Disease Prevention in Women (cont.)
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Disease prevention in women overview
- Breast cancer
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Cancer of the cervix
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
- Hypercholesterolemia (hyperlipidemia, dyslipidemia)
- Type II diabetes mellitus
- Cancer of colon and rectum / polyps of colon and rectum
- Bladder cancer
- Melanoma and other skin cancers
- Find a local Internist in your town
Hypercholesterolemia (hyperlipidemia, dyslipidemia)
Elevated LDL cholesterol or low HDL cholesterol increases the risk of developing atherosclerosis ("hardening of the arteries"). Atherosclerosis can begin to develop in adolescence and progress without any symptoms for many years. It leads to heart attack and stroke later in life.
Hyperlipidemia is a common and treatable cause of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the most common cause of death in both men and women in developed countries. The goal is to diagnose and retard or reverse atherosclerosis while it is still in a silent early state
Blood lipid panel that includes:
- total cholesterol;
- LDL cholesterol, "bad" cholesterol;
- HDL cholesterol, "good" cholesterol; and
Who to test and how often
- LDL is the part of the cholesterol panel that is most significant when deciding patient treatment, as well as determining how often lipid panels are checked.
- All adults over 20 should have a lipid panel every five years, and more frequently as medically indicated.
Benefits of early detection
There is good evidence that lowering elevated LDL cholesterol and increasing low HDL is beneficial in heart attack prevention and in some cases stroke prevention in subjects with or without known atherosclerosis.
Treatment of elevated LDL cholesterol is multi-dimensional. Patients should discuss their total caloric intake, total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol intake as well as weight reduction and regular exercise with their doctor. Cholesterol-lowering medications are also an important part of treatment for many people with elevated blood lipid levels.
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