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               Volume 10 |Issue 40 | October 21, 2011 |


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Keeping the Doctor Away

Routine check-ups can help to prevent many deadly diseases that women suffer from nowadays

Farhana Urmee

Jhorna (not her real name) has been suffering from severe pain and has felt lumps in one of her breasts before she has gone through surgery at the age of 50. Fortunately the lump has not turned out to be cancerous. Jhorna knew that grown lumps accompanied by an acute pain are symptoms of breast cancer and she has always gone thorough routine check-ups.

Doctors say that there are diseases, especially the ones that affect the female body, which can be prevented at a primary stage. Not only in the case of breast cancer, cancer of uterus and cervical cancer can be prevented if the patient sees the doctor at a primary stage. “Most of the patients in our country come to the doctor when the latter can do very little; they (the patients) have already developed the disease in the body," says Dr Farhana Dewan, Professor, department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Shaheed Suhrawardi Medical College Hospital.

There is a certain vaccine that women can take to prevent the virus that attacks the pregnant women and is responsible for the birth of children with a number of complications and defects. “We suggest our patients aged 11-12 to take the vaccine timely,” says Dr Dewan

She says that people have to come to doctors and that they have to have a positive mentality to treat every single health problem seriously. "Often women do not want to go to the doctors because they think that 'it is better not to know the health complications', which is also responsible for the growing number of patients with complications at an advanced stage,” adds Dr Dewan. She thinks women abroad are conscious and they treat health problems at an early stage; thus a successful treatment can be carried on.

Dr Dewan recommends her patients to go through medical check-up in every one or two years. “Awareness in this regard is crucial,” she says. In other countries there are campaigns to make women more conscious of their health and to encourage them to go through tests. A few countries motivate men to persuade and support their female family members to have regular health checkups.

Regular monitoring of blood pressure can keep a track on one's body's proper functioning; a Pap Smear Test can see if there is a cancerous growth in the cervix. The Pap test can tell us about the condition of pelvis, ovaries and uterus. The HPV test can let a women know that if she has any human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Again, disease like breast cancer often can be self-examined by the patient herself, say doctors. “Women can also learn from the doctors how to check the existence of breast lumps beforehand,” says Dr Dewan.

One has to identify the problem before it takes over the whole immune system of the human body. Health conscious women can keep preventable health complications at bay.



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