdc.gov/zika, about Zika Virus. You can also read about other types of diseases similar to Zika at nj.gov/health/cd/topics/vectorborne.shtml. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, and are planning travel or have recently returned from Zika affected areas, please read all information on the Centers for Disease Control and NJ Department of Health websites, and speak to your physician, to be sure to exercise precautions advised, or to have testing done as per the recommendations posted. If you are a man returning from Zika infected areas, please also read the advisories and testing information. It is possible that Zika can be spread from a man through semen. So it is important to follow recommendations for prevention.
Also, please see the travel advisories regarding Zika, especially for the protection of pregnant women, and women who are planning to become pregnant at wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-information. This link also gives information about travel advisories to for different areas of the world.
The NJ Department of Health and local health departments will monitor this disease through surveillance, and as usual, mosquito control efforts and surveillance are important to controlling the spread of these diseases to the US and New Jersey. At this time, we do not have any cases of these diseases that have originated here in NJ. Please see
Please see http://www.co.somerset.nj.us/government/public-works/roads-bridges/mosquito-control/faqs to learn about the importance of mosquito control and what you can do in our area to control mosquito-borne illness.
Please call the Hillsborough Health Department if you have any questions or concerns.
Check back in August for information on how to prepare for the upcoming flu season