However, the month also is a time to observe and be aware of several causes.
On the health front, May is observed at cancer research and high blood pressure education month.
In recognition of the need for high-quality, innovative cancer research, the United States Congress has designated May as National Cancer Research Month. National Cancer Research Month is intended to help renew the nation’s focus on cancer research with the goal of increasing the spectrum of cancer research and care in the United States.
May also is National High Blood Pressure Education Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 73 million people in the United States have high blood pressure. High blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, with are the first and third leading causes of death in the nation.
The CDC recommends that people have their blood pressure checked regularly. Lowering high blood pressure can reduce new events and deaths from heart diseases and stroke and can be achieved through lifestyle modifications alone or in combination with prescribed medications. Key lifestyle changes include weight reduction and control, adequate physical activity, moderation in alcohol intake, reduced dietary sodium and increased dietary potassium.
May is a time to be aware of the environment as well and has been designated as Clean Air Month. According to the CDC, air pollution is caused by undesirable substances that enter the earth’s atmosphere, and has become a large problem, especially in larger cities.
Several studies have shown the links between pollution and health effects. Everyday conscious decisions, such as planning trips to save gasoline, carpooling and choosing efficient lightening appliances, can help reduce air pollution.
As the warmer weather brings more outdoor activities, such as cycling, May also serves as Bicycle Safety Month. Following safe techniques is the first step in preventing bicycle related injuries and deaths. According to the CDC, more than 500,000 people in the United States are treated in emergency departments, and more than 700 people die as a result of bicycle related injuries.
Wearing a helmet correctly is a major step in bicycle safety. Being aware of traffic, wearing bright clothes and avoiding biking at night are other ways to stay safe.
Other causes being observed include Lou Gehrigs Disease (ALS) Awareness Month, National Arthritis Month, Heal the Children Month, Tay-Sachs And Canavan Diseases Awareness Month, Meditation Month, National Stroke Awareness Month, Fibromyalgia Education and Awareness Month, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, National Foster Care Month, Get Caught Reading Month, National Teen Self-Esteem Month, National Neurofibromatosis Awareness Month, Family Wellness Month, Mental Health Month, Haitian Heritage Month, National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, Older Americans Month, International Multiple Sclerosis Month, Osteoporosis Prevention Month, Better Hearing and Speech Month and Hepatitis Awareness Month.