November 2013

U.S. Supreme Court to review mandate to insure contraception

The Supreme Court on Tuesday, November 26,  agreed to hear cases on whether corporations may refuse to provide insurance coverage for contraception to their workers based on the religious beliefs of the corporations’ owners.   President Obama’s health care law has exempted many religious groups from the law but did not exempt for-profit corporations because of owners’ religious objections.

Partner and Spouse Involvement in Fertility Preservation

Best health blogs 2013What do you do when your partner or spouse is diagnosed with cancer? What if he or she is thinking about undergoing fertility preservation? While the impacts of both cancer and infertility on relationships have been investigated individually, there is little published research on the intersection of the two. A new book chapter from Oncofertility Communication: Sharing Information and Building Relationships across Disciplines investigates the potential ways partners may participate in the oncofertility process, from digesting a cancer diagnosis to helping make decisions about building a future family.

Communicating Fertility to High-Risk Patients

Women who have a high risk of breast or ovarian cancer face a number of looming decisions; from whether or not to undergo prophylactic surgery, to electing increased surveillance, to taking risk-lowering medication.  Interwoven with these decisions is the implication each will have on fertility.  The next chapter in Oncofertility Communication: Sharing Information and Building Relationships across Disciplines delves into the topics discussed during a high-risk consultation and provides case examples to illustrate the role of effective communication of fertility preservation options.

Northwestern Designated a Young Adult Oncology Center of Excellence

Screen Shot 2013-11-15 at 8.58.27 AMMore than 72,000 adolescents and young adults (AYA) between 15 and 39 are diagnosed with cancer each year in the U.S. While survival rates for pediatric and older cancer patients have increased over the past two decades, AYA survival rates have seen little or no improvement. Fortunately, clinical care can help to improve these rates. The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern was just designated a Center of Excellence, indicating its superior care for AYA oncology patients .

Sexual Health, Fertility, and Intimacy in Adolescent Cancer Patients

Adolescent and young adult cancer patients face unique social, physical, and emotional experiences during diagnosis and treatment that may not occur in younger or older individuals. A recent chapter in the book, Oncofertility Communication: Sharing Information and Building Relationships across Disciplines, highlights some of these complexities, which were identified from group interviews of young adult survivors of childhood cancer. The authors, Karrie Ann Snyder and Alexandra Tate, discuss that these female cancer survivors deal with some issues that have not previously been identified in adult populations.


The next time you see your primary care doctor, he or she will have access to updated guidelines and a new electronic tool that can better predict your chances of developing cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke.

The guidelines — released today from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association — were developed by a work group co-chaired by Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, M.D., senior associate dean, chair and professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a cardiologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Women’s Health Protection Act introduced in Congress

Today, the Women’s Health Protection Act was introduced in both the U.S Senate and the House of Representatives. It is the first federal legislative response to the flood of state laws designed to restrict women’s access to reproductive health services.

The Women’s Health Protection Act would help ensure that women can make personal health care decisions unhindered by callous, unnecessary regulations designed to make it harder to access abortion care, birth control and other reproductive health services.

Oncofertility: Education and the Role of Decision-Making Tools

978-1-4614-8234-5 (1)Education materials, whether in print or web-based, have a large role in helping patients feel confident in their medical decision-making.  Continuing with our overview of Oncofertility Communication: Sharing Information and Building Relationships across DisciplinesChapter 3 focuses on the importance of education, and the role of decision-making tools, within the Oncofertility community.  The authors, Dr. Gwendolyn P.