Women’s health awareness: females should devote time to preservation

by Capt. Jayvanita Hill-Moore
86th Medical Operations Squadron

What is women’s health?
Women’s health references to health issues specific to the female human body. Diseases like cardiovascular disease, obesity, osteoporosis, and breast disease are presented in numerous ways within women.

Therefore, it is important that women devote time and effort to the preservation of wellness by early screening, diagnosis, and management of conditions unique to a women’s body.

What is bone health and osteoporosis?
The bone is an organ that has many functions, such as mobility, support and protection for the body.  One of the primary disorders of the female bone health is osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis can be caused by a decrease in calcium, and other essential mineral components of the bone. Individuals with osteoporosis are at greater risk for fractures of the hip bone, vertebrae (spine), and the wrist. Women can significantly reduce their risk of osteoporosis with regular exercise and daily calcium.

What is obesity?
To understand obesity, we must first understand the medical health terminology of Body Mass Index or “BMI.” BMI is the measure of body fat based on height and weight.

For most women, a BMI of 25 to 29 is considered overweight. And, a BMI greater than 30 is considered obese. In order to decrease risks of obesity, you must incorporate regular exercise with at least 150 minutes per week of cardio exercise and eat a well balanced diet which is low in fat.

What is cervical cancer and PAP testing?
The cervix is the lower portion of the uterus and, is vulnerable to several health conditions such as chronic inflammation, polyps, abnormal cells, and cancer. Cervical health conditions rarely present symptoms in the early stages. Therefore, women must obtain regular screenings via Pap testing; this is very important. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist recommend that women have their first Pap test at age 21, and every three years after. Your Health Care Provider can evaluate your need for cervical cancer screening.

Women’s heart health?
Coronary Artery Disease is the number one killer of adult women in the United States.  CAD is caused by the gradual buildup of plaque on the walls of the coronary arteries.

The risk factors for CAD are high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, and smoking.  All women must know that they face the threat of heart disease. You can reduce your risk for CAD by eating healthy, stop smoking, and exercising.

Breast disease and breast cancer?
When women think of breast disease, they think mainly of breast and cancer. But, there are numerous breast diseases which women need to be aware of. The most common cause of breast lumps is Fibrocystic Breast Disease. Common signs of FBD include breast lumps, breast tenderness, and breast pain.
If you have a concern about a breast lump, talk to your health professional right away. They can help order diagnostic testing if needed. Clinical breast exams, mammograms and breast ultrasounds are used to assist with the evaluation of breast lumps.

A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray of the breast, which is used to screen for breast cancer.  All women must know that early detection is the key to preventing breast cancer morbidity and mortality.

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