The humanity has stared death in the eyes so many times in the course of human history, and they were able to go through most of them not unscathed, but wiser. To date, man can proudly claim victory for overcoming so many deadly diseases, yet a few still remain standing unconquered. While science and medicine continue to delve deeply into information, some remain to be mysteries that continue to thwart man’s quest for remedies. Whilst AIDS and other diseases continue to hound humans, cancer remains to be the most dreadful women’s diseases as it is to men.
AIDS caused by HIV is a truly dreadful disease, but it is something that can be avoided with prudence and protected sex. Most autoimmune diseases like lupus, celiac disease, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis are as life threatening, but these are commonly manageable if these are diagnosed early and the symptoms are managed with appropriate treatments.
With cancer, you can never know when or why it hits you. Frequently, the disease can go undiagnosed. By the time signs and symptoms start manifesting the disease, the malignant cells have metastasis to the vital organs like brain, bones, blood, and everywhere else. You are like an open target; you are defenseless. Lung cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, and colorectal cancer are the five most dreadful women’s diseases to date.
Breast cancer is still the leading cancer afflicting women in terms of prevalence, but the staggering advancing medical technologies are gradually inching toward its steady decline. These days, breast cancer is getting to be more manageable with early detection; it is becoming more like a curable chronic disease. One in five cases is due to a gene mutation that causes cancer cells to produce excess HER-2 protein.
There are several subtypes of breast cancer; most are estrogen-receptor positive. Recurrence is inhibited using exemestane (Aromasin) and the therapy uses tamoxifen. Hereditary breast cancer accounting to about 5 percent of the cases is caused by mutations in the BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 genes and is treated by PARP-1 inhibitors.
Ovarian cancer manifests subtle symptoms, which are why this comes undiagnosed until cancer has spread. The symptoms can be confused with other diseases and there are still no screening methods for early detection of ovarian cancer. It is primarily detected through ultrasound, rectovaginal examination, and a blood test.
Today, aside from chemotherapy, there are three experimental treatments for ovarian cancer: the targeted therapeutics like PARP-1 inhibitors used in breast cancer; use of oncolytic viruses that attack only cancer cells; and immunotherapy that manipulates the immune system to overpower cancer cells.
This has a low incidence, but it is the deadliest cancer. This is typically undetected until it has spread and it is too late for cure. The early signs are abdominal pain and weight loss. Only a small percentage of the afflicted have a hereditary type referred to as familial pancreatic cancer. The most promising research shows how streptococcal bacteria can shrink or kill cancer cells.
This cancer can be detected by a fecal occult blood test recommended for those over 50 and those with family history or are predisposed. It can save lives if women will go through the screening. Treatments for colorectal cancer include a targeted therapy using bevacizumab (Avastin) and several chemotherapy drugs such as DFMO (difluoromethylornithine) in combination with a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent called sulindac.
Lung cancer is another one of those top dreadful women’s diseases that are commonly linked to smoking. One principal concern about lung cancer is the kind of treatment to be given the patients. These days, PET scanning is used widely to identify the lung cancers that cannot be removed anymore by surgery being too advanced. Another important concern is the early diagnosis that can increase the chance of overcoming the cancer.
Women’s health has always been at risk since time immemorial; first in relation to pregnancy and menopause and now with cancers and other autoimmune disorders. While cancer remains to be the most dreadful women’s diseases and while every woman can be an open target, going through regular screening constitutes the sole defense that any woman can take now.