What Every Woman Should Know About Disease Prevention

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What Every Woman Should Know About Disease Prevention

 
Is it time for your annual exam? While plenty of us dread the annual visit to the doctor, a doctor's visit when you're feeling great can help keep you healthy. The following information can help you know what to talk about with your doctor to stay healthy.
 
Certain medications may actually reduce your risk for certain diseases. Here is a list of medications you should discuss with your physician:
 
Hormones: The combination of estrogen and progesterone was once thought to prevent long-term illnesses after menopause. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recent studies have indicated that the risks may outweigh the benefits. Talk to your doctor to determine if hormone medication is right for you.
 
Breast Cancer Drugs: These medications may actually help high risk women from developing breast cancer. If a close relative such as your mother, sister or daughter has had breast cancer, discuss the pros and cons of taking medicines to prevent breast cancer.
 
Aspirin: Taking aspirin may reduce your risks of heart disease. If you are over 40 or a smoker or have a history of high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes discuss aspirin therapy with your doctor.
 
Immunizations: They aren't just for children! Remember to stay up to date on the following immunizations:
  • Flu Shots: Starting at age 50, get a flu shot every year.
  • Tetanus Diphtheria: Everyone should have a tetanus shot every ten years.
  • Pneumonia: Get a pneumonia shot at age 65.
  • Hepatitis B: Discuss this immunization with your doctor. Many are recommending that all adults are immunized for Hepatitis B.

Lifestyle choices are also known to help reduce your risk for developing specific diseases. Ask your doctor for advice on healthy lifestyle choices. The following tips can help you get a conversation started with your physician.
  1. Don't smoke.
  2. Eat a healthful diet including a variety of fresh foods such as fruit, vegetables and animal or vegetable proteins.
  3. Be physically active at least 20-30 minutes every day.
  4. Stay at a healthy weight. Your doctor can help you determine a healthy weight and the best way to achieve and maintain it.
  5. Drink alcohol in moderation, no more than one drink a day for the average woman.
 
Being an informed patient will help you know what to ask your doctor.
 
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