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Contraceptive coverage still under attack

Last week, President Obama announced that he would continue to protect women’s access to birth control without co-pays or deductibles regardless of where they work, including at certain religiously-affiliated employers, while accommodating religious institutions’ opposition to contraception.  Under a compromise announced Feb.

HPV guidelines for boys and young men

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has strengthened and expanded its recommendation for vaccinating boys and young men with the quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, primarily to reduce the risk of anal cancer, penile cancer, and certain types of head and neck cancers caused mainly by HPV 16. The updated recommendations were published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report last October and online January 31 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Quality of life after breast cancer treatments

Researchers at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center found that the quality of life (QOL) in younger breast cancer patients is  seriously compromised and these women often suffer from severe psychological distress, infertility, premature menopause, a decrease in physical activity and weight gain.

Diabetes may impact hearing loss more in women

Having diabetes may cause women to experience a greater degree of hearing loss as they age, especially if the metabolic disorder is not well controlled with medication, according to a new study from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.   Women between the ages of 60 and 75 with well-controlled diabetes had better hearing than women with poorly controlled diabetes, with similar hearing levels to those of non-diabetic women of the same age.The study also shows significantly worse hearing in all women younger than 60 with diabetes, even if it is well controlled.

Why boys talk later than girls: hormones?

Studies have shown that language development varies between the sexes, with males generally gaining language skills at a slower rate. Prenatal testosterone is known to influence fetal neurodevelopment, and preliminary studies have suggested that the hormone is associated with language delay.  Researchers from the U of Western Australia explored this issue in a large cohort of children.  They collected umbilical cord blood samples from 861 randomly selected births and measures the bioavailable testosterone levels.  As expected the males had a much higher level of testosterone in the umbilical cord blood than the females.

Breast cancer should not be about politics

You’ve heard it before, but it’s a cliché that has earned its place: breast cancer knows no boundaries.  It affects all women – of all ethnicities, young or old, blue collar and professional.  Cancer doesn’t care where you worship, who you love, or how you vote.  Over 30 years ago I served for 13 years as the first executive director of a Chicago based breast cancer support organization called Y-ME.   Today, the Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization is the largest breast cancer support organization in the U.S.

Obesity: Is it a disease or a choice?

Last weekend I noticed a billboard on the highway that read:   Obesity is a disease, it is not a choice!   Nice way to avoid responsibility–put the blame elsewhere.   This billboard was promoting a weight loss program (not a bad idea, but a misleading headline!)  Remember the days when the main excuse for weight gain was “it’s a hormonal problem, I can’t do anything about it”  or “it’s in my genes”.   Yes , there are some hormonal issues (e.g.

Pfizer birth control pill recalled due to incorrect dosage

Pfizer Inc. announced today that it has voluntarily recalled 14 lots of Lo/Ovral®-28 (norgestrel and ethinyl estradiol)Tablets and 14 lots of Norgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol Tablets (generic) for customers in the U.S. market. An investigation by Pfizer found that some blister packs may contain an inexact count of inert or active ingredient tablets and that the tablets may be out of sequence. The cause was identified and corrected immediately.