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There are plenty of health issues of which the general population should be aware. Some of them are hereditary. If you know that your family members often have a particular disease or condition, you should have your doctor check for it frequently.
While everyone should watch out for certain medical conditions, like various cancers, for example, there are also some conditions that affect women more than men. Others affect women exclusively.
Let’s take some time to talk about some of the more dangerous conditions women can develop and how you can watch out for them.
Here are the Five Common Health Issues
Breast cancer is something for which all women need to watch out. Breast cancer:
- Is particularly aggressive
- Typically originates in the milk duct lining
While breast cancer is dangerous, the worst thing about it is that it can spread very quickly to other organs if you don’t catch it early enough. Detecting breast cancer early increases your survival rate.
What women need to do is give themselves a breast exam periodically. You’re checking for lumps. You can stand directly in front of the mirror and do it, and if you notice anything, you should notify your doctor immediately.
Your doctor can conduct an exam at their office as well. While any woman can contract breast cancer, if you know that other women in your family have had it, you need to be extra vigilant.
- Causes one in four female deaths in the United States
- Affects men and women equally
Women need to watch out for it because it kills so many. Doctors call it the silent killer because it can advance so rapidly and insidiously.
The best method to try to prevent heart disease is through behavior modification. Women can try to get their high blood pressure under control. They can do that through medication and also by exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy body weight.
You can also work to lower your high cholesterol, which you can tie directly to your dietary choices as well. You can stop smoking as soon as possible. Smoking and heart disease go hand-in-hand. If you’re having trouble quitting, talk to your doctor about nicotine gum or a patch.
Cervical and Ovarian Cancers
These are two other cancer types that women can contract. These ones affect only women.
Cervical cancer starts in the lower uterus. Ovarian cancer begins in the fallopian tubes. Doctors can have a hard time catching ovarian cancer because it can present with vague symptoms or even no symptoms sometimes. You might have abdominal or pelvic pain, fatigue, weight loss, or an abdominal lump.
You can get a Pap smear, but that only detects cervical cancer and not ovarian cancer. These are not conditions that you can avoid through things like diet changes or exercise. All you can do is get your doctor to check you out if you feel anything unusual.
Anxiety and Depression
Both men and women can feel depressed or anxious. It’s actually fairly common. With women, natural hormone fluctuation can sometimes cause depression or anxiety.
PMS is common, but there is also PMDD, or premenstrual dysmorphic disorder. This condition is similar to PMS, but the symptoms are much more intense.
Shortly after giving birth, a mother might suffer intense depression. She may feel sad, tired, concerned, or have abrupt emotional shifts.
There is also perimenopause, which is when a woman shifts into menopause. She might feel depressed or sad. If you experience any of this, you need to talk to care providers about what treatments you might try.
Osteoporosis is also something that occurs fairly often as a woman gets into her life’s later stages. This is a condition where your bones weaken. It makes it easier for you to fall and break a hip, a wrist, or something else.
If you consume more alcohol, it becomes more likely. Certain medical prescriptions also can cause it, as can steroid use, smoking, genetic factors, exercise lack, and low body mass.
You can get your doctor to give you an ultrasound diagnostic or take X-rays to measure bone density. This condition currently has no cure, but you can use prescription meds and dietary supplements to combat it.
Women should watch out for all these conditions, and others as well. Hopefully, you can avoid most or all of them, and you can live a long, full life. Regular doctor visits and good health practices count for a lot.