Women Health Issues
Over the centuries, Women have proudly claimed to be multitaskers when it comes to personal or professional areas of their lives. A majority of them in lieu of fulfilling their duties, often forget to take care of their health. Negligence of giving least priority is the reason so many of the women across the globe face issues in their health. Some of the most worrisome and vastly occurring diseases are discussed below in this article.
Cancer accounts to the second leading cause of deaths in India. One of the most commonly occurring cancer in several cities across India is Breast cancer (BC), while in rural areas it comes on the second position. It accounts to 1/4th of the type of cancers occurring in women in urban cities of India. The prevalence rate associated with BC is 25.8% per lakh women across the country. According to a statistical analysis in 2017, 3,50,000 women in India were affected with BC spanning all age groups. It is predicted to increase to 18,00,000 women by this year.
What is Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is a kind of cancer which is located in the breasts involving uncontrolled growth of the cells.
Symptoms of Breast Cancer
- The most important symptom is formation of a lump or a thickness in any part of the breasts or armpit
- Changing shape or size of breast/s
- Pain associated with the breasts or armpits
- Nipple discharge sometimes along with the blood
- Formation of several small pits or reddening on the breasts
- Formation of rash/es around the nipple/s
- Inversion or sinking nipple
One cannot single out a cause of getting a breast cancer but a combination of several factors might lead to its occurrence such as the ones listed below.
- Age: More than 80% women suffering from breast cancer are aged above 50. The higher the age, the more chances one develops of having breast cancer
- Lifestyle: Risk of having breast cancer is significantly enhanced if the lifestyle of a female is disturbed. Being obese, drinking alcohol frequently, smoking, physical inactivity, late marriage, delayed pregnancy elevates the risk associated with breast cancer.
- Family history: Having someone in your family with breast cancer, slightly increases the risk of having breast cancer in females
- Puberty and menopause: The earlier a female reach her puberty, the more chances she develops of having breast cancer, though this accounts to a very small factor. Similarly, a late menopause leads to increased chances of harbouring breast cancer.
- Density of breast tissues: Compared to fat tissues of the breasts, if one has more breasts tissues (high breast density), the risk of having breast cancer is increased.
Treatment of breast cancer depends on the type and stage of the breast cancer which may involve killing or restricting the cancerous and nearby tissues or removing it all together with few of the following methods:
- Radiation therapy: It involves the utilization of waves with high energy for killing the cancerous cells.
- Surgery: It involves removal of the entire breast (mastectomy or lumpectomy) in order to avoid the spreading of the cancerous cells as well.
- Chemotherapy: It includes killing of tumor cells with the usage of drugs.
- Hormonal therapy: In this mode of treatment, hormone-controlling drugs are given to the patient especially those against estrogen in order to prevent the further growth of the cancerous cells.
- Immunotherapy: It functions on involving the body’s own immune system to fight off against the disease. Several drugs have been approved as first line of treatment against breast cancer.
Some of the precautionary measures involved with decreasing the risk associated with breast cancer are as follows:
- Limiting the usage of alcohol or smoking
- Having a healthy BMI
- Indulge in physical activities on a daily basis
- Avoiding very late marriages and breast-feeding
- Limiting the time period and dosage of hormone therapy
- Avoiding the exposure to polluted environment and radiations
- Regular self-checking for presence of any lumps or pain.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome develops when the female ovary fails to ovulate on a monthly basis and becomes enlarged due to accumulation of several small fluid filled cysts. It affects women of child-bearing age ranging from 15 to 45 years of age with a prevalence rate of 2.2% to 26%. According to a study, up to 70% of females weren’t diagnosed while they suffer from PCOS. In India, 1 in every 5 women suffers from PCOS according to a report by Metropolis Healthcare in 2015.
What is PCOS?
PCOS is a medical condition very commonly found in females of urban cities. It is a disorder concerning the hormonal imbalance in the female. It involves production of male hormones in the body beyond the limit which is normal leading to missing of monthly menstrual cycle and affecting the female fertility.
Symptoms of PCOS
- One of the major symptoms of PCOS is irregular or missing of periods for month/s.
- Sudden weight gain particularly around the abdomen
- Difficulty in conceiving.
- Hirsutism, which is marked by excessive growth of hairs especially on face, back, chest etc.
- Hair loss or hair thinning on the scalp
- Occurrence of acne or skin becomes oily.
The cause of PCOS is not certain. Yet it is associated with the following factors.
- Family background: Females with a history of relatives having PCOS have an increased risk of attaining PCOS by 50%.
- Lifestyle: Sedentary lifestyle and lack of physical activity leads to attaining PCOS.
- Other diseases: Females suffering from other related diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, Insulin resistance, Cardiovascular diseases, etc.
- Insulin resistance: Since insulin resistance calls for enhanced production of insulin in order to control the glucose levels, it leads to increased production of androgens thus causing PCOS.
- Stress: Long working conditions with a strict timeline elevates stress levels leading to higher risk of attaining PCOS
- Weight: Females who are obese have a higher risk of attaining PCOS.
Treatment of PCOS can be done with the following methods.
- Hormonal medication: Birth control medications such as Metformin, Clomiphene etc are used for regulating menstrual periods and for the treatment of PCOS.
- Surgery: It may be done to enhance the fertility when other methods are not as effective. Drilling of ovary is done which involves making small holes in the ovary using needles or laser for restoring normal ovulation.
- Lifestyle: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with regular physical activity and proper sleeping pattern helps in the treatment of PCOS.
Avoiding junk, oily, sweetened foods or carbohydrate rich food
Avoid works which leads to excessive stress.
Osteoporosis or bone thinning leads to weakening of bones. It’s a result of low bone density and depletion of bone tissue structurally. According to studies, in both the men and women, bone loss initiates between 30-40 years of age. In women this is aggravated when a female reaches her menopause. It’s a global health issue due to which 1 in 3 women are affected with weakening of bones and fracture due to osteoporosis.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis also known as porous bone is a deformity of the bone involving excessive loss of bone or deficiency in making up the bone or both. Due to this, the bones become weak and are susceptible to fractures very easily such as due to sneezing, minor bump or a small fall. Fractures in hips, spine, wrists and ribs are most common in people suffering from osteoporosis.
Symptoms of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis often go symptomless for years or decades.
One of the most common symptoms is pain in the fractured area and the location where the fracture has occurred.
Dull pain in muscles or bones majorly in neck or lower back.
Loss of height due to hunched back.
Fractures occurring even from minor falls, staggering or bumps.
There are several factors associated with osteoporosis. Few of the causes are listed below.
Gender of the patient: Females are more likely to develop osteoporosis than males.
Imbalanced diet: Diet low in calcium, phosphorus.
Family history: Person with a relative suffering from osteoporosis are more likely at risk than other people.
Body structure: Small and thin people are at more risk.
Lack of physical activity.
Deficient exposure to sunlight.
Malabsorption, involving improper absorption of nutrients.
Treatment of osteoporosis occurs through the following methods.
Diet: Person suffering from osteoporosis are suggested to have a diet rich in calcium (1000 mg in a day).
Physical activity: Modification in lifestyle
Medications: Most commonly prescribed medicine for men and women likely to be suffering from osteoporosis include bisphosphonates. Some bone building medicines are also prescribed by some doctors.
- In order to avoid developing osteoporosis one should take a balanced diet since childhood rich in Vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus.
- One should be exposed to sufficient sunlight.
- To prevent early loss of bone, one should regularly exercise.
- Drinking and smoking should be avoided.
- Stress relieving activities like meditation and yoga should be incorporated in one’s lifestyle.
- Maintain a good BMI