Category Archives: Women’s Health

OVARIAN CANCER

OvarianCAUSES – Ovarian cancer starts in the ovaries. The ovaries are the female reproductive organs that produce eggs. Doctors do not know exactly what causes ovarian cancer.  There are some factors and conditions that may increase a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer.  A family history of breast or uterine cancer also confers an increased risk for the development of ovarian cancer.  If a woman has ovarian cancer and her daughter develops ovarian cancer, the daughter will probably develop the cancer at a relatively young age. Women who have never given birth have a greater risk of developing ovarian cancer than women who have had children.  The number of childbirths correlates directly with a decrease in risk for developing ovarian cancer. 

TREATMENT – Surgery is the usual first treatment for ovarian cancer. Surgery is used to treat all stages of ovarian cancer.  Surgery performed by a specialist in female reproductive cancer has been shown to result in a higher success rate. For earlier stage of ovarian cancer, surgery may be the only treatment. Surgery involves:

  • Removal of the uterus (total hysterectomy)
  • Removal of both ovaries and fallopian tubes (bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy)
  • Partial or complete removal of the omentum, the fatty layer that covers and pads organs in the abdomen
  • Examination, biopsy, or removal of the lymph nodes and other tissues in the pelvis and abdomen

PREVENTION – It is best to discuss with your doctor about specific treatments if you are considered high risk for ovarian cancer.

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MENOPAUSAL PROBLEMS

menopauseCAUSES – Menopause is the state of an absence of menstrual periods.  Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when the ovaries cease their normal function.  Estrogen levels are decreased; which protect the bone.  A woman can develop osteoporosis later in life when her ovaries do not produce adequate estrogen.  Some symptoms of menopause are hot flashes and mood swings.

TREATMENT – Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or postmenopausal hormone therapy (PHT) consists of estrogens or a combination of estrogens and progesterone. Hormone therapy is used to control the symptoms of menopause related to declining estrogen levels such as hot flashes.  Hormone therapy is available in oral or through a skin patch.  Phytoestrogens have a chemical structure that is similar to the estrogens which is naturally produced by the body and is found in a variety of herbs and foods.  Herbal TherapyBlack cohosh is an herbal preparation that is used for the relief of hot flashes.  There are many supplements and substances that have been listed as “natural” treatments for symptoms of menopause, including Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) which contgain a form of phytoestrogen,  or plant estrogen, and dong quai (Angelica sinensis).  Estrogenic herbal creams may help relieve vaginal dryness and dry skin. Combinations of motherworth (Leonurus cardiaca), chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus), hawthorne (Craetegus oxyacantha), and other herbs may help with the rapid heartbeat that comes with hot flashes.

Nutrition and Diet – Eating foods high in plant estrogens may alleviate symptoms:

  • Soy beans
  • Lima beans
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fennel
  • Celery
  • Parsley
  • Flaxseed oil

PREVENTION – By raising your calcium intake and exercising, you can avoid osteoporosis.  Also, a daily consumption of vitamin E (400 to 800 IU) can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and hot flashes.

http://www.botanicchoice.com/Womens-Health/Menopause-Support/

 

INFERTILITY

infertility-11-femaleCAUSES – The most common cause of infertility in men is sperm disorders.  This may be low sperm count or blocked ducts.  A lack of ovulation or an impeded journey of the egg from the ovary to the uterus via the fallopian tubes in women causes infertility.  Age can also be a factor in women.

 TREATMENT – Sometimes surgery can correct the cause of the problem in men. Doctors can surgically remove sperm directly from the male reproductive tract.  Some antibiotics can also be used to clear up infections affecting sperm count.  Sometimes semen has no sperm due to a blockage in the man’s system. In some cases, surgery can correct the problem in women as well.  There are some fertility drugs that will increase a woman’s chance of having twins, triplets, or other multiples.

 PREVENTION – For women, they should not douche and after intercourse, they should remain supine for a few minutes.  Men should avoid saunas, hot tubs, and close-fitting underwear.  A bad cold or flu can depress a man’s sperm count for up to three months.  They should try and stay healthy as much as possible.

CERVICAL CANCER

CAUSES – Many cases of cervical cancer are associated with known risk factors for the disease. Some of the risk factors cannot be avoided, but many can.  Studies have found that infection with the virus called HPV is the cause of almost all cervical cancers.  An HPV infection that doesn’t go away can cause cervical cancer in some women.  Women who have had several sexual partners or have had a history of sexual transmitted diseases are at risk for cervical cancer.

TREATMENT – There are several treatment options for women with cervical cancer.  Some of the options include; surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or combination of these methods.

PREVENTION – Cervical cancer is preventable and curable if it is detected early. Cervical cancer rates are higher among older women.  By avoiding the risk factors and increasing the protective factors, your chance of developing cancer decreases. It is best to use some form of contraception to decrease the risk.

BREAST PROBLEMS

CAUSES – Most breast problems are a localized swelling, knot, bump, or protuberance in a woman’s breast.  Breast lumps can appear in both sexes at all ages. In women, the fear is usually of breast cancer but many breast lumps turn out, fortunately, to be due to benign conditions that can be successfully treated such as infection, trauma, fibroadenomas (the most common benign breast tumors in women under the age of 40), or cyst conditions. No breast lump should be dismissed as benign until it has been checked by a licensed physician.

TREATMENT – Fluid can be drawn from a cyst in which your doctor will insert a needle into the infected area to examine the fluid and eliminate the cyst.  Because they are difficult to distinguish from cancer, fibroadenomas are usually removed.  Some alternative choices are:

  • Chinese Herbs (dong quai, bupleurum, and dandelion to reduce breast lumps).
  • Herbal Therapies (evening primrose oil (500mg two or three times a day may be helpful in reducing breast lumps)).
  • Nutrition and Diet (400 to 1,200 IU of vitamin E, plus no more than 50 mcg a day of selenium (which can be toxic in higher doses)).

PREVENTION – The best course of action if any is to get regular check-ups, maintain a proper diet, and exercise.