By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – We think of breast cancer as the number one killer of women and certainly there is no way to minimize the importance of the condition as a major health concern in the United States and around the world, but there is a more aggressive killer out there.

Heart disease kills more women than all the cancers together. Sadly, most women, and a surprisingly big number of doctors, don’t know this.

There are other problems as well. Women don’t always have classic symptoms either. That’s not to say they don’t have chest pain or pain radiating down the arm, but a heart attack can also be associated with symptoms like nausea and sweating.

That’s why it’s important that women get regular checkups and have testing for warning signs of heart disease. Proper diet and exercise are crucial. But the most important thing is to take it seriously.

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