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Understanding the immune system is important for public health professionals as they will be able to advise members of the public on the importance of maintaining healthy immune systems. Eating a balanced diet with vitamin C, D, zinc, iron and protein has been identified as critical for the growth and function of immune cells while diets high in processed food can negatively affect it (Nutrition and Immunity, 2021). This understanding of the immune system has aided public health professionals in the creation of vaccines that protect people from potentially deadly viruses. A vaccine is the preparation of antigenic material designed to induce an immune response and immunological memory when injected and immunization has been proven to be a cost-effective way to prevent infectious diseases (Battle, 2009).
‘Inflammation can be defined as the body’s local and vascular and cellular response to injury caused by factors that invade and injure the body from outside or factors within the body that result in cellular or tissue damage’ (Battle, 2009). Signs of inflammation have been compared to a car’s dashboard engine light that tells you when something is wrong (Harvard Health Publishing, 2017). A public health professional being able to identify the signs of inflammation and understanding the pathophysiology will be able to determine when there is injury in a body that may need attention. Knowing that acute inflammation is identified with redness, swelling and pain that occurs for a relatively short period of time as opposed to chronic inflammation that lasts a long period of time can assist a public health professional advise patients. Diseases such as diabetes, cancer, arthritis and Crohn’s disease are associated with inflammation (Harvard Health Publishing, 2017).
Carcinogenesis is the generation of cancer from normal cells and has three stages-initiation, promotion, and progression. It is important for public health professionals to understand carcinogenesis as they will be able to provide the community with information about cancer prevention techniques and provide high risk populations with primary prevention. Minority communities are particularly at risk and can benefit from accessible cancer screening and pubic health professionals can act as advocates for those who need it the most.
Battle, C. U. (2009). Essentials of public health biology: a guide for the study of pathophysiology. Jones and Bartlett Publishers.