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Women’s health matters – looking after your health!

We know from our survey of ACT women about COVID-19 that with the stress COVID-19 has placed on women’s lives, it is important that women look after their overall health and wellbeing.

GP’s have identified that the message to stay at home and prevent the spread of COVID-19 has meant that the number of people with health conditions getting their regular medical check-ups has dropped off considerably, as well as cancer screening. But you don’t need to put off going to see a doctor, especially if you have new symptoms or health concerns –you can now access tele-health consultations, over video or telephone, from most GPs. And if you are overdue for a breastscreen they have now resumed services for those whose screens were delayed.

Heart Health Week is held each year from 26 April until May 2, and while this year the week was cancelled, it is an important time to remind women of the impacts of heart attacks during stressful periods like COVID 19. And that women can and should go and see a doctor despite the social isolation rules. Also global evidence has shown that those with heart disease (and other underlying conditions) are more vulnerable to severe complications to COVID-19.

Most women do not realise that heart disease is the single biggest killer of women in Australia, and that three times as many Australian women die of heart disease as do from breast cancer.  And that the symptoms of women’s heart attacks are very different from mens! Find out more at the Heart Research Foundation.

May 8th was also World Ovarian Cancer Day. It is important that women know there is no early detection test for ovarian cancer (and the pap test does not detect ovarian cancer), that there are often no obvious signs of ovarian cancer, and that symptoms are often confused with symptoms of other less severe illnesses, particularly gastrointestinal complaints. But there are key facts you should know because ovarian cancer is often diagnosed at a late stage.  So although we are in isolation and constrained by physical distancing, it is important that you visit/talk to your doctor if something is wrong. Find out more here.