Men and women do have a lot in common, but there are also marked differences between them. Women, for example, face their own unique health challenges, such as risks for pregnancy issues, menopause complications, and breast and gynecological disorders.
In an effort to provide our patients with useful information to guide them along the path to optimal health and well-being, we asked our very own women’s health experts here at University OB/GYN Associates about the medical issues that specifically affect women. Let’s explore each of their answers.
Breast cancer, the second most common type of cancer affecting women in the United States, often starts in the lining of the milk ducts, and commonly presents itself in the form of a breast lump.
Our experts highly encourage women to have their breasts examined regularly to detect and mitigate any problems while they are still treatable.
Ovarian cancer is an umbrella term referring to different types of cancers that affect the ovaries, or in the related areas: the fallopian tubes and the peritoneum (the tissue that lines the abdominal cavity and protects the organs in the abdomen).
Ovarian cancer is dubbed by experts as the “sneaky type of cancer.” as it often does not produce any noticeable symptoms in its early stages. When symptoms do manifest, they’re usually attributed to other unrelated conditions (e.g., gastrointestinal problems). Symptoms of ovarian cancer include weight loss (possibly due to quickly feeling full even when eating a little), pelvic pain, abdominal swelling or bloating, constipation, back pain, and fatigue.
Cervical cancer is cancer of the cervix—the narrow passage between the vagina and the womb (uterus). This type of gynecologic cancer is considered a sexually transmitted disease, mainly caused by chronic infection with certain types of the human papillomavirus (HPV).
Given the cervix’s proximity to the uterus, women with cervical cancer commonly experience abnormal uterine bleeding. They also experience pelvic pain as well as heavy and foul-smelling vaginal discharge.
To help protect women against cervical cancer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends HPV vaccination for girls and women—starting at age 9 through age 26 for those not adequately vaccinated previously.
Preexisting conditions – such as asthma, diabetes, and depression – can pose a threat to the health of a mother and her unborn child unless properly managed. Also, pregnancy can lower an otherwise healthy mother’s red blood count, triggering anemia or inducing depression. However, with regular prenatal check-ups, these and other pregnancy issues can be mitigated.
Menopause-Related Health Risks
Menopause, an inevitable phase of every woman’s life, is not entirely harmful in itself. However, it does bring on a host of distressing symptoms, such as sleep problems, mood swings, hot flashes, chills, among others. The dramatic decline in estrogen levels that happens during and after menopause also increases a woman’s risk for many potentially serious health problems, such as heart disease (the leading cause of death in women) and osteoporosis (bone loss).
Women’s Health Services in Syracuse, New York
At University OB/GYN Associates, our women’s health experts are all committed to creating a positive, appreciable impact on the lives of the women in our community by providing them with unmatched health care. We also take great pleasure in setting aside our time to educate them and empower them to make the wisest decisions about their health.
To see one of our women’s health experts here at University OB/GYN Associates, please call us today at (315) 464-5162. We look forward to serving you!