Education Resources

Asthma is a chronic (long-term) disease that makes breathing difficult. It can’t be cured but there are things you can do to manage it. With proper treatment, people with asthma can lead normal, active lives.

If you have asthma, your airways (breathing passages) are extra sensitive. Certain things can cause your extra-sensitive airways to:

  • Become red and swollen – your airways get inflamed inside. They fill up with mucus. The swelling and mucus cause your airways to become narrower, making it harder for the air to pass through.
  • Become “twitchy” and go into spasm – the muscles around your airways squeeze together and tighten. This can cause your airways to become narrower, leaving less room for the air to pass through.
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Chronic Obstructuve Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a term referring to two lung diseases – chronic bronchitis and emphysema . It is characterized by obstruction of normal airflow. COPD sufferers generally experience shortness of breath, especially during exercise, and have excessive sputum production and cough.

COPD can be a serious disease that affects every part of life and alters the ability to work. More than 750,000 Canadians suffer from this disease. Many more have COPD but have not been diagnosed. COPD affects 3.9 per cent of men and 4.8 per cent of women, and is becoming a crucial women’s health issue.

COPD is expected to be the 3rd leading cause of death worldwide by 2020.

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Cancer Screening

Ontario offers screening programs for three types of cancer: breast, cervical and colorectal.

Breast Cancer Screening:

The Ontario Breast Screening Program makes screening easily accessible. Women with or without a family physician can be screened through the OBSP. Women can book their own appointments and are reminded by letter when they are due for their next screen.

The OBSP currently delivers services through 140 screening sites including the mobile coach in Northwestern Ontario and 28 breast assessment sites across the province.

Cervical Cancer Screening:

Prevention and early detection are the key aims of the Ontario Cervical Screening Program (OCSP). Cervical cancer can be prevented. Cervical screening with Pap tests can detect cell changes and precancerous lesions associated with persistent infection with high-risk types of Human Papillomavirus. All women need a regular Pap test within three years of starting any kind of sexual activity. Pap tests can find cell changes early, long before there are any symptoms and before a diagnosis of cancer. With regular Pap tests and HPV vaccine, it is possible to eradicate cervical cancer.

Colorectal Cancer Screening:

When caught early through regular screening, colorectal cancer is 90% curable. Ontario’s ColonCancerCheck program was announced by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in collaboration with Cancer Care Ontario in January 2007. This province-wide, population-based screening program provides funding to screen:

All asymptomatic, average risk men and women 50 years and older using a simple Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) every two years; and
Those at increased risk because of a family history of colorectal cancer (mother, father, sibling, children), and people with a positive FOBT test, by colonoscopy.
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FOBT instructions are available in several other languages from SETFHT such as Urdu, Vietnamese, Greek, Chinese. Please ask your health care provider for copies.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition in which your body cannot properly use and store food for energy. The fuel that your body needs is called glucose, a form of sugar. Glucose comes from foods such as fruit, mild, some vegetables, starchy foods and sugars.

To control your blood glucose you will need to eat healthy foods, be active and you may need to take pills and/or insulin.It is important you have as much information as possible to better understand your diabetes and know what you can do to manage it.There are many things you can do to live a full and healthy life with diabetes such as eating healthy and being physically active.

Healthy living and a healthy weight can:

  • help you prevent or manage diabetes
  • improve your blood sugar, blood pressure and blood lipids (fats)
  • reduce the risk of complications such as heart disease and stroke
  • improve your general health and energy levels

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Diabetic Foot Care

Foot problems are very common in people with diabetes and can lead to serious complcations. Prevention is the best medicine. A good daily foot care regime will help keep your feet healthy.For more information on how to properly care for your feet, see the below attachment.

SETFHT offers Infant and Child Nutrition classes led by our Dietitian and Nurse Practitioner on a regular basis. Please check with your health care provider or front administrative staff for when the next class is being offered.

Mediterranean Diet Score Tool

The Mediterranean diet offers many positive benefits on physical and mental health. Use this tool to see how close you are to following a Mediterranean way of eating. Answer the following questions, giving yourself 1 point for each “yes” answer.  Research shows that raising your score by 2 points is linked with improved health including lower mortality rates and reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, alzheimers and depression. Once you have your score, look at your “No” answers and pick two areas you can work on to improve your Medi diet score by 2 points.

To access the tool, please click HERE.

Learn more about Healthy Eating by speaking to a Registered Dietitain for FREE!

What is heart disease?

Your heart is a muscle that gets energy from blood carrying oxygen and nutrients. Having a constant supply of blood keeps your heart working properly. Most people think of heart disease as one condition. But in fact, heart disease is a group of conditions affecting the structure and functions of the heart and has many root causes. Coronary artery disease, for example, develops when a combination of fatty materials, calcium and scar tissue (called plaque) builds up in the arteries that supply blood to your heart (coronary arteries). The plaque build up narrows the arteries and prevents the heart from getting enough blood.

What can you do?

Heart disease is preventable and manageable.Your best defense is controlling the risk factors that could lead to coronary artery disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, stress, excessive alcohol consumption, physical inactivity and being overweight.If you’ve been diagnosed with a heart condition, there are treatments to help you manage your illness. You can further reduce your risk by considering these heart-healthy steps:

  • Be smoke-free.
  • Be physically active.
  • Know and control your blood pressure.
  • Eat a healthy diet that is lower in fat, especially saturated and trans fat.
  • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Manage your diabetes.
  • Limit alcohol use.
  • Reduce stress.

Visit your doctor/primary health care provider regularly and follow the advice provided to you. For more information please visit

Mental Health

Mental illnesses can take many forms, just as physical illnesses do. Mental illnesses are still feared and not well understood by many people, but the fear will disappear as people learn more about them. If you, or someone you know, has a mental illness, there is good news: all mental illnesses can be treated.


Problems and misfortunes are a part of daily life. Everyone experiences unhappiness, and many people may become depressed temporarily when things don’t go as they would like. Experiences of failure commonly result in temporary feelings of worthlessness and self-blame, while personal losses cause feelings of sadness, disappointment and emptiness. Such feelings are normal, and they usually pass after a short time. This is not the case with depressive illness.

Depression becomes an illness, or clinical depression, when the feelings described above are severe, last for several weeks, and begin to interfere with one’s work and social life.

If you or someone you know needs more help than friends or family can provide, contact a community organization, such as the Canadian Mental Health Association, which can help you find additional support. You can also speak with your health care provider about what services SETFHT can offer.

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Further information coming soon!

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue. This leads to increased risk of fracture (broken bones), particularly of the hip, spine and wrist. Osteoporosis is often known as “the silent thief” because bone loss occurs without symptoms.

As many as 2 million Canadians suffer from osteoporosis.

One in four women over the age of 50 has osteoporosis and at least one in eight men over 50 also has the disease. The disease can also strike at any age.

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Women and men have many of the same health problems, but they can affect women differently. For example, women may have different symptoms of heart disease.

Some diseases or conditions are more common in women, such as osteoarthritis, obesity and depression. And some conditions such as menopause and pregnancy are unique to women.

It’s important to make informed choices about your health.

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