Most Important Health Concerns For Women

Updated: Oct 27

This article is just meant to provide general information and is in no way intended to serve as professional medical guidance. If you are concerned about your health in any way, you should never put off getting medical assistance from a trained and experienced medical professional.

Introduction


There are distinct medical issues that are unique to women, and these issues require special attention in order to maximize quality of life and to prolong life wherever possible. Because of the many ways in which men and women differ from one another, there are also distinct medical issues that are unique to women. In addition, women are just as susceptible as males are to the illnesses that are commonly associated with the male gender. In order to live a long and healthy life, it is necessary to either steer clear of certain disorders or seek treatment for them.


One pound spent on prevention is always better than two pounds spent on treatment. When it comes to your overall health and wellbeing, this time-honored proverb could not be more relevant. There are a number of disorders whose dangers can be significantly mitigated, and early detection can, in many instances, help save a woman's life.


Women often neglect to think about their health until it is too late to do something about it. Women typically have very full lives; in addition to working, they are responsible for caring for their homes, their children, and their partners, and in the process, they frequently forget about themselves.


Imagine, on the other hand, that you are able to live well into your 80s, that you are able to spend time with your grandchildren, that you are able to go on vacations, or that you are simply able to rest and do whatever you want during your retirement years without having to worry about getting sick or dying from a terrible illness. Consider the fact that there have been so many technical advancements and a vast amount of information gained in contemporary medicine, making it totally possible to live such a long life while remaining in good condition.


Breast cancer as a risk factor


In the course of their lives, more than one out of every nine women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Women who are at their healthy weight have a lower risk of developing breast cancer. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and a nutritious diet, you can lower your chances of developing breast cancer. There are additionally available screenings that can assist with the early detection process.


Screening for cancer is really important


Examining your breasts for lumps at least once a month and going to the doctor if something doesn't seem quite right are both good practices when it comes to breast self-examination, despite the fact that there is some controversy as to whether or not a breast self-exam is actually beneficial.


CBE stands for clinical breast exam, and the American Cancer Society advises that women between the ages of 20 and 30 get a CBE (clinical breast exam) once every three years at the very least. Everyone above the age of 40 should get the CBE once per year at the absolute least.


Mammograms: It is also advised that women age 40 and older get a mammogram once a year, and they should continue getting them as long as they are in excellent health.


MRI and mammography: The American Cancer Society advises that every year, women who are considered to have a high risk of developing breast cancer should get both an MRI and a mammogram. According to the Claus model assessment test, high risk women have a 20% to 25% risk of cancer or a higher likelihood of developing the disease if they meet any of the following criteria:


  • Have been found to have mutations in the human genes BRCA1 or BRCA2, which are the genes responsible for the production of tumor suppressor proteins.

  • If you have a first-degree relative who carries a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, such as a parent, sibling, or child, but you have not undergone genetic testing yourself, you should consider doing so.

  • Had chest x-rays between the ages of 10 and 30Has Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba, Li-Fraumeni, or Cowden syndrome, or has a first-degree family member who has or has had any of these syndromes?

  • Had chest x-rays between the ages of 10 and 30

  • Had chest x-rays between the ages of 10 and 30Has Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba, Li-Fraumeni, or Cowden syndrome, or has a first-degree family member who has or has had any of these syndromes?


It is not recommended that women who meet the criteria listed above and have a lifetime risk of breast cancer of 15% or less undergo breast MRI screening.


Cardiovascular Disease


Both men and women in the United States have heart disease as their primary cause of death, making it the leading cause of death overall. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is responsible for 29% of all deaths that occur among females annually. The real tragedy is that the deaths are almost always unexpected, or that a heart attack results in a handicap that affects quality of life, such as breathing problems while walking, using stairs, or completing any number of day-to-day activities due to mobility restriction. These are just some of the things that can happen. When it comes to heart disease, women are statistically less likely to be diagnosed than males, and this is sometimes the case because both women and their doctors ignore the indicators, which can include nausea and shortness of breath.


The following are some of the risk factors for heart disease that are listed by the American Heart Association:


Increasing in age


People who have a family history of the disease, as well as Mexican Americans, Native Americans, Native Hawaiians, African-Americans, and some Asian Americans, have a higher risk of developing the disease.


  • High levels of cholesterol in the blood

  • The blood pressure is quite elevated.

  • Chewing tobacco 

  • Not getting enough exercise

  • Obesity and being overweight

  • Diabetes


Because the most effective method of avoiding heart disease is prevention, the most important step in maintaining healthy heart function is to begin taking preventative measures at an early age. This involves making healthy lifestyle choices to reduce the overall risk of cardiovascular problems, such as changing one's diet, increasing physical activity, and giving up smoking. If you are experiencing any of the dangers described above, it is essential that you make an appointment with your primary care physician in order to seek prompt intervention and the proper medical direction.


Obesity


In developed nations such as the United States, obesity is rapidly becoming a widespread problem. It is best to avoid going over the allowed weight limitations; nevertheless, if you do become overweight, you can always begin building fantastic food and exercise habits at any time in order to lose weight.


Divide your weight in pounds by the square of your height in inches and then multiply that number by 703. This will tell you if you are overweight or not. If your BMI is greater than 25, you are considered to have a weight problem, and if it is larger than 30, you are considered to be obese. In addition, the body mass index (BMI) scale can provide you with a rapid assessment of where you stand with regard to obesity.


Obesity is linked to a variety of serious health issues, such as coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes (which comes with its own set of risks), and premature death. You can successfully reduce weight, and doing so in a healthy way can be accomplished in a variety of different methods. Consultation with a nutritionist at the outset is highly recommended as a great place to start.


The disease known as colon cancer


Diagnosis of colon cancer in females occurs at a rate that is roughly comparable to that of males. If a person has a screening colonoscopy beginning at the age of fifty and again every ten years after that, they have a very good chance of completely avoiding developing colon cancer. Colonoscopies can detect and remove polyps that cause colon cancer, almost eradicating the possibility of ever having the disease.


People who come from families with a history of colon cancer should get their first screening colonoscopy when they are in their twenties at the very latest. In addition, diets that are low in fat and high in fiber can aid in the prevention of the illness.


Diabetes Type 2


The condition known as diabetes type 2 is characterized by high blood sugar levels as well as a number of substantial problems that appear to be linked to a family history of the disease as well as obesity. If there is a history of diabetes in your family, you should make an effort to keep your weight within the normal range and have your blood sugar levels while fasting checked by your doctor once every three to five years. If you are overweight, you have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, even if there is no history of the disease in your family.


Make an appointment with your primary care provider if any of the following risk factors for type 2 diabetes apply to you:


  • 45 years of age and older

  • You are considered to have pre-diabetes if you are either overweight or obese and your body mass index is 35 or higher.

  • Have you ever experienced diabetes during pregnancy?

  • Have any close relatives that suffer from diabetes type 2?

  • You don't get enough exercise.

  • Have low levels of good cholesterol (HDL) and high levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), respectively.

  • Have you been diagnosed with hypertension?


Some examples of distinct racial and ethnic groupings in the United States include African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.


Cervical Carcinoma


Cancer of the cervical cervix can develop at any time in a woman's life, but it strikes young women in their twenties more frequently than it does older women in their seventies. Getting vaccinated against the different strains of the human papillomavirus, also known as HPV, as early as your teens is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of developing cervical cancer.


It is well-established that HPV infection in the vaginal organs and the cervix raises the risk of developing cervical cancer. The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening for cervical cancer with a Pap smear every three years in women aged 21 to 65 years old. In addition, women should have routine Pap tests performed by their doctor. This is done by scraping cervical cells and studying them under a microscope for any changes that would indicate the presence of precancerous conditions. If you are at least 30 years old, your physician may advise you to get a Pap smear and an HPV test once every 5 years. Both of these tests screen for the human papillomavirus (HPV).


In conclusion


Keep in mind that you do not have to be a victim of these health concerns in order for them to affect you. A healthy lifestyle, including adhering to a nutritious diet and regular exercise, together with regular screening for certain disorders, can help you maintain your health for many years to come.