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The Book

Book Cover Forward to the book
Table Of Contents
Cancer Prevention,
Early Detection & Treatment

Issues Related Sexuality & Aging
Understanding Your Anatomy
How To Order

Excerpts from the 80 page Workbook

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Forward

Karen Lee's Healthcare Plan For Women
In Their Second Forty Years And Beyond

This is your book. It is about you. It is for you. My hope is that in these pages you will find out more about yourself and will use this information to achieve better health and happiness in your second 40 years . . . and beyond.

In my years of practice, I have learned that women over 40 are coming into their best years, potentially the most productive time of their lives. Yet, too many of them have not learned to care for their bodies, to take charge of their healthcare, to recognize the danger signs and to realize that life truly does begin at 40.

Taking charge of your life will reap many rewards including increased self-esteem. You must value every part of yourself: physical, emotional and spiritual. You have the power to produce a life of joy, abundance and good health.

Respect yourself. You have accumulated years of wisdom. You have made an investment in yourself by starting this program, so begin now to make that investment pay off. Let's go to work together!

My inspiration for this program came from hundreds of women just like you. What a privilege it has been to participate in the healthcare of so many women! They entrusted me with the intimate details of their lives. My heartfelt thanks go out to all of my patients who over the last 18 years have blessed my life and encouraged me. I have seen wonderful results for so many women when they have taken small steps of courage in making needed changes in their lives. May it also be true for you.

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Table Of Contents

  • CHAPTER 1 Personal Health History 2
  • CHAPTER 2 Setting the Stage for Your Second 40 Years . . . and Beyond 11
  • CHAPTER 3 Emotional & Social Aspects of Your Second 40 Years 14
  • CHAPTER 4 Is It Menopause? 19
  • CHAPTER 5 Hormone Replacement Therapy 24
  • CHAPTER 6 Sexuality 27
  • CHAPTER 7 Understanding Your Anatomy 31
  • CHAPTER 8 Heart & Artery Care 43
  • CHAPTER 9 Cancer Prevention, Early Detection & Treatment 48
  • CHAPTER 10 Osteoporosis 52
  • CHAPTER 11 Vaginal & Vulvar Care 59
  • CHAPTER 12 Bladder Care 62
  • CHAPTER 13 Bowel Care 65
  • CHAPTER 14
    How to Choose Your Healthcare Provider 68
    Epilogue 72
    Glossary 77
    Resources 80
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CANCER PREVENTION, EARLY DETECTION & TREATMENT

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of women, followed by breast cancer, bowel cancer and other cancers. Lung cancer is nearly 100 percent preventable, because the majority of lung cancers are directly related to smoking.

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Cervical Cancer

Cancer of the cervix used to be one of the leading causes of death from cancer in women. Today, if every woman were to have an annual pap smear, virtually no woman would have to die of cervical cancer.

Pap Smears

A pap smear is a test for cancer of the cervix. A sample of cells is scraped from your cervix, which is the opening into the uterus. Do not assume that you have had a pap smear when you have had a pelvic exam. Precancerous conditions are easily cured.

A pap smear can detect precancerous cells well before they become cancerous. It is not a pleasant procedure for any woman, but it is preferable to procedures for curing cervical cancer. Precancerous conditions can be cured with an office visit in a few minutes with little or no anesthesia, minimal discomfort, no recuperation time and no long-term complications. See "Cryo," "LEEP" and "Conization" in Glossary of workbook.

However, if a woman does not have a pap smear on a regular basis, she can develop cervical cancer that may require a hysterectomy or a radical hysterectomy, which are much more extensive surgeries.

CERVICAL CANCER RISK FACTORS

Cervix

A Pap Smear is obtained from the area where the squamous [pink] cells meet the columnar [red] cells. This is where most cancers of the cervix occur. The Pap detects pre-cancer if done on a yearly basis!

Click here to view a larger illustration explaining PAP smears.

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Ovarian Cancer

Only four percent of all cancers diagnosed in women are ovarian. Most ovarian cancers are found too late for treatment because there are often no symptoms until the tumor gets so large it causes pain or puts pressure on the bladder or bowel.

However, most ovarian cancers can be found by a healthcare provider feeling an enlarged ovary. An annual pelvic exam is your best preventive measure for this type of cancer. Ultrasound and a blood test called CA125 can help detect ovarian cancer.

Your risk of getting ovarian cancer increases if your mother, sister or other close blood relative has had the disease. If you are at high risk for ovarian cancer, ask your health care provider about having a yearly ultrasound of your ovaries.

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Don't Be Fatalistic

There are many effective treatments for cancer. New treatments are continually under development. Do not let fear keep you from having annual exams or prevent you from acting on your concerns. Trust your feelings and your instincts.

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Breast Cancer

American women have a one in nine chance of developing breast cancer at some time in their lives. The majority of breast cancers occur after menopause and the risk increases with age. Breast cancers that develop after menopause are usually less aggressive than cancers that develop earlier.

Ninety percent of breast cancers can be cured with early detection. Professional breast exams and mammograms in addition to monthly self breast exams dramatically increase your chances of finding breast cancer while it is still small and before it has spread to other organs. This may help to avoid chemotherapy, radiation and extensive surgery.

If a lump is found in your breast, it is vitally important that you discuss your fears, concerns and desires regarding treatment with your healthcare provider. You have a right to know all possible treatment regimens. You have a right to a second opinion. Talk to as many healthcare professionals as you need to, until you feel confident about a decision regarding your care for breast cancer.

BREAST CANCER RISK FACTORS

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"Do self breast exams. This is one of the best life-saving things you can do and it is free! You are the only person who has her breasts with her 24 hrs. a day. You should become the expert on your own breasts!"

BREAST

Click on this image to see a larger view.

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WHY SOME WOMEN DON'T DO SELF BREAST EXAMS

"I can't remember to do them."

Leave reminders for yourself:

If you're still having periods, keep your self breast exam card with your tampon or pad box.

If you're not having periods, mark the same day on your calendar every month.

"I'm afraid I will find something."

Early detection through self breast exams may save your life. Often fear is associated with depression. Discuss this with your healthcare provider.

"I'm uncomfortable touching myself."

If you are at high risk category, have professional breast exams done three or four times a year.

"I would never be able to tell a normal lump from an abnormal lump."

Do your monthly self breast exams at the same time each month. If there is something new, you will notice it. Your healthcare provider will decide if it is worrisome.

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Sexuality
What You Need To Know

Menopause And Sexual Desire

The many changes that occur through menopause naturally affect your sexual desire. However, a good sexual relationship prior to menopause bodes well for a good sexual life after menopause.

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Physical Changes

Estrogen loss diminishes blood circulation to the sexual organs, so touch perception and sexual responsiveness may also diminish. When a woman cannot achieve a certain level of sexual arousal, her vagina may not lubricate adequately and intercourse may be painful. If she cannot achieve orgasm, she may also experience pain from pelvic congestion syndrome.

If a woman is used to having intercourse, continuing to have intercourse once or twice a week will help maintain vaginal muscle tone and preserve the size and shape of her vagina.

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Psychological And Social Aspects

A woman who has more difficulty getting adequate arousal may feel she is putting too much of a burden on her partner and may either avoid sexual activity or participate without much interest--either of which will have a negative impact on the relationship.

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Understanding Anatomy

Hormonal System


Understanding that the hormonal system controls your entire body helps to understand the many changes that are occurring in your second 40 years.

Click here to view a larger illustration of the Hormonal System.

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Find out how to order the program.

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Copyright ©1995-2004 Karen Lee, A.R.N.P.,
Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner
Certified Menopause Practitioner