The five diseases, which need to be known about

  • 2010-06-03

Experts believe that a number of serious and rather ubiquitous diseases can be detected at an early stage or even prevented, if you get your health checked timely and regularly.

Cardiovascular diseases
Most people are afraid to get into a car crash, become disabled or die from cancer, but eventually they die from a heart attack and that’s why the cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are called the number one enemy of humanity. And recently an alarming trend has been noticed: even young people aged 30-35 are at risk. CVD specialists blame lifestyle for this: the constant rush, stress at work and at home can cause changes in heart and blood vessels, leading to persistent hypertension. Another reason - high blood pressure during pregnancy. Almost every third woman experiences increased blood pressure during pregnancy and childbirth. And they are subsequently under increased risk of hypertension, heart attacks and strokes.

Who should be screened

People who have frequent headaches, shortness of breath, pain in the lower jaw, upset stomach and chest pains after eating large meals - these are some symptoms that can serve as harbingers of CVD.
Examinations are recommended annually, starting from the age of 20. But it is particularly important to those who had cases of heart disease or hypertension in the family, for those who are over 45 years and for smokers.

What to do

Control the level of cholesterol and stress hormones – this can be done with the help of a blood test. And keep an eye on your blood pressure. Rates above 130/90 are already a sign of hypertension!

Thyroid disease
8 out of 10 patients with thyroid disease are women! The reason lies in the sex hormones that affect the thyroid.
The thyroid gland plays a crucial role in all metabolic processes of the organism, and malfunctions in its work lead to the fact that it begins to produce either not enough hormones, or too much of them. Low levels of thyroid hormone (TSH - thyroid stimulating hormone) leads to slower metabolism and hypothyroidism. With an excess of TSH metabolic processes, on the contrary, excessively accelerate, which leads to the development of thyrotoxicosis (commonly called “The graves disease”).

Who should be screened

People with a hereditary predisposition, those who began to suddenly feel a causeless fatigue, rapid weight gain (or its deficit) and depression. The check-up should take place every five years, unless your doctor appoints additional tests.

What to do

Check the level of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and the hormone thyroxine (T4) in blood, go through a medical examination and ultrasound.


Osteopenia is a state of bone mass, when the bones lose calcium and the mineral density in them decreases. Doctors noted the increased number of women aged 30-35 with signs of osteopenia (it may show up during X-ray examinations). Changes of bone tissue at a young age can be caused by several diseases: rheumatism, endocrine, blood diseases, lack of calcium in the diet and lack of physical activity. Hereditary factors should also be taken into consideration (if someone from the older generation in the family has a tendency to frequent fractures or if there are cases of hip fractures), because they increase the risk of osteopenia and osteoporosis.

Who should be screened

Women who have burdened heredity, who smoke, have reduced bone density, fragile physique and lack of body weight during menopause. Those who are in the risk group should go for a medical examination after the age of 25, and if bone density is normal, go through another examination at the menopause age.

What to do

Undergo a special examination - osteodensitometry, which determines mineral density - the amount of calcium in bone tissue. And measure your height each year - a decline of 3-4 cm may be a symptom of osteoporosis.


Mastopathy is a fibrous-cystic disease - a non-malignant disease of the mammary gland, characterized by pathologic overgrowth of its tissue, pain and sometimes even pathologic secretion. There are several forms of mastopathy: diffuse, nodular, border, cystic, and fibrous. All of them are can be diagnosed during a visit to the doctor.

The disease occurs when there are hormonal dysfunctions in the organism, or it may be of genetic nature, i.e. inherited.
Predisposition to mastopathy can occur in women at any time - in the beginning of a woman’s life, when hormone background only begins to form, and before menopause, when it is disturbed. Basically, mastopathy is an imbalance in the hormonal system that causes changes in the mammary glands. In 90% of cases mastopathy is caused by abortion, whereas giving birth, on the contrary, harmonizes the hormonal sphere of the woman and evens the hormonal status.

Who should be screened

Women who have problems with the ovaries and breast pain, which may indicate the formation of hardenings, should undergo examinations at least once a year by a gynecologist and mammologist.
If a lady loves fatty, smoked food, uses alcohol and tobacco, then she puts herself at risk, because it can lead to liver problems.

What to do

Examine yourself: at least three times a month, lying down or sitting (whatever is more convenient to you), starting from the armpit region and downwards grope the breasts for seals. If you feel that something is “wrong”, you should consult with your doctor. Women at the age of 40 shall be appointed ultrasound. After the age of 40 - mammography.
What happens if mastopathy is not treated?

In this case, cancer or various adenomas may develop. Adenomas are benign “nodules” that can eventually turn into cancer if left untreated.

Prostate cancer

This is a malignant neoplasm arising from the epithelium of the alveolar-cell glands. So far scientists have not come to a common opinion regarding the causes of prostate cancer. The molecular mechanisms of development and progression of the disease are being studied and the genetic predisposition has been confirmed. Studies gave confirmation of the theory that there are several areas in the human genome, which are responsible for the suppression of prostate cancer, but a change in their activity leads to the development of the disease. The progression of the disease as well as the development of metastases is influenced by some growth factors and some biologically active substances that are constantly present in the human body.

Who should be screened

Men older than 40 years at least once a year should be screened at the urologist.
With ageing, the incidence of prostate cancer increases faster than the incidence of other malignant tumors. The prevalence of this disease in men younger than 40 is 1 out of 10 000; at age 60 - 1 out of 100; at age 75 - 1 out of 8.
Symptoms that are specific only to prostate cancer simply do not exist. Moreover, many symptoms are the same as for adenoma of the prostate gland, which requires extra attention in case they are identified.

In addition to age, there are several risk factors for prostate cancer:
* Black people get sick more often than others and the disease can be detected at later stages.
* Heredity.
* The tumor is more common for men who consume a lot of fat.
* Smoking, hazardous work conditions. The development of prostate cancer can be facilitated by cadmium, which is present in cigarette smoke, in batteries and welding materials.

What to do

The most effective methods of early diagnosis of prostate cancer is:
* Rectal finger examination of the prostate
* Rectal ultrasound examination of the prostate (transrectal ultrasound)
* Determining the level of prostate specific antigen (PSA).
* Uroflowmetry
* Biopsy of the prostate
* Abdominal ultrasound
* X-ray examinations, including computed tomography
* Radioisotope examinations
* Magnetic resonance imaging, etc.

Also, if having suspicions of prostate cancer, the region of the lymph nodes should be examined to exclude their lesion.
It is worth mentioning that the diagnosis of prostate cancer should not be regarded as a sentence. Revealed in the early stages, this type of cancer can be successfully treated, or it is possible to at least achieve a stable remission period. If prostate cancer is detected at later stages, then, in most cases, hormonal therapy gives a good result and can extend the life of a man for many years.