Written by Kim Cordell | Product Development Administrator, European Medical Journal | @EMJ_Kim
This October, EMJ has proudly showcased its support for National Cholesterol Month, Stoptober, Wear it Pink, and World Psoriasis Day.
Returning for its fifteenth year on October 20thwas Breast Cancer Now’s annual Wear It Pink day. For one of the largest fundraising events in the British calendar, thousands of people across the country came together in all things pink, to raise money for research into the disease.
Whilst the UK’s largest breast cancer charity, Breast Cancer Now has raised over £30 million1since their campaign began, they note that: “…there’s still so much to do, because breast cancer is still here. It’s still tearing apart the lives of families, and it’s still taking the lives of the women we love on a heart-breaking scale.”2 Determined to invest at least £300 million2 into their research over the next 10 years, the charity has called upon all of us to get involved; to make sure the vital research that is taking place to help discover how to prevent breast cancer, how to detect it earlier, and how to treat it effectively at every stage can continue to advance.
In the calendar for over a decade, World Psoriasis Day was held on the 29th October to raise awareness for those living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Organised by the International Federation of Psoriasis Associations (IFPA), World Psoriasis Day did not only act as an opportunity to shine the light on this condition, and the 125 million people3 affected around the world, it offered an opportunity to dispel common myths surrounding the condition and a platform for those affected to have their voice heard.
If you, a friend, or family member have ever found yourselves lighting up a cigarette, and wishing you had the willpower to quit, Stoptober was the event for you. Running throughout October as an annual campaign by Public Health England, this year was the first year that the campaign has supported the use of e-cigarettes in place of the real deal. Allowing you to inhale nicotine through vapour, rather than just smoke, e-cigarettes have been shown to have some of the highest quitting success rates when combined with local stop smoking support services.4 However, Public Health England did note that using e-cigarettes is not completely risk-free and it is of course advised to seek help from your GP or local stop smoking services before making the move for yourself. If you would like to read more about the health impacts of e-cigarettes, take a look at the EMJ Respiratory 5.1 Congress Review section. With quitting for good five-times more likely for those who quit smoking for 28 days,5 giving up this October was the perfect opportunity to ditch the cigarettes and kick-start your health.
Last, but not least, was National Cholesterol Month. Devoted to raising awareness of the dangers of high cholesterol and raising funds for Heart UK, the charity continues to provide vital life-saving work, and encouraged us all to take part in fundraising and sporting events throughout October, in the hope of raising £50,000. Not only does Heart UK campaign for patients to get a proper diagnosis and receive the best possible care, they also strive to increase awareness and alleviation of the health issues associated with high cholesterol, which is a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes, leading to premature deaths. If you are looking to lower your cholesterol, why not start by looking at your food choices? Swap those crisps for carrot sticks, those French fries for fruit, and that Nutella for a handful of nuts, and you will already be doing your bit to help lower that cholesterol.
- Breast Cancer Now. About wear it pink. Available at: https://wearitpink.org/about. Last accessed: 26 September 2017.
- Breast Cancer Now. About breast cancer now. Available at: https://wearitpink.org/about/about-breast-cancer-now. Last accessed: 26 September 2017.
- International Federation of Psoriasis Associations (IFPA). World Psoriasis Day. Available at: https://ifpa-pso.com/our-actions/world-psoriasis-day/. Last accessed: 2 October 2017.
- Public Health England. E-Cigarettes. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/stoptober/home#5CRePIZemwb1bFUt.97. Last accessed 4 October 2017.
- Public Health England. Stoptober. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/stoptober/home#5CRePIZemwb1bFUt.97. Last accessed: 4 October 2017.