From choosing your own paths to shaping your careers, you have broken barriers. From bringing a life to the world to exploring life in space, you have revolutionized the world. From working tirelessly to accomplishing quietly, you have set your own trends. You are worth a thousand words and to mark your being, International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 every year.
This day is marked to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. At the same time we should educate women about their health, well-being and lifestyle concerns.
Top three health concerns of women
- Heart disease: Females tend to be under-diagnosed for heart diseases and the real trouble is in premature death and disability caused by heart diseases. Chest pain isn’t the only symptom which you should take notice of, because symptoms like jaw pain, shoulder ache, nausea, vomiting, or shortness of breath can be indicative of a heart problem.
- Breast Cancer: This is the most common type of cancer in women but it can be tackled by controlling your weight, exercising, quitting smoking, and talking to your doctor about your risk & regular screening tests.
- Osteoporosis: Women have always accepted hunched back, back pain, and frailty as a lifestyle of old age. But they can now take steps like consuming adequate calcium and practicing weight-bearing physical activities in their childhood, adolescence, and in their early adulthood to keep bones strong and avoid fractures.
Regular health screenings for women
There are a few important screening tests you should take as recommended by doctors based on your risk factors.
- Blood pressure test: Get tested for blood pressure every 2 years if you have normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80).
- Bone mineral density test (osteoporosis screening): If you are above 65 years of age, get this test done at least once. Consult your doctor if you are younger.
- Breast cancer screening (mammogram): If you are between 50 to 75 years of age. get yourself examined for breast cancer every 2 years. Consult your doctor if you are younger.
- Cervical cancer screening (Pap test): If you are above 30, get a Pap test and Human papillomavirus (HPV) test together every 5 years. You don’t need the test if you have had your womb and cervix removed (total hysterectomy).
- Chlamydia test: If you are above 25 years of age and at an increased risk of chlamydia infection, get tested.
- Cholesterol test: After you turn 20, get yourself regularly tested for cholesterol levels if you are at increased risk for heart disease. Consult your doctor on how frequently you need to be tested.
- Colorectal cancer screening: Get yourself examined for colorectal cancer if you are between 50 to 75, after discussing with your doctor.
- Diabetes screening: Get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you are under medications for high blood pressure.
- Gonorrhea test: Get tested for gonorrhea if you are sexually active and at an increased risk of gonorrhea infection.
- Syphilis test: Get tested for syphilis if you are at an increased risk of syphilis infection.
Here’s to STRONG AND HEALTHY WOMEN. May we know them, may we be them, and may we raise them!!
- U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES. ACCESSED MAR 5, 2016.
- U.S. NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE. ACCESSED MAR 7, 2015.