June 2011

Cancer Survivors Can’t Shake Pain, Fatigue, Insomnia, Foggy Brain

When people finish treatment for cancer, they want to bounce back to their former vital selves as quickly as possible. But a new Northwestern Medicine study — one of the largest survivor studies ever conducted – shows many survivors still suffer moderate to severe problems with pain, fatigue, sleep, memory and concentration three to five years after treatment has ended.

Tanning beds still popular despite dangers; is sunless tanning an alternative?

A recent survey confirmed that 32% of respondents  (3800 white, non-hispanic females ages 14-22) reported using a tanning bed in the past year .   These results are pretty alarming since the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization’s International  panel have declared ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun and artificial light sources such as tanning beds and sun lamps, as a known carcinogen.  Studies show indoor tanning increases a person’s risk of melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer,  by 75%.

An Update on Home Birth and Midwife Legislation

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin recently signed into law legislation requiring health care insurance policies to cover midwifery services and home births. Supporters of the law said this law is critical in improving access to comprehensive health services for women, reducing system costs and strengthening the quality of care that mothers receive during pregnancy and childbirth.

Beware of Limitations for Breast Thermograpy

Today, June 2, 2011, the U.S.  Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned women not to substitute breast thermography for mammography to screen for breast cancer. Some health care providers are promoting breast thermography on their websites and claiming that thermography is superior to mammography as a screening method for breast cancer, because it does not require radiation exposure or breast compression.

Most U.S. Teen Pregnancies Unintended

In 2009, a total of  409,840 infants were born to 15−19 year olds, for a live birth rate of 39.1 per 1,000 women in this age group. Nearly two-thirds of births to women younger than age 18 and more than half of those among 18−19 year olds are unintended. The US teen birth rate fell by more than one-third from 1991 through 2005, but then increased by 5 percent over two consecutive years. Data for 2008 and 2009, however, indicate that the long-term downward trend has resumed. The U.S. teen pregnancy and birth, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and abortion rates are substantially higher than those of other western industrialized nations.