World Menopause Day – Cancer in midlife and beyond
As part of World Menopause Day, on Friday 18th October 2013, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (NNUH) is backing the International Menopause Society to raise awareness of the problem of cancer in middle-aged and older women.
To mark World Menopause Day, Mr Edward Morris, NNUH consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Chairman of the British Menopause Society (BMS) said: Cancer is responsible for around 15% of all deaths worldwide (for both sexes) – 75,000 women die of cancer each year. Being aware of the problem of cancer, and how you can take steps to lessen your risk of getting cancer, is vitally important to women.
The incidence of most cancers rises with age, making it especially important for women going through the menopause, and also after the menopause, to be aware of this increasing risk. Women need to be in tune with their bodies, and to look for any changes which might indicate a problem.
One of the solutions is for woman to visit their doctor if they have any health concerns and arrange appropriate check-ups. Women also need to try to live as healthy a lifestyle as possible: we all know what this means, eating better, exercising more and not smoking.
Mr Morris continued: Menopause marks a change in womens lives, but most women will still have one-third of their lives remaining, and should look forward to many more healthy years. Women should discuss nutrition, exercise, and treatment options with their GP to help ensure a healthy life and reduce their risk of getting cancer. Women should not be afraid of cancer, but they should be aware of it.
The BMS recommends that woman and their doctors should plan a systematic follow-up at least once a year, for each woman in midlife and beyond. If a woman experiences any abnormal symptoms, she should see her doctor immediately.
These symptoms may include:
Abnormal vaginal bleeding, pelvic/abdominal pain
Unusual digestive symptoms, blood in the faeces, urine
Venous thromboembolism (a blood clot in a vein) in women with no family history