There are numerous health issues that affect women therefore women are supposed to fully take charge of their healthy. Women ought to look at their family medical history, pay attention to their bodies and enlighten each other about the same. Proper understanding of ones body is essential in solving the surrounding health problems. Health issues affecting women often start during the adolescent stage because of the menstrual flow and these issues continue throughout their lives. The quality life is very instrumental in identifying some of the healthy issues which may affect women. Women’s reproductive health issues are just a single aspect of many issues facing women. Some of the general health issues affecting women include breast problems, fibroids, heavy periods, infertility and endometriosis among others. This term paper will address four main women’s issue in relation to quality life. These issues include breast problems, heart problems, menopause and endometriosis (Popkin and Peddle 1994).
Over fifty percent of women in the whole world experience breast changes which keeps fluctuating in relation to the menstrual cycle. This women experience unbearable discomfort because of the changes that occur in their breasts. At times the breasts might swell, become too tender or even form lumps. In a world where breast cancer is the daily norm, these experiences make women to be greatly troubled. Other times some of the affected women may not bear to hug because of the excessive discomfort. About fifteen percent of all women are usually affected by endometriosis which is among the most common gynecological conditions. Nearly half of all the women who are affected by this condition end up being infertile. Estimates reveal that about five million United States women and approximately two million of Britain women suffer from this healthy issue.
Women who are majorly affected by this condition are those who have attained more than thirty years before bearing any child. Most people that this health issue is very sensitive to the levels of estrogen. Therefore continuous menstrual cycle without any pregnancy stop makes many women prone to endometriosis. In our current societies women keep postponing child bearing until later years and as a result there are many infertility endometriosis linked chances. On addition to that infertility rate is a high among women who have over thirty years. Women over fifty two years and those who have reached menopause are greatly affected by heart complications. Many women at this age die as a result of heart complications. On addition to that women with cardiovascular diseases are at high risk of getting other diseases like hypertension and stroke. Research shows that women who have gone through menopause can reduce the risk of getting heart complications by stopping smoking, exercising regularly, eating foods with low fats and shedding of extra weight among others. These are among some of the health issues affecting women (Popkin and Peddle 1994).
Gender similarities and differences in presentation and treatment of breast cancer
Breast cancer is a malignant neoplasm of the breast whose origin is the breast tissue. There are various types of breast cancer depending on its origin, stage, genetic makeup and aggression among many others. Breast cancer is very low in men compared to women. It is almost infrequent in men because it accounts forms only one percent of all the male cancers therefore this is an issue affecting many women. On addition to that the microscopic cancerous tissue structure of the female breast cancer is similar to that of the men. Presentation of male breast cancer is similar to the female breast cancer because it develops as a small lump. The same treatment is used both the two genders. The male breast cancer is different from that of the women as far as aggression is concerned. For instance male breast cancer tends to be more aggressive than female breast tumors. This great aggression is very dangerous because it results to reduced prognosis.
The occurrence of male breast cancer does not increase with age as it does in women. Therefore it has remained the same during the lifespan of men. Men who are prone to breast cancer are those with some complications like dysfunction, gynecomastia, and klinefelter’s syndrome. Other medical complications which are greatly associated with increased breast cancer in males include increased serum cholesterol, chronic liver diseases, diabetes mellitus which is non insulin dependence and gallstones. Men with high fertility levels tend to be at low risk of developing breast cancer and even those with a medical history of prostate cancer. Limited research has been done in male breast cancer because there are only few cases of male breast cancer (Popkin and Peddle 1994).
Recent research suggests that there exist significant differences in presentation, pathology and survival between women and men breast cancers. The early stage of the disease survival rate appears to be inferior and therefore there seems to be important differences in biology and pathogenesis of the male and female breast tumors. Male breast cancer is on the increase though more effort has not been put in determining the differences between male and female breast cancers. Male breast cancer is very rare and for this reason this rarity is a major obstacle to progress and understanding of the appropriate treatment. For this reason the male treatment for breast cancer has always been extrapolated from the female treatment in spite of the different clinicopathologic features. For instance the role that is played by estrogens and hormones in developed of male and female breast cancer is very different.
Researchers are not sure if male hormone receptor positive tumors have the same diagnostic implications between the two genders. The foremost treatment of male breast cancer is hormonal therapy and the commonly used drug is tamoxifen. The other drug which is also useful in treating male breast cancer is aromatase inhibitors of new generation. This drug is being used basing on the data that was collected from the women breast cancer. Through research it has been found that male often suffer from ductal breast cancer as compared with other forms of breast cancers. On addition woman rarely suffers from ductal and lobular carcinoma. Positive estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor carcinoma were more common in males compared to women. Men with breast cancer often receive less chemotherapy when compared to women though there is no hormonal treatment difference. The rate of men surviving from breast cancer is very low when compared to that of women (Gandey 2006).
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Despite the increased survival rates women with breast cancer continuously go through psychological distress. High rates of breast cancer in young women are attributed to the quality of lives they live. For instance smoking and heavy drinking in women is a risky factor in development of breast cancer. Male breast cancer diagnosis usually occurs late and it’s the main cause of poor outcome among its patients where in women early diagnosis usually occurs because it is a common disease among the females. Early prognosis is important as far as outcome is in question. Lifestyles affects the lives of people to a great extend. For instance overweight is being associated with increased breast cancer among men and females.
Gender similarities and differences in presentation and treatment of heart diseases
Some recent research reveal that women with heart complications are not treated seriously as males with heart problems. Studies show that men are the most recipients of heart operations and diagnostic procedures that are invasive more than men. For instance more men usually undergo coronary bypass surgery when compared to females. Therefore men with heart complications receive much attention from physicians as compared to women with the same complications and that is the reason many women die because of this heart complications. Statistics reveals that the main health issue which is killing many women is heart disease when compared with other common diseases which affect women like breast cancer and other cancers. Research reveals that though women with heart complications receive less medical attention compared to men there survival rate or prolonged life is high. Therefore despite the fact that all attention is given to men their survival rate is low (Gandey 2006).
Practitioners explain that women usually receive more primary care and on addition the way they utilize the provided medical care is very different from men. Besides that women receive about 40 to 50% medical care for other complications more than men. For instance women often receive medical care in relation to their reproductive health on the contrary men do not usually receive this excessive care and most of times they are usually transferred to specialists. Therefore this is the reason why though men with heart complication receive much attention there outcome is not very good as it would be expected. Women are more prone to preserved systolic heart failures while men suffer less from systolic dysfunction. Women generally receive less aggressive treatment when compared to men with similar heart complications. On addition to that women receive less rhythm control when compared to men though they may receive same oral anticoagulants. Women under treatment are more likely to go into stroke than men (Dagres et al 2007).
Some of the common heart complication symptoms between men and women include sweating, general weakness, fatigue and nausea, though general weakness and nausea is great in women than men. Despite the fact that both genders may experience some similar symptoms women are less likely to be treated with the same treatment that men receive. Endometriosis is a disease that affects women. Its symptoms are very different among the patients. Other factors that contribute to the varied symptoms among patients include the diseases location. Some of the complaints which are raised with patients suffering from endometriosis include pelvic pain, infertility, dyspareunia and dysmenorrheal. Endometriosis is a common issue among women it is characterized by pain which may be recurring. On addition severely medical complications may result if the patient has some other medical conditions.
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On addition to three women’s health issues that have been discussed in this paper one common health issue which is prevalent at a particular stage in the life cycle of a woman is menopause. Menopause is the end of ovarian function which happens before a woman reaches the end of her natural lifespan. Menopause shows that fertility has reached its end and it usually occurs around a woman’s middle life. A woman who has reached menopause no longer has her menstrual flow which usually comes on a monthly basis. There are different types of menopause for instance there is the natural occurring menopause, surgical menopause where a woman’s ovaries are removed through a surgical process. Some of the characteristics which shows that menopause has begun include a small change in the menstrual cycle length. These variations keep increasing as time goes and they may eventually result in absence of the menstrual flow for some months. An indication of complete transition to menopause is the absence of menstrual flow for one year.
The age that women reaches menopause greatly varies from one person to another though the average for Australian women is 51.7 years. On addition, women normally realize menopause symptoms as they approach those years. Alterations in the bleeding patterns as well as menstrual cycle change are a clear indication that a woman is approaching menopause. Menopause transition years are characterized with irregular menses and increased levels of Follicle Stimulating hormone. Generally the transition period is supposed to take about one year though the perimenopausal effects might start early and continue after the one year. On addition, hormonal changes seem to be very steady at the begging and even termination of the menopause transition period.
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Menopause sets in when production of progesterone and estradiol by the ovaries stops. This action may occur naturally or it can be induced artificially through surgery by removing the ovaries or the uterus. Progesterone and estradiol form part of hormone production which is under the body’s endocrine system. These hormones are very important in human reproduction and they primarily influence human sexual behavior. The onset or termination of menopause does not automatically end the production of these hormones because they are continuously produced in other organs like the brain, blood vessels and bones. Despite the continual production of these hormones the severe reduction in circulating estradiol because of menopause causes great impacts in many other body tissues. Production of other bodies hormones continue to fall drastically with age. For instance free testosterone, androstenedione and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) continues to drop as well. Natural menopause is a normal transition though women take it differently because there are those women who have no issue with it though others may find it hand to accept that they have reached menopause.
The impacts of the health issue
All the health issues that have been discussed in this paper greatly affect the life of a woman in all aspects. Health issues or problems generally drain the family finances therefore the health issues which have been discussed in this paper are not an exception. The families of the affected breast cancer or heart complication patients spend a lot of money on the hospital bill and other medications which are usually very costly. If the family had not effectively prepared for some emergencies like these then the quality of life they used to have may instantly change. The patient is affected in a number of ways. For instance breast cancer causes psychological and physical impacts which have to be addressed through counseling and other ways.
Women who lose one of their breasts because of breast cancer are psychologically affected. Most of them never feel the same again there is that fear to socialize and relate with others normally. Therefore there are so many physical and psychological problems that the family and the patient has to deal with because of the health issues. For instance taking care of a woman his complicated heart issues is not easy. It is very costly and on addition most women do not receive proper attention therefore most of them never surveys. In case of loss of a loved one a family has to look for effective ways of handling that drastic loss. Besides that most women with heart complications go into comma and strokes and these are not easy things for the family to deal with. Care givers have to be found and all these processes are costly and draining emotionally, physical, psychologically and even socially. Therefore health issues impact person’s life negatively and counseling and other help in necessary for complete and quick recovery (American Psychological association 2002).
Evidence based strategies that improves the well being and quality of life outcomes
Strategies to improve the well being and quality of life of the patients are very important because most of these patients develop clinical distress which may include anxiety fear, depression adjustment disorders and many other complications. For instance cancer patient partners usually develop great psychological distress even more than the patient. Patients and families members who experience much stress are often referred to psychological therapies for the needed guidance and support. Great psychological distress can be measured through a number of instruments. Currently community based approaches are being used to offer psychological interventions to families and patients who are going through psychosocial and psychological distress. This approach is important in improving the outcome of the family and the patient (Larsen and Lubkin 2009).
There are many health issues that affect women though the paper has only dealt with a few of those. The kind of life a woman leaves greatly influences some of the health issues she may experience. For instance there are some health issues which are greatly influenced by the lifestyle of a person therefore it is important for people to live health lives. There are diseases or health issues which can be avoided if one lives a healthy life. On addition, there are some health issues which are normal and natural at all women like menopause. It is important for the patient and the family to get the needed psychological, physical and socioeconomic help in case of the mentioned complications because there is enormous psychosocial stress that results from some of these complications.