Could the amount of wrinkles women have predict whether they have more brittle bones? Quite possible, according to a new finding presented yesterday by Yale researchers at the Endocrine Society's Annual Meeting in Boston.
"The loss of estrogen that occurs during menopause is when we start to see rapid deterioration in a woman's bones and skin," explains study leader Dr. Lubna Pal who is a reproductive endocrinologist at Yale School of Medicine. The connection between the two, she adds, may be due to a loss in collagen, which is a type of protein that provides the supportive matrix structure for bones and skin.
Doctors said the finding that exemestane, a Pfizer drug, could prevent breast cancer will provide a new option for women who have mostly shied away from taking other drugs aimed at preventing breast cancer because of rare, but serious side effects. Today, only a tiny fraction of the women who could potentially benefit from such medications take advantage of them, and researchers said increased adoption of risk-reducing drugs could benefit millions of women.FULL ENTRY
No question, birth control pills have been deemed to be highly safe, but they can also cause side effects like headaches, dizziness, and nausea, as well as rare complications like strokes and blood clots. And the US Food and Drug Administration announced yesterday that it's investigating whether some versions of the pill -- which contain varying doses of estrogen and varying types of progestin -- pose a higher risk of blood clots than others.
Turns out those that contain the progestin drospirenone -- which include Yaz and Yasmin -- may be associated with a higher risk of blood clots, according to two recent studies Boston University School of Medicine studies that were published in the British Medical Journal. Blood clots can pose serious problems if they break off and travel through the bloodstream to the heart or lungs.FULL ENTRY
I've recently posted on new research extolling the health benefits of coffee like cancer and heart disease prevention -- especially for those who drink more than three or even five cups a day. Well, there may be a caveat to drinking all that coffee: For women trying to get pregnant, it could reduce their fertility.
Caffeine appears to reduce the muscle activity in the Fallopian tubes that carry eggs from the ovary to the uterus, according to a study published this week in the British Journal of Pharmacology. The study, though, was conducted in mice, so it's not certain how these results apply to people.FULL ENTRY
Pregnant women -- or those thinking about getting pregnant -- listen up! There's a lot of new advice coming down the pike this week that could help protect your, and your baby's, health.
First off, Consumer Reports, in its new sunscreen ratings, advises pregnant women to avoid sunscreens with retinyl palmitate, an ingredient that could possibly increase the risk of birth defects. (It converts readily to retinoids, associated with a risk of birth defects in people using acne medications containing them.) It might also be listed on the label as retinol palmitate, vitamin A palmitate, and retinol hexadecanoate.
Given all the advances in modern medicine, you'd think having a baby would be down to a science: That doctors would know when to order a C-section and when to allow a little more time for labor to progress. Or that hospitals wouldn't allow doctors or patients to schedule births a few weeks before the due date -- which has been shown to be risky for the baby -- for convenience or to make a year-end tax deduction.
Yet the current state of maternity care is far from modernized. A report issued yesterday by the state Department of Public Health found that hospital C-section rates range from a low of 10 percent to a high of 35 percent in women who are deemed to be a low-risk for having the surgery. That led DPH medical director Dr. Lauren Smith to conclude the obvious: Some hospitals aren't using the procedure at an "ideal rate." (Read the full story here.)FULL ENTRY
A recently decided custody battle has been getting a lot of attention today. On the losing side: A North Carolina mother with stage 4 breast cancer whose two kids, ages 5 and 11, were taken away because of her terminal illness. On the winning side, the healthy father from Chicago who divorced his wife, Alaina Giordano, after her diagnosis.
New York Times blogger Lisa Belkin couldn't have described it better when she wrote in this post that North Carolina judge Nancy E. Gordon had to make a choice that made King Solomon's look easy since neither parent said they could move closer to the other -- she because of her medical care and he because of his job.FULL ENTRY
Sexual problems after cancer treatment aren't usually the prime topic of discussion among patients and their oncologists. Survival rates and acute treatment side effects like nausea and baldness often take first priority in conversations. Yet many cancer patients find that months or even years after their treatment ends, their sex life is still suffering.
Some find their libido never bounces back after chemo. Breast cancer patients often experience vaginal dryness from anti-estrogen treatments and may feel self conscious about their surgery scars. And some prostate cancer patients never regain full function after surgery or radiation treatments. WBUR blogger Rachel Zimmerman wrote this stirring post yesterday about the first-hand experiences of cancer patients dealing with sexual problems after treatment -- complete with videos so you can hear the survivors speak in their own words.FULL ENTRY
When the eyelash enhancing drug Latisse was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration more than two years ago, one of the big concerns was hair growth on the eyelids and around the eyes in those who were a little messy when applying the liquidy substance.
Latisse's hair growth potential has probably led some doctors to start prescribing the treatment "off-label" for baldness, ABC News reports. One woman said she used the treatment to restore her over-plucked eyebrows before her wedding. And those treating baldness with the only two prescription remedies on the market -- Rogaine (a lotion) and Propecia (a pill) -- agreed that it would be nice to add a third.FULL ENTRY
The US Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission today announced a joint effort to remove products from the market that make unproven claims to treat, cure, and prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Among the products targeted are Medavir, Herpaflor, Viruxo, C-Cure, and Never An Outbreak.
The agencies issued multiple letters to companies warning that their products violate federal law. These products, sold online and in retail outlets, have not been evaluated by the FDA for safety and effectiveness. The joint action is the first step in keeping these unproven items from being sold to the public and preventing consumers from being misled.FULL ENTRY
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April 26, 2011
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June 10, 2011
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June 6, 2011
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