National Women's Health Week highlights major health issues

National Women's Health Week highlights major health issues

RICHLAND, Wash -- This week is National Women's Health Week, highlighting health issues every woman should be aware of.

Dr. Saira Tandon at Kadlec Associated Physicians for Women says women's health issues don't always get the attention they deserve, and women sometimes fail to make their health a priority.

"Women are especially guilty of that. We ignore our health and give priority to our families and that's why we need to bring it back into focus," says Dr. Saira.

This week the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is spearheading National Women's Health Week. Dr. Tandon says it's a good time for women review their health and be aware of three major issues she says are plaguing women.

The first is obesity, which puts women at risk for a host of diseases and complications. "Endrometrial cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer... and if you are obese your chance of dying from cancer is 30 percent higher from somebody why is not obese," says Dr. Tandon.

The second major health issue for women is mental health, including addiction. Dr. Tandon says any mental health or addiction issues should be addressed earlier rather than later.

"Talk to your primary cares, talk to your providers, bring this up in your appointments. Make them aware so we can get you before it comes to the point that it's an emergency situation."

The third issue that should be on every woman's radar is access to preventative screenings. Not just mammograms and pap smears which get a lot of attention, also things like heart disease which Dr. Tandon says kills one in three American women.

"And this is something that can be dealt with early. Yes with lifestyle, with early blood tests to see if you are at risk for it and medications you can be put on to prevent that."

Dr. Tandon says good resources are not always available, but women should at least talk to their doctors candidly about steps you can take, to take control of your health.

If you'd like more information on National Women's Health Week, and health information for your specific age, click here.

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