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Prioritising preventative screening for female patients

Article-Prioritising preventative screening for female patients

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Preventative screenings detect diseases before they become life-threatening. Yet, thousands of women suffer from preventable conditions.

Early detection and prevention of disease is one of the most critical steps in limiting the number of female mortalities across the world. The UAE in particular has worked to continuously improve women’s healthcare through screenings and preventative campaigns for genetic and non-genetic diseases.

Historically, global medical data on women’s health has been limited, leading to poor treatment outcomes for female patients. One of the gaps in women's health is in relation to reproductive health, which affects the childbearing ability of women across the world and their general quality of life. These gaps, which are typically avoidable, could lead to serious health issues, treatment inconsistencies and dangerous practices.

Preventative screenings intend to detect diseases before they become life-threatening. Yet, thousands of women suffer from preventable conditions, which if detected during its early stages, could have been treated effectively without any major disruptions to daily life. But, due to lack of awareness and education, women often discover their condition when it is long established, thus requiring more intensive treatments to tackle the disease.

Dr. Suzan Eltayeb, Obstetrics & Gynecology Specialist at Danat Al Emarat Hospital for Women & Children said: “Preventive screenings are crucial and are one of the most important health measures individuals can take to prevent the escalation of serious inherited or contracted diseases.

“Screenings allow physicians to diagnose the disease early and start treatment promptly, if required. Since most diseases are often diagnosed in the late stages, the treatment options for patients are limited, and are often more invasive or expensive. We encourage all our patients who come to Danat Al Emarat Hospital for Women & Children to undergo routine screenings and to remain vigilant about maintaining optimal health,” continued Dr. Eltayeb.

Dr. Suzan Eltayeb, Obstetrics & Gynecology Specialist at Danat Al Emarat Hospital for Women & Children.jpg

Dr. Suzan Eltayeb

Ideally, women should continue visiting their family physician, obstetrician, or gynaecologist for routine check-ups even if they have no particular medical concerns. During their visits, physicians can review family history and ask the patient to consider undergoing testing, which may potentially help screen for diseases and conditions to which they are susceptible.

“Women, when they pass certain milestones, are more susceptible to certain diseases regardless of how well they maintain their health. Therefore, it is absolutely essential for women to speak with their physician to see which screenings they are advised to undertake,” said Dr. Eltayeb.

Often prescribed tests include the pap smear test, human papilloma virus (HPV) test, mammogram, colonoscopy, diabetes screening, cholesterol test, blood pressure check, skin cancer check and the bone density test. These tests help doctors detect diseases earlier; often when they are easier to treat.

Dr. Eltayeb continued, “We have a responsibility towards raising awareness around women’s health and the importance of seeking help. Time is the most critical factor; therefore, we urge all peers to continue encouraging patients to consider routine testing to improve health outcomes and avoid potential complications that could escalate.”

Women in the UAE, much like women across the globe, are subject to developing communicable and non-communicable diseases like cervical cancer, breast cancer and diabetes. This is influenced by several factors, some of which can be controlled, others that cannot. While not all conditions are preventable, female health and preventative screenings need to be prioritized for the healthcare industry since it reduces insurance premiums, decreases the need for frequent medical interventions, and allows women to lead better lives.

References available on request

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