September Is For More Than Leukemia & Lymphoma

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September is Leukemia & Lymphoma Awareness Month, a campaign sponsored by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to bring a greater awareness to blood disorders and to help raise money for research and patient support.

"Awareness Month is an opportunity to increase the public's understanding of blood cancers and encourage people to support the funding of research to find cures and education programs to help patients have the best possible outcomes throughout their cancer experience," said LLS President and CEO John Walter in 2011's press release about September.

The recognition of Leukemia & Lymphoma Awareness Month is very young. It was in September of 2010 that the US House of Representatives passed House Resolution 1433 which declared September accordingly.

September isn't just for blood disorders

If you've ever seen the list of national health observances in the United States, you likely have no idea just how many such observances there are. Every month is pretty well jam packed with health observances.

While there are many individual health observances in September, a few of them can and should be acknowledged together with leukemia and lymphoma awareness because they play an important role in preventing cancers. For example:

September is Fruit and Veggies—More Matters Month

We're all aware of the positive health benefits of fruits and vegetables. The American Cancer Society recommends boosting the amount of fruits and vegetables in one's diet as a means of preventing some cancers and generally having a healthier lifestyle.

Fruit and Veggies—More Matters Month is sponsored by both the Produce for Better Health Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and while it might lean slightly towards kids, the information offered is relevant to people of all ages.

September is also Whole Grains Month

This celebration of the nutritional value of whole grains and whole grain products is sponsored by the Whole Grains Council.

September 13 is National Celiac Disease Awareness Day

Celiac disease, an auto-immune form of gluten intolerance, is associated with a slightly increased risk for non-Hodgkin lymphomas. This is particularly true for T-cell subtypes, most specifically for a rare subtype of T-cell lymphoma known as enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma (EATL),

Although you might think that Whole Grains Month and National Celiac Disease Awareness Day contra-indicate one another, that's not true. In fact, the Whole Grains Council acknowledges Celiac and even offers a helpful list of gluten-free grain choices.

So come September, while recognizing blood disorders, we might also recognize making healthier dietary choices, which may contribute to general cancer prevention and to a healthier, happier lifestyle.

Source: 2012 National Health Observances, National Health Information Center, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC.

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