September 1, 2022

September Health Awareness Days 2022

September marks more than the start of fall. It’s also packed with healthcare observances, including Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Awareness Month, Neonatal Nurses Week, and World Heart Day, but that is far from all. Keep reading to learn what September stands for in the healthcare industry.

Month-long Observances

Elderly male patient hand in hospital

Blood Cancer Awareness Month

Throughout September, you might see iconic sites turn red as cities and organizations recognize Blood Cancer Awareness Month. According to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), someone in the U.S. receives a blood cancer diagnosis every three minutes, and there are multiple types of blood cancer, including leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, and myeloma. To promote awareness and education around this form of cancer, share facts from the LLS social media pages and use #FightBloodCancer.

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

If you see someone wearing a gold ribbon in September, it could be for childhood cancer awareness. The statistics around childhood cancer are flooring. Each day, three children under 15 die due to cancer. To recognize Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, consider wearing only gold jewelry in September or sporting a gold ribbon all month.

Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month

There are six types of gynecologic cancer, including ovarian, vulvar, uterine, vaginal, and cervical cancers. The sixth type, fallopian tube cancer, only accounts for 2% or less of gynecological cancers, and approximately 300 to 400 women are diagnosed with it annually. To raise awareness of these conditions, wear a purple ribbon to represent gynecological cancer or put on a teal ribbon to recognize fallopian tube cancer specifically.

Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) Awareness Month

ITP is a medical disorder leading to excessive or easy bruising and bleeding caused by abnormally low platelet levels. Those suffering from ITP may experience purple-colored spots on the lower legs and bleeding from the gums and nose. September is used to raise awareness about innovative and progressive research regarding the condition. You can support the cause by wearing purple the last Friday in September, joining a Pump It Up For Platelets run/walk, or using this ITP Awareness Month social media kit.

Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness Month

Lymphoma and leukemia are cancers affecting blood or bone marrow. Lymphoma starts in cells in the lymphatic system, and leukemia begins in tissues that form blood. There are several ways to volunteer with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and you can choose the most purposeful opportunity.

National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month

According to the CDC, at least 932,000 people have died from drug overdose since 1999. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) uses September to promote innovations in evidence-based treatments and new recovery practices. You can support this mission by using one of SAMHSA’s shareable social media graphics about #RecoveryMonth or by sharing SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.

National Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month

September is dedicated to increasing awareness about atrial fibrillation (AFib) by helping the public understand what it is, the at-risk populations, and beyond. AFib is an irregular heartbeat caused by an abnormal contraction of the heart’s chambers, and it can lead to other life-threatening complications. Increase your heart health knowledge by subscribing to the American Heart Association’s monthly Heart Insight publication.

National Cholesterol Education Month

Health experts report approximately 38% of the population has high cholesterol, a serious and symptom-free condition that can increase the risk of heart disease or stroke. You can encourage others to learn about their cholesterol health by checking your cholesterol levels or spreading facts on social media with #CholesterolEducationMonth.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Awareness Month

Healthcare leaders say PCOS is a hormonal disorder affecting nearly 1 in 10 women, and its the most common cause of female infertility. Signs and symptoms can include small cysts on the ovaries, weight gain, and irregular menstrual cycles. During September, you will notice teal-colored lights gleaming throughout some cities to recognize PCOS Awareness Month.

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among U.S. men. Greater awareness around prostate cancer is needed because it affects about 1 in 8 men. The Prostate Cancer Foundation says you can get involved by sending an e-card to someone living with prostate cancer, donating or starting a fundraising campaign on social media, or participating in a run dedicated to the cause.

Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month

Pulmonary fibrosis is a disease that damages and scars lung tissue, which makes it difficult for the lungs to function properly over time. There’s still much to learn about this disease. You can help fund research and awareness efforts by donating during Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month or by posting a picture of yourself wearing blue, explaining the cause, and using #BlueUp4PF on social media.

Reye’s Syndrome Awareness Month

Reye’s syndrome is a rare but serious condition that can lead to fatty changes in the liver, general confusion, and cranial swelling, and most cases are found in children aged four to 12. There is no known cause or cure for Reye’s syndrome yet, and fewer than 20 cases have been reported yearly in the U.S. since 1988. Recognize this healthcare observance by learning more about Reye’s syndrome, its symptoms, and its therapies.

Sepsis Awareness Month

Sepsis is an overwhelming and dangerous immune response to an infection affecting nearly 1.7 million U.S. adults yearly. Sepsis is a medical emergency that requires timely treatment, and its symptoms include an abnormal body temperature, having signs of an infection, mental decline, and being severely ill. Participate in Sepsis Awareness Month by walking a mile – wherever you are – for the Sepsis Awareness Superhero Challenge and post about it on social media with #SepsisAwarenessMonth and #SAM2022.

Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month

Sickle cell disease causes red blood cells to become misshapen, making it harder for the cells to pass through narrow blood vessels, leading to healthcare complications. Recognize this healthcare observance by joining the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America’s Twitter chats to keep the conversation going. Additionally, mark your calendar for World Sickle Cell Day, a healthcare observance held in June.

Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month

Your thyroid gland sits at the base of your neck and is the shape of a butterfly. Thyroid cancer can cause lumps, swelling, and pain in the neck, trouble swallowing or breathing, and voice changes. Raise awareness about thyroid cancer by rocking a tri-colored ribbon of purple, teal, and pink or virtually participating in the International Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference in September.

World Alzheimer’s Month

The Alzheimer’s Association says nearly 11% of Americans older than 65 have Alzheimer’s, a progressive disease that affects a person’s mental capabilities. September is the month to go entirely purple to support additional resources and research concerning this relentless disease. Wear a purple ribbon on World Alzheimer’s Day, held on September 21, or keep the cause year-round by finding a Walk to End Alzheimer’s® near your assignments.

Week-long Observances

National Suicide Prevention Week – September 4 – 10, 2022

According to the World Health Organization, suicide claims the lives of 700,000 people each year. Increasing awareness and accessibility to suicide prevention resources can help save a life. Show support for suicide prevention programs by joining an “Out of the Darkness” walk in a community near you.

If you have suicidal thoughts or thoughts of hurting yourself or others, don’t wait until it’s too late. Call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988 or 1-800-273-8255 or text the Crisis Text Line at “741741” 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Share these resources on World Suicide Prevention Day, held on September 10, to help others who might be struggling. Additionally, you can access TNAA’s mental wellness resources here.

Vascular Nurses Week – September 4 – 10, 2022

Vascular nurses are trained in the most current practices to care for patients with various vascular diseases and health issues. Share your appreciation for vascular nurses simply by thanking them for their work.

National Assisted Living Week – September 11 – 17, 2022

National Assisted Living Week celebrates and recognizes all people, including volunteers and staff members, who make assisted living facilities safe, accessible, and successful. Celebrate by visiting someone in an assisted living facility or being a volunteer for a day.

Nursing Professional Development Week – September 11 – 17, 2022

As a nurse, you must constantly stay updated on the latest practices and technologies in the industry. Celebrate Nursing Professional Development Week by earning more CEUs or thanking the leaders who push you to expand your skill sets.

Nurse monitoring a premature newborn in an incubator while wearing a facemask

Neonatal Nurses Week – September 12 – 18, 2022

Neonatal nurses care for vulnerable infants who suffer from various issues, including prematurity, infections, congenital disabilities, and more. If you’re a neonatal nurse, commemorate this week by taking a photo of you and your coworkers and posting it on social media with #NeonatalNursesWeek.

Day Observances

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day – September 9, 2022

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) are linked to prenatal alcohol exposure. Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a severe FASD, with infants being more prone to death due to physical abnormalities. Use this awareness day to educate expecting parents about alcohol’s effect on a developing fetus and remind them there is no safe time to drink while pregnant.

International Ataxia Awareness Day – September 25, 2022

Ataxia, which can be a symptom of another condition or occur on its own, happens when you have issues with muscle coordination. There are multiple types of ataxia, including cerebellar (involving the brain), vestibular (involving the inner ears), and sensory (which affects your self-positioning sense). Increase awareness of ataxia and the conditions that can cause it by joining the National Ataxia Foundation’s #AskMeAboutAtaxia campaign or participating in a Walk N’ Roll event.

World Heart Day – September 29, 2022

World Heart Day remembers the lives lost to cardiovascular disease (CVD), which claims 18.6 million lives yearly. Care for your heart health by refraining from tobacco use, staying physically active, and maintaining healthy eating habits. And on World Heart Day, help educate others by sharing CVD facts on social media with #UseHeart.