MARCH IS COLORECTAL CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
The Health Department reminds us that March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Colorectal Cancer is cancer of the large intestine (colon) and rectum. It is the second most deadly cancer of men and women behind lung cancer. Colorectal cancer can develop over time and with early detection can be cured. When abnormal growths called polyps are removed early enough, they will not develop into invasive cancer.
Although some people can get colorectal cancer at a younger age, a risk factor for this cancer is being over age 50. Therefore, the American Cancer Society recommends that all men and women age 50 and over get screened for colorectal cancer. Heredity can also put you at risk, so if someone in your family developed this cancer, you may be at a higher risk. Other predisposing risk factors can be found in the online links found in the Health Department website under “disease prevention”.
The most recommended test is the colonoscopy. This test usually requires cleansing of the colorectal area by drinking a specially prescribed drink and/or taking specially prescribed pills with water. Many doctors will anesthetize patients for the test, so they don’t feel anything. Many people are afraid of having this test done, or they are afraid of what may be found. Avoiding this screening test may put their lives at risk. To get more information on colorectal cancer and screening, please look at the information on the health department website under “disease prevention”. There is information on the disease, the testing procedures, and articles about how to get over your fear of the screening test. Read the information and discuss it with your doctor. The test may save your life.
Colon Cancer, Screening, and Getting Over Fears:
Basic Information and Risk Factors:
Information about Screening and Fears of Screening:
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