There are several health concerns that are specific to women, which take away the lives of many every year. These may be prevented if diagnosed in time. It is therefore important for the fairer sex to be educated in health matters so they can lead healthier lives, without the constant fear of some deadly disease ready to prey on them. Here are some of the top health conditions afflicting women all over the globe.
As per the American Cancer Society’s Global Cancer Facts and Figures 2007, each year 1.3 million women are diagnosed with breast cancer. There are two types of breast cancer: mammary ductal carcinoma that originates from the ducts that transfer milk from the breast to the tissue and lobular carcinoma that originates in the lobules in the breast that produce milk. There are several reasons for the growing prevalence of breast cancer such as genetic factors, late marriages, alcohol abuse, and late childbirth.
Childless women, women who have had early onset of menstrual cycle, and those who have used diethylstilbestrol to prevent miscarriages are more susceptible to breast cancer. Women who have undergone hormone replacement therapy (HRT) are also at an increased risk of suffering from breast cancer later in life. Conventional treatments for breast cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.
Alternative cancer treatments offered in Mexico, India and other medical tourism hotspots are being sought by women from countries where these therapies are too expensive for them to self-finance. Alternative breast cancer therapies focus on improving the patient’s physical and mental well being. These are used in conjunction with conventional therapy for optimum results. A diet rich in antioxidants, regular exercise that control’s weight, and breast feeding can help to prevent breast cancer. Regular check-ups can help in detecting the cancer at an early stage.
A hysterectomy is necessary in patients with diseases such as uterine cancer, fibroids, endometriosis, hyperplasia and uterine prolapse. Fibroids, chiefly responsible for most of the hysterectomies performed, are tumors that grow inside the uterus and cause heavy bleeding and/or pain. Endometriosis is a condition in which the inner lining of the uterus known as the endometrial tissue starts growing on the outside of the uterus causing infertility, painful menstrual periods, and abnormal vaginal bleeding. Childbirth, obesity, and hormonal changes due to menopause can cause uterine prolapse.
When the uterus shifts from its normal place towards the vagina, it causes urinary problems, exertion of pressure on the pelvis, and difficulty with bowel movements. Cancers of various types can affect the reproductive tract such as cervical cancer, uterine sarcoma, ovarian cancer, cancer of the fallopian tubes and endometrial cancer. Hyperplasia is another women’s health problem characterized by the thickening of the uterine lining. This condition can result in abnormal bleeding. A hysterectomy or surgical removal of the uterus and in some cases the ovaries and cervix can help provide relief and ensure recovery.
A large number of women undergo hysterectomies every year. Many of them from the US travel far from home to undergo surgical removal of the uterus in Mexico, India and other countires, where the low cost of medical treatments in low and doctors are relatively easier to approach.
Osteoporosis is characterized by thinning of the bone tissue and loss of bone density. This disease afflicts more women than men and can result in a hunched back, backache, frail bones, and an increased susceptibility to fractures. Women can also get postmenopausal osteoporosis due to hormonal changes. They can also suffer from senile osteoporosis as a result of advancing age.
Risk factors for osteoporosis include age, gender, hereditary factors, and ethnic factors. Caucasian and Asian women are more prone to suffering from osteoporosis. Similarly, individuals with thin-boned frames and those suffering from calcium and Vitamin D deficiency are vulnerable to osteoporosis. Leading a sedentary lifestyle, abusing nicotine, consuming excessive amounts of alcohol and anticonvulsant drugs may increase a person’s chances of developing osteoporosis.
Other health problems that afflict women include heart disease, diabetes, strokes, and diseases of the kidney and lungs. Simple preventive measures such as exercising, meditating and diet control can help reduce health risks and ensure a healthy life.
Deepika Garg Promoting Medical Tourism in Mexico