Monday, October 24, 2016

Breast Self-Exams for Her

According to Johns Hopkins Medical Center, “Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important.” While mammograms can help you to detect cancer before you can feel a lump, breast self-exams help you to be familiar with how your breasts look and feel so you can alert a healthcare professional if there are any changes. Both men and women are encouraged to perform a self exam at least once a month.
  • About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
  • In 2015, an estimated 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 60,290 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer.
  • About 40,290 women in the U.S. are expected to die in 2015 from breast cancer, though death rates have been decreasing since 1989.
  • Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women.
Are You at Greater Risk?
  1. Gender: Although men can develop breast cancer, it is more common in women.
  2. Age: The risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer increases as you age.
  3. Genetics: Your risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer doubles if your mother, sister, or daughter has had either types of these cancers.
How to Exam Yourself:
There are multiple ways to perform a self examination. Please see the instructions provided below for each technique.
In the Shower:
  • Put your right arm behind your head and with your left hand check your right breast for lumps or thickenings.
  • Choose 1 of the 3 patterns. With the fingers of your left hand, apply 3 levels of pressure--light, medium and firm--in overlapping, dime sized, circular motions to feel entire breast tissue, including underarm. Examine the underarm with your arm only slightly raised.
  • Put your left arm behind your head and repeat steps with your right hand on the left breast and underarm. Also, look in a mirror for changes in shape, size, or skin texture of breast. Check the nipples for changes, including unusual discharge.
Laying Down:
To examine your right breast, place your right hand behind your head. Follow the same technique as in the shower. Check for lumps, knots, or thickenings. Then put your left arm behind your head, and repeat with your right hand.
Before A Mirror:
With hands firmly pressing down on hips, check for changes in shape, size, or texture of your breasts.

Make an Appointment:
If you feel as though you need to see a medical provider, contact EIU Health Service at (217) 581-3013, visit, or stop by the Human Services building and see an Appointment Clerk to set up a visit.





Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Think Before You Drink

Alcohol intoxication, sometimes known as alcohol poisoning, is a serious and sometimes deadly consequence of drinking large amounts of alcohol in a short period of time. Alcohol poisoning is closely correlated with high risk drinking.  High risk drinking is defined as consuming 4 or more drinks in one setting in the past 2 weeks for women and 5 or more drinks in one setting in the past 2 weeks for men. Drinking too much in a short period of time can affect your breathing, heart rate, body temperature, and gag reflex. This can cause the user to go into a coma and potentially lead to death. Despite the risks, more than 38 million Americans report binge drinking more than 4 times a month and consume an average of 8 drinks per binge (CDC, 2012).

Some of the most common signs of alcohol poisoning are:
  • Confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Seizure
  • Slow breathing (less than 8 breathes per minute)
  • Blue tongue or pale skin
  • Passing out
If you or someone you know experience any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately. 
In the United States, a standard drink is one that contains about 14 grams of pure alcohol, which is found in:

12 ounces of beer
5 ounces of wine
1.5 ounces of distilled spirits or liquor

Virtually all students will be exposed to drinking directly or indirectly at some point in their college careers. Four out of five college aged students consume alcohol. There are many alarming statistics associated with the use of alcohol especially in this college age range of 18-24 (NIAAA, 2016). Many of these statistics are due to a lack of knowledge and experience when consuming alcohol.
  • Death: 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol.
  • Assault: More than 690,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.
  • Sexual Abuse: More than 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual abuse.
  • Injury: 599,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 receive injuries while under the influence of alcohol.
  • Academic Problems: Approximately 25% of college students report academic consequences from their drinking behaviors (including: missing class, falling behind, poor paper and exam scores, and overall lower grades).
  • Health Problems/Suicide Attempts: More than 150,000 students develop an alcohol-related health problem and 1.5% of students indicate that they tried to commit suicide within the past year due to drinking or drug use.
What Can We Do For You?
Request a Presentation
Request a presentation today and the HERC staff will come to you! Whether it be for a residence hall, a Registered Student Organization, class, or other groups, the staff will provide tips, information, and interactive discussions about alcohol, related risks, and how to be safe when consuming alcohol. Visit and fill out the form under “Request Form.”

EIU Collegiate Recovery Community
The EIU CRC provides an empowering environment where students living in, or seeking, long-term recovery from substance use disorders and other quality of life concerns can successfully realize their goals of academic success and an improved quality of life. The EIU CRC mission is to help students maintain a sober and health lifestyle in order to fully engage in their academic, social, and personal pursuits.  In the service of this mission, our aim is to:

  • Provide a safe, supportive space for students with alcohol and drug issues to engage in sober activities with other recovering students
  • Raise awareness about long-term recovery as a viable goal for students who struggle with addiction, as well as combat the stigma associated with alcoholism and drug addiction
  • Foster supportive relationships with the friends, allies, and family members of those who struggle with addiction
For more information about the CRC, please visit or contact Amanda Harvey at (217) 581-7786 or
Additional On-Campus Resources
Health Education Resource Center (HERC)

Health Service
Counseling Center

 Student Standards

Monday, October 10, 2016

Understanding Drug Addiction

Drug addiction is the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma. Addicts often times do not realize or believe they are addicted, even if they show all the signs.

Drug addiction includes: the inability to control drug use, even when it causes bodily harm, a constant, intense craving for the drug(s), and potential harm to both the body and mind.

  • Loss of control
  • Neglecting other activities
  • Risk taking
  • Relationship issues
  • Secrecy
  • Disheveled appearance
  • Increased tolerance to drug(s)
  • Withdrawals

1. Family History of Addiction

Drug addiction is more common in some families and likely involves genetic predisposition. If you have a blood relative, such as a parent or sibling, with a drug problem, you are at greater risk of developing a drug addiction.

2. Being Male

Men are more likely to have problems with drug abuse than women are. However, progression of addictive disorders is known to be quicker in females.

3. Having a Mental Health Disorder

If you have a mental health disorder such as depression, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder, you are more likely to become dependent on drugs.

4. Peer Pressure

Peer pressure is a strong factor in starting to use and abuse drugs, particularly for young people. Research confirms that most adolescent drug users are introduced to this behavior by friends or people that they know.

5. Lack of Family Involvement

Difficult family situations or a lack of a bond with parents and/or siblings may increase the risk of addiction.

6. Taking a Highly Addictive Drug

Some drugs, such as stimulants, cocaine, or painkillers, may result in faster development of addiction than other drugs.

*Information found at


There are several options to choose from when considering the types of treatment and support available to substance users. Some of those options include:

EIU Counseling Center
EIU’s Counseling Center offers addiction counseling to EIU students. Addiction counselors can help patients resist the temptation to keep using or for recovering addicts to use again. To make an appointment, visit or call (217) 581-3413.
EIU Collegiate Recovery Community
The EIU CRC provides an empowering environment where students living in, or seeking, long-term recovery from substance use disorders and other quality of life concerns can successfully realize their goals of academic success and an improved quality of life. The EIU CRC mission is to help students maintain a sober and healthy lifestyle in order to fully engage in their academic, social, and personal pursuits. If you are interested in joining the CRC, contact the Health Education Resource Center at (217) 581-7786 or e-mail
Treatment Programs
Depending on the severity of the addiction, inpatient or outpatient treatment programs may be beneficial. These programs often offer recovery from the effects of addiction through individual and group counseling, as well as provide social support to maintain a drug-free lifestyle.
Additional information regarding drug addiction may be found at

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Flu Myths

It’s that time of year again! Aside from cold weather, winter is often accompanied by sniffles, coughs, and a variety of other illnesses.  While we try our hardest to avoid fall and winter’s vicious illnesses, sometimes it is unavoidable. This is why it is important to cover all of our bases and remain healthy and safe, not only for ourselves, but for those around us. 

The flu, or influenza, is “a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory passages causing fever, severe aching, and catarrh, and often occurring in epidemics” (Oxford Dictionaries). Fortunately, with the flu shot, our chances of catching the flu decreases drastically. The flu shot not only protects ourselves, but also our community from spreading a potentially harmful epidemic. Flu shot season is October through January. However, the earlier you get it, the better your chances are of NOT catching the flu and spreading it to others.

When and where do we get the flu shot?
Luckily for EIU students and staff, a flu shot clinic will be offered on October 12th from 9 AM to 4 PM in the MLK Union. Faculty, staff, and retiree shots will be given by the Coles County Health Department in the Bridge Lounge. Student shots will be provided by EIU Health Service in the University Ballroom. Be sure to bring your Panther Card to take advantage of this FREE opportunity!

Flu Shot Myths vs. Facts
Immunizations, specifically the flu shot, have been a hot topic in the media over the past year. Unfortunately, many people have been given “facts” about the shot that are not actually accurate.  These "facts" can sabotage our perceptions of immunizations and ultimately effect our decision to get the shot. Let's talk more about those "facts" in detail.

MYTH: "The flu is just like a bad cold."
FACT: Influenza (flu) is far more dangerous than a bad cold. It's a disease of the lungs, and it can lead to pneumonia. Each year about 114,000 people in the U.S. are hospitalized and about 20,000 people die because of the flu. The flu poses the largest risk to children age 2 or younger and adults age 65 or older.

FACT: Flu vaccines are made from killed influenza viruses. These viruses cannot give you the flu.

MYTH: "Even if I get a flu shot, I can still get the flu."
FACT: This can happen, but the flu shot usually protects most people from getting ill. It's is important to note that the flu shot will not protect you from other viruses, even if those illnesses have flu-like symptoms.

MYTH: "The vaccine isn't 100% effective, so I'm better off getting the flu."
FACT: No vaccine is 100% effective. However, if you get a flu shot but still get the flu, you are at a significantly decreased risk to get sick than you would be without protection. 

MYTH: The side effects are worse than the flu."
The worst side effect you're likely to experience is a sore arm. Allergic reactions to the flu shot are rare and often far less severe than complications from influenza.

FACT: "Not everyone can take the flu shot."
If you are allergic to eggs (used in making the vaccine); are very ill with a high fever; or have had a severe reaction to the flu vaccine in the past, a flu shot may not be in your best interest.

MYTH: "Only the very old and sick need the flu shot."
FACT: Both adults and children who are in good health need a flu shot to stay healthy. Even if you aren't at high risk of complications, you should get a flu shot to prevent the flu and to protect everyone you live with and  come in contact with.

MYTH:  "December is too late to get a flu shot."
FACT: The flu shot can be given before or during the flu season.  While the best time to get a flu shot is October or November, a flu shot in December will still protect you against the flu.