To celebrate Women’s Health Week, we’ve compiled our most revealing articles, interviews and podcasts about women’s health issues covering the topics of brain and heart health, cancer, menopause, weight management and osteoporosis.
“If a woman is in good health, her family, community and the society around her also benefit.”
– Dr Jean Hailes
Our most revealing posts about women’s health issues
The relationships between mental, environmental, social and physical aspects of health and wellbeing are complex. Add in the brain—the most complex of living structures, one that enabled humans to walk on the moon, map the human genome, and compose masterpieces of literature, art, and music—and you’re faced with a daunting task of understanding how the brain affects and is affected by the health of the mind, body, and world around us.
Eating healthy food not only makes us feel great, but it also reduces our risk of getting sick. Dr Joanna McMillan explains how a balanced diet can do wonders when it comes to cancer prevention.
Cancer in Australia – Facts and Figures
- An estimated 134,000 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in Australia this year, with that number set to rise to 150,000 by 2020. 1 in 2 Australian men and women will be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 85.
- Cancer is a leading cause of death in Australia – more than 44,000 people died from cancer in 2014. In 2014, cancer was the second most common cause of death in Australia and accounted for about 3 in 10 deaths.
- Around 17,500 more people die each year from cancer than 30 years ago, this is due mainly to population growth and ageing. However, the death rate (number of deaths per 100,000 people) has fallen by more than 24%.
- 68% of people diagnosed with cancer in Australia are still alive five years after a cancer diagnosis.
- The most common cancers in Australia (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) are prostate, breast, colorectal (bowel), melanoma and lung cancer. These five cancers account for around 60% of all cancers diagnosed in Australia.
- In 2008, it was estimated that every year around 434,000 people will be diagnosed with one or more non-melanoma skin cancer in Australia. In 2006, 410 people died from non-melanoma skin cancer in Australia.
- Cancer costs more than $4.5 billion in direct health system costs (6.9%).
- In 2006-2011, $1.77 billion in funding was provided for cancer research in Australia.
Heart disease is still the number one killer of women, with one in three of us affected. This is disturbing but not new information. However, what is new are some interesting answers to questions that have for a long time intrigued health professionals and researchers. Questions such as: why are women more at risk of heart disease after menopause and why do we experience different symptoms of a heart attack than men? Thankfully we now have, for the first time, some really interesting answers with research venturing into the brave new frontier of gender-specific medicine.
It does not help to trivialise menopause for many reasons, not least because women need to be aware that it is a time to take greater care of their heart and bone health. The dramatic drop in oestrogen, which plays a protective role in heart and bone health, means our risks increase and we need to be proactive in reducing our risk of heart disease and bone fractures.
Not only does maintaining a healthy weight increase your likelihood of living longer but it also improves your quality of life and lowers your risk of health conditions including;
Heart disease, Stroke, High blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, Some types of cancer, Kidney disease, Back pain, Knee pain, Infertility, Breathing problems, Anxiety, Depression, Sleep problems, Gall bladder disease and Fatty liver disease.
Source: Australian Government Department of Health
Women are at a greater risk of developing osteoporosis because of the rapid decline in oestrogen levels during menopause. When oestrogen levels decrease, bones lose calcium and other minerals at a much faster rate. As a result a bone loss of approximately 2% per year occurs for several years after menopause.
According to Balance contributor Gerald Quigley “The risk for developing osteoporosis depends on many factors, including your level of physical activity, your diet, age, hormone levels and genetics.”
Listen to his podcast
About Women’s Health Week
In 2013, realising that there was no event dedicated to women’s health in Australia, Jean Hailes for Women’s Health ran the very first national Women’s Health Week. Thousands of women across Australia signed up to take part in a week of online activities, videos, resources and information. Now in its 5th year, Women’s Health Week is the time to put yourself first and get talking about women’s health.
The event continues to gain groundswell nationally and Jean Hailes provides health information and free resources to support thousands of subscribers and hundreds of local events organised by communities Australia-wide.
Women’s Health Week is now a permanent feature on the Australian calendar taking place in the first week of September. Find out more about Womens Health Week
ABOUT JEAN HAILES
Jean Hailes for Women’s Health is Australia’s leading and most trusted women’s health organisation. We are a national not-for-profit organisation dedicated to improving women’s health. We provide women with health information, resources and clinical care to assist them to actively manage their own health and wellbeing.
Jean Hailes For Women’s Health