Top 10 Health Threats For Women And How To Prevent It

1. Heart disease

  • This is the leading killer of both men and women in Malaysia, accountable for about one third of all deaths.

  • The common symptoms of heart disease are: pain or numbness in the chest, back, shoulder, arm or jaw; shortness of breast with little or without exertion, nausea, dizziness, palpitation

How to avoid it:
Modify your risk factors by choosing a healthy lifestyle, including a healthy balanced diet, quit smoking, regular exercise (aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity e.g. brisk walking at least 5 days a week)

2. Breast cancer

  • No.1 cancer killer for women in Malaysia, accounting for about 14.5% of death.
  • Risk factors for breast cancer including increasing age, positive family history/genes, past exposure to radiation, prolonged usage of hormonal replacement therapy and oral contraceptive pills, obesity, alcohol intake, diet high in saturated fat and lack of exercise.
  • Symptoms of breast cancer including hard lump, change in the size or shape of a breast, skin dimpling, nipple turning in (becoming inverted), blood stained nipple discharge and abnormal rash around the nipple areola region

How to avoid:

  • Recommended mammogram screening at 40 years old and above, starts earlier if there is high risk family history
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet and be physically active
  • Don’t smoke
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Breastfeeding more than 2 years

3. Menopausal symptoms
The menopause is a normal part of life; it is not a disease or a condition. Even though it is the time of the woman’s last period, symptoms may begin many years earlier. The most common symptoms are hot flushes and night sweats. Some women may also experience insomnia, incontinence and changes to their mood and sex drive.

How to avoid:

  • Unless symptoms are severe, changes in lifestyle and diet might be all that is needed to deal with the symptoms
  • Hot flushes and night sweats usually improves with regular exercise.
  • Sleep disturbance ca be helped by going to bed and get up at the same time each day, cutting out caffeine and learn relaxation techniques
  • Vaginal discomfort and dryness improves with vaginal lubricants and maintaining sexually active

4. Obesity
Women with a higher degree of abdominal obesity are especially susceptible to type 2 diabetes, and diabetic women have disproportionally higher relative risk of coronary heart disease. Monitoring changes in waist circumference over time can provide an estimate of changes in abdominal fat even in the absence of changes in weight. Women are at increased disease risk if they have a waist circumference > 35 inches (88 cm)

How to avoid

  • Body weight is primarily determined by the critical balance between energy intake and energy expenditure, an obese person’s energy balance over 24 hours has to be negative in order to lose weight. This can be achieved by decreasing total energy intake or increasing physical activity or both.
  • Diet and lifestyle modification is widely considered the primary means to control weight. It is also the most important approach for diabetes prevention

5. Reproductive & maternal health

  • Fertility and pregnancy health are extremely important for women who wish to become mothers.
  • Many women experience difficulty in conceiving and pregnancy related complications, which are distressing. Fertility decreases with advancing women age.

How to avoid:
Seek professional medical help early. In order to identify the problem, fertility testing (husband and wife) may be needed to before suitable fertility treatment is advised. Preconception counselling and health education are important. Always communicate with the care provider regarding labour planning to personalize care to fit the individual need

6. Osteoporosis
Nearly 70% of osteoporosis sufferers are women. You are never too young or old to take care of your bones.
Good lifestyle habits can help you protect your bones and decrease your chance of getting osteoporosis.

How to avoid:

  • Get enough calcium and vitamin D, and eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Exercise
  • Don’t smoke or drink

7. Cervical cancer

  • Cervical cancer is the second most common type of cancer for women worldwide, but it is also one of the most preventable cancer.
  • Cancer of the cervix tends to occur during midlife. Half of the women diagnosed with the disease are between 35 and 55 years of age. It rarely affects women under age 20, and approximately 20 percent of diagnoses are made in women older than 65. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is found in about 99% of cervical cancers. Precancerous cervical cell changes and early cancers of the cervix generally do not cause symptoms.
  • Possible symptoms of more advanced disease include abnormal or irregular vaginal bleeding, pain during sex, or vaginal discharge

How to avoid:

  • Regular Pap smear is the best way to find cervical cell changes that can lead to cervical cancer.Pap smear should begin at age 21. Routine screening is recommended every three years for women ages 21 to 65.
  • If you are age 26 or younger, you can get the HPV vaccination which protects against types of HPV that cause most cases of cervical cancer.

8. Depression

  • Pregnancy, the postpartum period, perimenopause, and the menstrual cycle are all associated with dramatic physical and hormonal changes.
  • Depression can present as persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood, feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness, fatigue, insomnia, loss of interest and pleasure in activities, appetite and/ or weight change and suicidal ideation.

How to avoid:
Even the most severe cases of depression can be treated. Try talking to your partner and family. Depression is commonly treated with medication, psychotherapy (where a person talks with a trained professional about his or her thoughts and feelings; sometimes called “talk therapy”), or a combination of the two.

9. Incontinence

  • Pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause may contribute to urinary incontinence in women.Weak bladder muscles, overactive bladder muscles, and nerve damage may also cause urinary incontinence in women.
  • This is a very common and treatable problem, but a lot of women just bear with it without seeking for medical help

How to avoid:

  • First, see a urologist or gynaecologist.
  • The treatment of urinary incontinenceincludemedication, behavioral or nonpharmacologic treatments eg. bladder training and Kegel exercises, biofeedback and neuromodulation. Surgery may be needed for more severe cases.

10. Violence against women

  • Violence strikes women from all kinds of backgrounds and of all ages. It can happen at work, on the street, or at home.
  • Sometimes, women are attacked by strangers, but most often they are hurt by people who are close to them, such as a husband or partner.Violence and abuse can have terrible physical and emotional effects on women.

How to avoid

  • Prevention should start early in life, by educating and working with young boys and girls promoting respectful relationships and gender equality.
  • Sometimes a relationship might not be abusive, but it might have some serious problems that make it unhealthy. If you think you might be in an unhealthy relationship, you should be able to talk to your partner about your concerns. If you feel like you can’t talk to your partner, try talking to a trusted friend, family member, or counsellor.
  • Do not be afraid to stand up for yourself.
About Us | Contact Us
@2020 All Rights Reserved.