Experience taught me how important it is to become an active advocate for your health – especially as a woman. The field of medicine doesn’t have a good track record when it comes to women’s health. The fact that women were purposely excluded from research because our physiological differences from men were seen as a problem is really frightening. Even worse, researchers are still just waking up to the idea that it is important to do studies that include or focus on women. This means that medicine has been habitually prescribed in doses that are correct for men but not for women. The affects of a whole spectrum of medical treatments on women are not understood. Nor are the symptoms that women experience fully recognized or understood. Never mind the way that the natural process of giving birth has become routinely treated as a medical procedure – creating scenarios that benefit the doctor rather than the woman and sometimes leading to unnecessary complications.
I had read some time ago about concerns that the preventative practice of mammograms for women over 40 itself uses a known risk factor for cancer, exposure to x-rays. Today I found this Washington Post article debating whether it is a good idea for women to have regular mammograms. I found this blog post that also links to the article. A woman who is a medical researcher writes about her experience dealing with doctors as well as her breast cancer scare.