Are you putting yourself last?

Are you putting yourself last?

I am natural winner and I always believed that nothing but the best can happen to me. If only I had thought that even I could fall sick. If only I had known that cancer will not spare me despite my looks, my fitness, my job and my pay packet. If only I had taken some time out for myself…

From the blog of Vandana Misra
The modern Indian urban mother might be overtly worried about the health of her child and the wellbeing of her family but she is among the most neglected persons in her house. Juggling her professional and domestic responsibilities she fails to make time for her routine health checkup. And, the results are often disastrous. Take the case of Vandana Misra, a high flying executive. A topper in school and college, Vandana was always an achiever and never knew a day of sickness in her life. So last September when she was diagnosed with uterine cancer (stage 3) she was aghast. 

Women like Vandana are not rare, says Dr Swapan Bhattacharya who specialises in Obstetrics & Gynecology and has been practising for over 20 years now. “There are many ailments which can be prevented if diagnosed at an early stage; however in many cases the woman reaches us late and then we can hardly do anything.”

 “It is true that the urban Indian woman is not conscious about her health. She does not understand the importance of a regular medical check up,” Dr Bhattacharya says.
 Rita Banerjee (38),  software professional and mother of two school-going kids, says: “Every day I barely get the time to take a proper shower, so going to the doctor for every minor symptom seems such a waste of time.” However, when asked if she ever misses her children’s doctor visits she smiles and says that the children’s medical appointments “cannot be missed at any cost”.

 Sneha Upadhaya agrees that regular doctor visits would be a good idea provided one finds the time. “We are conscious and aware about how women — more than men — need to have a regular medical check-up, but what we lack is time. We are overburdened with work both on the professional and personal front and therefore the only area where we can compromise is our personal wellbeing,” she confesses.

How harmful can this lack of concern for health become? Let’s take a look at a particular disease, which may soon assume menacing proportions in India. A recent survey done by WHO reveals that every year 1,32,082 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 74,118 die from the disease. In fact cervical cancer ranks as the most frequent cancer among women in India. Not only cervical cancer but also osteoporosis and other lifestyle ailments are fast catching up with urban women. Despite such impending threats which loom large, it does seem as though the Indian woman is nonchalant about her health.
 Actress June Maliah believes the modern Indian woman is determined to be a super achiever. “She wants to work, maintain a perfect family, raise beautiful kids and learn salsa! Moreover, she is super confident and thinks she is invincible. So, in most cases, she tends to overlook small problems and does not want to psyche herself over her health.”

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