We are celebrating Women's Health Month by sharing some reminders to all women to focus on their health. Some diseases are more common to women such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, postpartum depression, and osteoporosis. It's very important for women to be able to identify each of these diseases, be aware of risk factors & symptoms, as well as preventative measures that can be taken.
This form of cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States. Being proactive and the ability to find it early is the best chance of successful treatment.
Risk factors for breast cancer include:
- Being a woman
- Being over the age of 50
- Presence of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes
Symptoms of breast cancer include:
- Any change in the shape or size of the breast
- Any nipple discharge
- A new lump in the breast or underarm
- Any pain in the breast area
For more information on breast cancer awareness, click here.
Pre-cancerous cells are graded on a scale of 1-3 based on level of abnormality and gradually develop abnormal changes. Not all women with pre-cancerous cells in the cervix will develop cancer. Screening and treatment of these pre-cancerous cells is very important. PAP tests detect any changes in the cells of the cervix and the HPV test looks for infection.
For more information on cervical cancer, click here.
In a woman's lifetime, the risk of getting ovarian cancer is about 1 in 78. Studies show that ovarian cancer develops in the fallopian tubes and that type of cancer develop in women with BRCA gene mutations. To detect ovarian cancer early, doctors look at the pattern of proteins in the blood (proteomics).
For more information on the symptoms and risk factors of ovarian cancer, click here.
This disease causes bones to become weak, sometimes so much that even a small fall or minor stress can cause a fracture. Osteoporosis fractures are most common in the wrists, spine, and hips. Women that are older, post-menopause, and white or Asian are considered high risk individuals.
Symptoms of osteoporosis include:
- Back pain
- Loss of height
- Poor posture
- Bones that break easier than expected
Medication, weight-bearing exercise, and a healthy diet can help to prevent bone loss.
For more information about the prevention and treatment of this disease, click here.
Most new moms experience may new emotions, including very high highs, and very low lows (referred to as the baby blues). However, some moms experience a much more severe, longer lasting form of this known as postpartum depression. If you are experiencing this, it is not a weakness or failure, it is a complication from giving birth.
Symptoms of "baby blues" include:
- Mood swings
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Inability to concentrate
- Appetite issues
- Trouble sleeping
Symptoms of postpartum depression include:
- Excessive crying
- Difficulty bonding with the baby
- Overwhelming fatigue
- Reduced interest and pleasure
- Intense irritability and anger
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
For more information on postpartum depression, click here.