All posts by Dr. Neha Khandelwal

Sr. Consultant - Gynecology Paras Bliss, New Delhi

Warning Signals of Cancer in Women

Gynaecological cancers are an important cause of female morbidity and mortality . Endometrial , cervical , ovarian and Fallopian tube cancers and choriocarcinomas are the cancers found in females only.All the women must be aware of the warning signals of cancers and be on the lookout for them so that the disease can be picked up early and cured. It is estimated that 70% of the women opt for medical assistance when they are at a later and more aggressive stage of cancer. We need to spread awareness and make the women aware about the aspects of prevention.

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Signs and Symptoms of Cancer in Women:

  • Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding -Whether it is post menopausal bleeding or inter menstrual bleeding (bleeding in between periods ) or post coital bleeding (after intercourse ), all require immediate attention . These could be signals for endometrial cancer.
  • Sudden Unexplained Weight Loss – This invariably occurs in cancers anywhere in the body and must ring a bell and be investigated .
  • Blood Stained Foul Smelling Vaginal Discharge – This very often indicates infection but may also be a sign of cervical cancer ,one of the commonest cancers in women of our country .
  • Constant Fatigue – This disrupting ones daily routine must never be taken lightly and one must visit a doctor to find out the reason .
  • Swelling of One of the Legs– This in the presence of other signs or symptoms may point toward cervical cancer .
  • Pelvic or Lower Abdominal Pain – This almost invariably occurs in patients of ovarian and endometrial cancers. A constant pain ,cramps may occur or one may feel some pressure .
  • Bloated Abdomen For More Than 2 Weeks – This after the period or otherwise is another important symptom .
  • Increased frequency of urination – This in the absence of pregnancy , infection or increased fluid intake is not a welcome sign .
  • Persistent indigestion or nausea – If this is lasting for over 2 weeks requires one to visit a physician.
  • Loss of appetite– This is another symptom that should not be taken casually .

BREASTFEEDING – Benefits for the Baby

Breastfeeding lays the foundation for good health for all children. It benefits the baby  both in the short and long terms. Taking the same into consideration, new mothers are advised to exclusively breast feed their young ones for the first 6 months post-delivery. Working mothers should opt for milk storage facility or should take out time in their busy schedules to feed their babies. This selfless act creates bonding between the mother and the baby and benefits both. Following are the listed benefits:

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  • Breastfeeding provides an ideal nutrition to the i It is nearly a perfect mix of vitamins , minerals and proteins , in short everything that the baby needs to grow .
    Breastmilk is a custom made supply , tailored according to the baby ‘ s needs .
    Colostrum or the first milk is high in proteins and low in sugar. After three to four days , sugar and volume also increase.
  • Breast milk is easily digested unlike formula milk which is not so soft on the baby’s bowel .
  • Breastmilkcontains antibodies or immunoglobulins which help the baby fight off viruses and bacteria . Colostrum especially has very high levels of protective antibodies .
  • Breastmilklowers the baby ‘s risk of having asthma or allergies . It helps in the formation of a protective layer on the baby’s intestinal tract .
  • Babies who are exclusively breastfed for 6 months have fewer incidences of ear infections , respiratory diseases ,diarrhoea and even meningitis . They are healthier babies.
  • Lots of long term studies have proved beyond doubt that breast fed babies have higher  IQscores . They are better school performers and have improved cognitive development.
  • Breastfed babies gain adequate weight and don’t become obese .Such babies have more leptin to regulate appetite and fat.They have better eating habits . Formula milk has more insulin too .
  • Breastmilkprovides long term protection against diabetes , cancers and hypertension .
  • It also reduces the incidence of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
  • Last , but not the least , breastfeeding helps in building the most beautiful bond ever , bond between a mother and her child . The skin to skin touch and the eye to eye contact help in building up this attachment which is cherished forever .So , mothers , let the bottles go to the bins and hold your baby tight , put it to your chest and begin your beautiful journey into motherhood ……