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Posted by Royal Sundaram on 28 Feb 2011
Health should be the top concern for every individual – man or woman. Heart diseases, obesity, stroke, diabetes, in today’s world, affect both genders equally. But there are some diseases which are more common in women or specifically affect them. Here’s a list of diseases women should pay attention to.
Breast cancer – 1 in 10 cancers diagnosed, is breast cancer, which tops the worry list of women.
What it is – Uncontrolled growth of mutated cells, originating in breast. Like any cancer, the carcinogenic cells spread to other body parts over a period of time. If women approach doctor the moment they notice any abnormality, most deaths can be prevented. It’s easier to uproot a plant, but difficult to uproot a tree!
- Abnormal lump in breast
- Changes in breast size and shape
- Spontaneous discharge from nipples
- Skin dimpling
- Nipple discharge
What you should do – There are no known preventive measures for cancer. The best thing, is to test for lumps through regular breast self-examination.
Osteoporosis – Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones, which affects more women than men.
What it is – Bone density is altered due to loss of calcium, reducing the strength and making body susceptible to fractures. Bones become porous and in extreme cases, compressible like a sponge.
Symptoms – Osteoporosis rarely presents symptoms and is diagnosed only after substantial calcium loss, which takes years to develop. Some of the serious symptoms include –
- Frequent fractures or broken bones.
- Hunched back
- Back pain
What you should do – There is no particular cause of Osteoporosis. Risk factors include – low calcium diet, low amount of Vitamin D in body, lack of exercise, old age.
The best way to ward off osteoporosis is to eat a calcium rich diet, exercise and ensure you expose yourself to sunshine. Women require 1000 mg of calcium in a day. This requirement increases as one grows old (up to 1200 mg), especially after menopause.
Anaemia – Anaemia literally means “lack of blood”. It is the most common blood disorder, majorly affecting women.
What it is – Anaemia may be due to low RBCs (red blood cells) or haemoglobin. There are some complicated types of anaemia, which is read only by medical students!
- Pale skin
- Weak muscles
- Yellowish tinge in eyes and skin
- Shortness of breath
What you should do – The most common type of anaemia is caused due to insufficient iron intake. Hence, the best way you can prevent it, is by taking atleast 15 – 20 mg of iron per day.
And finally :
Diseases of Uterus – Gynaecological problems exclusively affect women, which include – uterine cancer, cervical cancer, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, etc.
What it is – The diseases of uterus are many. Endometrial cancer refers to the cancer of inner lining of uterus. Cervical cancer affects cervical area. Fibroid is non-cancerous tumour. Let’s leave the heavy details for doctors!
Symptoms – The symptom depends on the disease.
What you should do – Diseases, such as cervical cancer rarely presents any symptoms, until it has reached into a very advanced stage. Women should understand that it is necessary and very important to consult a gynaecologist, screen for any diseases, especially after the age of 40 to keep all uterine problems away. Yearly check up is a must.
Talk to your doctor and learn more about your health today.
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