A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Shelley Shearer: Oral cancer may be more common than you think; self-check and consult your dentist

There are nearly 50,000 new cases of oral cancer in the United States each year, accounting for three percent of all cancer diagnoses. Most are discovered in a dental office. Oral cancer is caused by the uncontrolled growth and reproduction of cells in some regions of the mouth. It can occur inside the cheeks, under the middle and front of the tongue, or on the tissue lining of the mouth or gum. That’s...

Whayne Herriford: Establishing and maintaining boundaries in relationships is key to mental health

For many of my clients, one of the sources of both depression and anxiety is their ability to establish and maintain boundaries with other people. In therapy, boundaries are the limits or rules we set for ourselves and others in relationships. It’s based on our understanding what we want or need in our lives and how we are willing to allow people to help us fulfill them. Boundaries often are developed...

Smoking while pregnant: learn more about the risks and why you are putting yourself, baby at risk

By Nancy Baker Childmode For women, pregnancy is a perfect time to quit smoking. Smoking cessation during pregnancy will help you have more energy and feel better through your pregnancy. It will also help you reduce future health risks like cancer, heart disease, and other lung problems. Smoking during pregnancy puts both you and the baby at risk. Over 1000 babies in the United States pass away every...

Healthy Headlines: Four common myths about genetic testing and why they are not accurate

St. Elizabeth Healthcare If you could take a simple test that would identify your risks of developing a potentially deadly disease so you could prevent it or treat it sooner, wouldn’t you? A proactive genetic test can do just that. Caroline Ewart, Genetic Counselor in the Center for Precision Medicine and Genomic Health at St. Elizabeth Healthcare, says, “Understanding your family tree is important...

Smoke-free advocates rally in Frankfort for measures to decrease soaring youth use of e-cigarettes

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Kentucky’s Coalition for a Smoke-free Tomorrow rallied in Frankfort this week to call on state lawmakers to pass several measures aimed at decreasing electronic-cigarette use among the state’s youth, a phenomenon that continues to surge. Between 2017 and 2019, e-cigarette use more than quadrupled among the state’s middle-school students and...

Kentucky Health Issues Poll finds majority of adults in Commonwealth favor tax on e-cigarettes

Tobacco remains the single most preventable cause of disease and death among Kentuckians. However, the nature of tobacco use is changing, particularly with the rise of e-cigarettes. Commonly known as vapes, vape pens or hookahs, e-cigarettes use a battery and a heating element to deliver nicotine vapor to the user. To better understand the attitudes and opinions of Kentucky adults about e-cigarettes,...

NKY Health Department plans forum to educate the public on the dangers of youth e-cigarette use

The Northern Kentucky Health Department and other community partners are planning a forum titled, “Prevent the Next Generation of Addiction: A Forum to Stop Youth Vaping” to educate parents and those who work with youth on the dangers associated with youth e-cigarette use. The event will take place on Thursday, January 23, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., at the Ignite Institute, located at 37 Atlantic Ave.,...

Age to buy tobacco is 21 thanks to federal legislation; state law pending, health advocates are pleased

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News The minimum age to buy tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, is now 21. Legislation to raise the age from 18 passed Congress as part of the year-end spending bill and was signed into law by President Trump Dec. 20. The “Tobacco 21” legislation, co-sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., gave...

Kentucky Health Collaborative joins forces against lung cancer to diagnose more cases, earlier

By Andrea Slone University of Kentucky Kentucky Health Collaborative (KHC) Members are joining forces to bridge the gap between high-quality health care providers and services and the poor health outcomes of Kentuckians. As a part of KHC’s mission to improve the quality of health in Kentucky, the KHC Executive Committee has prioritized the need to reduce lung cancer mortality as the KHC’s first...

Department for Public Health promotes free text service to help young Kentuckians quit vaping

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), encourages teens and young adults who want to quit vaping to get free help from This Is Quitting, a nationwide texting service. CHFS and DPH officials say cessation services such as This Is Quitting are critical for young people and emphasized that many will be impacted by the recent federal law...

St. Elizabeth expands lung cancer screening program to reach more at-risk people for early detection

Since its 2013 launch, St. Elizabeth’s successful Lung Cancer Screening Program has taken direct aim at the disease in the Northern Kentucky region, completing more than 11,000 screenings and identifying over 100 lung cancers under Stage III, when it’s at its most treatable. But to the Thoracic Oncology Disease Management and Lung Cancer Screening Teams at St. Elizabeth, that wasn’t enough....

Beshear joins advocates, survivors to raise awareness of human trafficking

In an effort to prevent human trafficking, Gov. Andy Beshear invited state leaders, advocates, and survivors to the Capitol rotunda to recognize Human Trafficking Awareness Month. “In Kentucky, everyone should be safe and our communities should be free of the hideous crime of human trafficking,” said Beshear. “As attorney general, I was honored to work with so many passionate advocates and survivors...

Healthy Headlines: A mission trip to Kenya ignited a purpose for St. E physician, registered nurses

St. Elizabeth Healthcare Kericho is a town located in a rural area of west Kenya, a country in East Africa. It’s home to wildlife like elephants and lions and is known worldwide for its tea production.  Tom Carrigan, MD, St. Elizabeth Physicians electrophysiologist and registered nurses Jill Neltner and Nicole Finerty, however, will remember Kericho for the kindness of the local people. Dr. Carrigan,...

Miscarriage: Through the pain and disappointment, we see with clarity a vision of hope and love

This was it! I can’t believe at age 42 we would actually get pregnant. Prayers answered! Our five-year-old son, Sterling, has asked the good Lord every night for two years. To be preggos at this age is so amazing! Secretly, I’ve been praying for a girl. Let’s be honest. . .we all do that for our second child after we pray for a healthy child first. But Sterling wants a sister, too. In fact,...

Cases of flu keep accelerating in Kentucky; there’s still time to get a flu shot

Kentucky Health News Influenza kept spreading faster in Kentucky in the week ended Dec. 21, the last week for which the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state Department for Public Health have issued a weekly flu report. The report said 1,339 new cases of flu were reported that week, another big jump from the 814 new cases reported the week before. During this flu season,...