Three Diseases Affecting Today’s Women in the Military
May 12, 2016
As of late 2013, there were 214,098 women serving on active duty in the United States military. In light of their service and this being National Women’s Health Week, we dedicate this week’s blog post to them and to finding ways to better serve the health of our women in uniform and their families.
Serving in the military is a unique privilege. Especially for women. The following are a few of the most drastic issues affecting all women in America—including issues that are particularly affecting women in today’s military.
Heart disease kills more women annually than all forms of cancer combined. It is the number one killer of women in the United States. Whether or not you are predisposed to heart disease or not, this is an issue to pay attention to. Know the warning signs. More women die of heart attacks than men. Unfortunately, awareness is still a key factor in alerting women to their vulnerability to this disease.
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer to affect women. This year, the Defense Appropriations Act is providing $120 million to researching breast cancer, its causes, prevention, and treatment. Learning more about the disease yourself could help to prevent the premature loss of a loved one. Information on breast cancer and specifically ways for military women to receive help can be found here and here respectively.
Suicide in Female Veterans
A study documenting the years 2000 through 2010 found that female military veterans suffer a suicide rate twelve times the rate of non-veterans. What is being done to help these young women? The Female Veteran Suicide Prevention Act is currently making its way to law, but is it enough? Just as in a physical disease, mental diseases require early detection and serious action. Learn to recognize the signs and spread awareness on both the issue and where to get help.
Each of these health issues is huge—insurmountable. When united in statistics and latin titles they are completely beyond us. But, when we look through and see people we know who are affected, these issues become anything but faceless. The common thread is awareness. Familiarize yourself with your personal health. Take account of how you feel and the changes in your body. It is your responsibility to prioritize your health. Getting to know the signs of these diseases is only one step in the direction of awareness.
If you have any questions or believe you or a loved one might be suffering from one of the above mentioned issues, please contact your doctor immediately.
Take care of yourselves, ladies!