clipboard A Guide to
Women’s
Health Care
Assemblywoman
Michele R. Titus



Assemblywoman Titus

Dear Friend,

Women face special health risks. One of the best things you can do to take care of yourself is to learn about symptoms and preventive measures for some of the most prevalent health issues affecting women. This pamphlet contains resources to help you get the information and care you may need.

This brochure is a general guide and should not be seen as a replacement for professional care or advice. For complete information, please see your doctor.


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Fighting Breast Cancer
with Early Detection

The American Cancer Society projects that this year, nationally, more than 40,000 women will die from breast cancer and about 270,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Although it can strike at any age, women over 50 are at the highest risk. Many breast cancers are curable if detected early. That’s why the most effective weapon against breast cancer is early detection.

Monthly self-examinations should be done two to three days after your period ends. More information is available from your physician or by calling the National Cancer Institute at 1-800-4 CANCER.

Some symptoms of breast cancer are:

  • a lump or thickening in the breast or under the arm

  • a change in the size or shape of the breast

  • discharge from the nipple

  • a change in the color or feel of the skin of the breast or areola, such as dimpling, puckering or scaliness

Mammography screening is a safe, reliable technique for the early diagnosis of breast cancer. In order to ensure women access to this life-saving technology, state law now requires health insurance companies to cover mammograms.

When should you get a mammogram? The New York State Department of Health recommends women 40-49 should have a mammogram every 1-2 years. After age 50, women should have a mammogram every year.

For more information about whether you should have a mammogram, talk to your doctor.

For more information about breast cancer, contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345.



Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, assault, battery, sexual assault or other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another. One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. This epidemic affects women in all communities, regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background.

Does Your Partner. . .

  • Hit, punch, slap, kick, shove or bite you?

  • Threaten to hurt you or your children?

  • Deny you access to family assets such as bank accounts, credit cards or car?

  • Insult you or call you derogatory racial or sexual names?

  • Prevent you from working or attending school?

  • Have sudden outbursts of anger or rage?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you may be among the thousands of women who are abused every day.

For help, call the New York State Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-942-6906 (English) or 1-800-942-6908 (Spanish).



Women and Heart Disease

Many people are surprised to learn that coronary heart disease - not cancer - is the number one killer of American women. To decrease your risk of heart disease, the American Heart Association recommends that you:

  • Don’t smoke
    For women, smoking is the biggest risk factor for heart disease. Even long-term exposure to second-hand smoke can increase the risk of heart problems. Women who take oral contraceptives and smoke are especially at risk.

  • Control high blood pressure
    High blood pressure is a major cause of heart disease, even though it may have no warning signs. Have your blood pressure checked regularly.

  • Control high cholesterol
    High cholesterol can lead to arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), dramatically increasing the risk of heart disease and heart attack. Most adults need to keep their cholesterol reading below 200.

  • Get physical
    Women who are physically inactive are almost twice as likely to develop heart disease than those who are more active.

For more information, please contact the American Heart Association at 1-800-242-8721.



HIV/AIDS: Know the Facts!

More than 30,000 women in New York State have been diagnosed with the AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). AIDS is the last stage of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). It has become one of the leading killers among women of childbearing age.

HIV/AIDS is spread when bodily fluids, including blood, semen, vaginal secretions and breast milk, from a person with HIV get into another person’s blood stream. HIV is passed during unprotected sex, needle-sharing activities, or from an infected mother to her baby during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding.

Recent medical advances show combination therapy- taking two or more drugs to fight HIV can delay the onset of AIDS in people who are infected with HIV, even those with no symptoms.

For more information, call New York’s toll-free HIV-AIDS hotline 1-800-541-AIDS.


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