Know the Risks: Prevent Oral Cancer

 Baltimore, MD (April 2, 2013) – Brushing teeth twice a day for two minutes can save a smile. But using those minutes for a painless oral cancer exam during a medical or dental check-up can save a life.

During Oral Cancer Awareness Month, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) encourages people to schedule dentist appointments.

“While the survival rate for oral cancer has somewhat improved over the past 50 years, it is still too low,” said Dr. Harry Goodman, Director of the DHMH Office of Oral Health. “Unfortunately, this is because most people are diagnosed with oral cancer at a late stage.”

Over 650 Marylanders will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year. Any of the following signs present for more than two weeks can signal the disease:

· A white or red patch in the mouth, tongue or lips
· A sore, irritation, or lump in the mouth
· Hoarseness or feeling that something is caught in the throat
· Difficulty moving the tongue or jaw
· Numbness of the tongue or other areas of the mouth
· Swelling of the jaw causing dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable
· Swelling in the head or neck region

When these often unnoticed changes are discovered early, oral cancer can be treated successfully and painlessly. But there are further preventative measures that can thwart the power of this cancer, specifically quitting smoking.

While many acknowledge the difficulties in quitting tobacco smoking, there are many programs and opportunities to assist people, including the Maryland Tobacco Quitline (1-800-QUIT NOW). This 24/7 service offers free counseling and nicotine patches to customers, if needed.

“While tobacco use remains a principal cause, other risk factors such as heavy alcohol use and exposure to Human Papillomavirus (HPV) play a role in the disease process,” said Goodman.

Limiting alcoholic drinks and risky sexual behaviors, eating many fruits and vegetables, and using lip balm with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15 are all effective ways to reduce the risk of oral cancer and HPV.

For more information on oral cancer, visit the Office of Oral Health website: http://phpa.dhmh.maryland.gov/oralhealth. For more information about the Maryland Tobacco Quitline, call 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669), or visit www.quitnow.net/maryland.

 

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WCHD News

 

(Snow Hill, MD)- The 22nd Annual “Tortoise & Hare Dare” 5K walk/run will be held at 9 am, on Saturday, April 6, with a rain date of April 13, at Pocomoke River State Park-Shad Landing, Snow Hill, Maryland. Registration begins at 8:30 am. This is a FREE event and is Pet-Friendly and will be led by Smokey the Bear. The first 100 runners/walkers to check-in on the day of the event will receive a free commemorative T-shirt. There is no cost to take part in the Tortoise and the Hare Dare. The Worcester County Health Department, Worcester County Department of Recreation & Parks, and Pocomoke River State Park all co-sponsor the 5k.

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(Snow Hill, MD)- The Worcester County Health Department is pleased to announce new funding awarded through the Maryland Department of Health, Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, to put into action community-based projects that support physical activity in Worcester County. This new grant funding will help WCHD create projects that line up with the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Healthy People 2020 campaign.

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Worcester County Lead Poisoning Prevention Program provides consultation to parents, home owners, renters, landlords, medical offices, and other concerned community members on the lead poisoning, prevention, testing, and regulations. Education and case management is provide to parents with children with elevated blood lead levels. Call 410-632-1100 for more information. 


What is lead poisoning?

Lead poisoning is one of the most common environmental child health problems in the United States and effects 3 to 4 million children. Lead is especially harmful to children younger than 6, but anyone who eats, drinks, or breathes something which has too much lead can get lead poisoning. Although chipping paint and paint dust are the most common sources of lead, lead can also be found in ceramic cups and dishes, fishing sinkers, craft supplies, leaded crystal, spray paint, and even in soil and water.

Click the image below for more information.

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Flu season is fully underway but it's not too late to reduce your risk. Flu vaccines are still available in Worcester County and simple, everyday precautions such as washing your hands, staying home when you're sick, and covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze can help stop the spread of the flu. To learn more call 410-632-1100 or click the image below to visit the CDC page on flu prevention. 

 

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Snow Hill Rotary partners with Worcester Health on prescription lockboxes; Health Department to launch new substance abuse awareness campaigns in Spring 2019


(Snow Hill, MD)- The Worcester County Health Department and Snow Hill Rotary Club partnered in 2019 to provide free prescription lockboxes to the community. In 2018, the Rotary conducted a needs assessment to determine priorities for where to donate their resources. After having presentations from various organizations, including the Worcester County Health Department, it was determined that the opioid crisis would be a priority area and partnering with the health department to provide lock boxes was the intervention they selected. The Snow Hill Rotary Club also participated in a Naloxone training provided by the health department.

Funded by the Rotary Club, the new lockboxes encourage residents to keep their prescription medications, such as opioids, safe and secure. In addition to promoting responsible opioid storage, Worcester Health will launch several new awareness campaigns this spring focusing on Addiction in the Workplace, Naloxone training, reducing the stigma around recovery as well as promoting the State of Maryland’s Good Samaritan Law.

“I would like to thank the Snow Hill Rotary Club for partnering with the Worcester County Health Department on the lockbox initiative,” said Rebecca Jones, Health Officer for Worcester County. “This is another avenue in which to fight the ongoing opioid crisis.”

 Pictured (left to right): Mimi Dean, Director of Prevention, Worcester County Health Department, Rebecca Jones, Health Officer, Worcester County Health Department, Marty Pusey, Snow Hill Rotary Club, Chris Welch, President, Snow Hill Rotary Club.

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