Happy International Women’s Day! Are you prioritizing your health and well-being enough? Let’s celebrate International Women’s Day by breaking the bias in women’s health.
Looking out for your health is important; it matters. Together, let us educate more women in taking care of themselves and their health.
Celebrate International Women’s Day: Break the Bias
What is International Women’s Day? It’s our day!
International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate the women’s rights movement. It’s a day to commemorate women’s achievements. It’s a day to bring attention to several issues, including gender equality, violence against women, and women’s health care.
This year’s theme to celebrate International Women’s Day is #BreakTheBias, and one of their missions is Women’s Health. As a Health Coach, I would like to highlight this mission and raise awareness so women can make informed choices.
Women’s Health & Breast Cancer
This International Women’s Day, let us find out more about breast cancer.
What is breast cancer? According to WebMD, “ breast cancer is made of unusual cells that grow out of control.”
“Breast cancer usually begins either in your glands that make milk (called lobular carcinoma), or the ducts that carry it to the nipple (called ductal carcinoma).”
The causes of breast cancer are not exact. However, certain things make you more likely to get it, such as age, genetic factors, personal health history, diet, and more. Some of these are things you can control while others, you can’t.
Advancement in Breast Cancer
Breast cancer research and study are constantly improving, and there have been a lot of breakthroughs. Early detection and treatment research has been conducted globally, and a lot of advancement has been emerging for the past couple of years.
Here are some of them:
There is a genetic test that can identify patients who can forgo chemotherapy after surgery. Even if cancer spreads to nearby lymph nodes already. However, some patients might not need post-op chemo.
According to Dr. Francisco Esteva, chief of breast medical oncology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, this is a major advance in their efforts to personalize breast cancer care and better define prognosis and predict potential benefit from therapies.
Just recently, there was an experimental therapy that may be effective for some women with advanced breast cancer. Although it is still on an ongoing trial at U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI), there is a new hope that there will be a fresh approach to treating women whose breast cancer has spread throughout the body and is not responding to standard therapies.
Yes, it’s not a myth. With nanotechnology’s help, cancer treatments can be safer and more precise. According to the research, nanotechnology can diagnose and treat disease at a tiny level. Nanoparticles are 100 to 10,000 times smaller than human cells, making it possible for them to locate and kill cancer more precisely.
Breast Cancer Prevention
Prevention is always better than cure. How can you prevent breast cancer?
Yes! For the moms out there, breastfeeding can lower the risk of getting breast cancer. The longer you breastfeed, the better.
Get a mammogram every 1-2 years. A mammogram is an X-ray picture of the breast. Doctors use a mammogram to look for early signs of breast cancer.
Limit Hormone Therapy after Menopause
Combination hormone therapy may increase the risk of breast cancer. Instead, ask your doctor for some non-hormonal options. You might manage your symptoms with non-hormonal therapies.
A healthy diet is always good. Here are the foods that might help you prevent breast cancer:
- Leafy green vegetables
- Citrus Fruits
- Fatty Fish
- Fermented Foods
- Allium Vegetables
- Peaches, Apples & Pears
- Cauliflower, Cabbage & Broccoli
- Herbs & Spices
Women’s Health & Cervical Cancer
Another important thing that women should be aware of is cervical cancer. Now, what is cervical cancer?
According to WebMD, “Cervical cancer happens when cells change in women’s cervix, which connects the uterus and vagina. This cancer can affect the deeper tissues of their cervix and may spread to other parts of their body (metastasize), often the lungs, liver, bladder, vagina, and rectum.”
The cause of cervical cancer is mostly by the infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV). Unlike breast cancer, cervical cancer grows slowly, so there’s usually time to find and treat it.
Advancement in Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer affects a lot of women each year, but thanks to improved screening, women can now detect it at an earlier stage. In the last few years, medical innovation has paved the way for more research on cervical cancer.
Here are some of the most notable advancements:
Pap Test / Pap Smear
This test is done to look for changes in cervical cells before they turn into cancer. Finding it gives patients an early best fighting chance.
Breakthrough Cervical Cancer Treatment
Patients with metastatic (recurring) cervical cancer can have another ray of hope. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted sped-up approval to Genmab and Seagen’s TIVDAK drug. This is the first and only approved antibody drug, and now it’s in its trial phase.
Cervical Cancer Prevention
Just like breast cancer, prevention is better than cure. Start doing these healthy habits so you can prevent cervical cancer.
Get a Pap Test / Pap Smear
If you’re already 21 years old or older, you can get a pap test every 3 years. For women in their 30s to 60s, it is advisable to get a pap test and HPV test every 5 years.
Get the HPV Vaccine
Remember, the FDA has approved this HPV Vaccine; it protects people against two HPV strains. These strains cause 70% of cervical cancers. Aside from that, it also protects people against the HPV types that are linked to 90% of genital warts. It can administer this vaccine as early as 9 years of age.
Practice Safe Sex
Using condoms does not 100% prevent HPV or cervical cancer. However, if used correctly and consistently, they can surely lower your risk of getting cervical cancer.
Once again, a healthy diet can definitely save you. Flavonoids & Folate are chemical compounds that can help you prevent cervical cancer. We can find these in:
- Black Beans
- Lima Beans
- Orange Juice
Other Healthy Habits You Can Start Today
Your health matters. Aside from the things mentioned above, especially eating healthy, here are five healthy habits that you can start today to celebrate International Women’s Day.
- Set Your Goals & Plans for the Day
- Express Gratitude
- Move Your Body
- Keep Stress at Bay
Do you need something to help you keep track of your healthy habits? My 2022 Habit Change Journal can be of help with that too. Each month is jam-packed with different focuses in each of the big 5 areas of life to unleash your personal development transformation.
Again, Happy International Women’s Day!