Angelina Jolie's announcement this week that she had both breasts surgically removed to reduce her risk of breast cancer has raised lots of questions about how to best prevent the disease in the women at highest risk of it.
Pregnant women often undergo medical procedures and invasive interventions, including induced labors and cesarean sections, without fully understanding the risks or being involved in making decisions about their care. Those are some of the findings of a major new survey to be released on Thursday of 2,400 women who recently had babies.
My heart rate monitor has been sitting, unused, at the bottom of my gym bag for months. I couldn't get used to putting on the chest strap that comes with it, especially during winter workouts when that chest strap was ice cold from being in the car all day.
Where you deliver your baby is a big factor in determining whether you'll have a Cesarean section. Researchers who looked at nearly 600 hospitals nationwide found that C-section rates varied widely, from a low of 7 percent of all deliveries to 70 percent.
Don't rush things. That's the bottom-line advice to expectant mothers from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Family Practitioners. Asked to identify five tests or procedures that were overdone, both organizations agreed on the same top two: a planned early delivery and inducing labor without a strong medical reason.
For many people (me included), football and beer go together like peanut butter and jelly. That's especially true on Super Bowl Sunday, when beer ads rule the commercial breaks. This year, Anheuser-Busch Inbev, maker of Budweiser, has purchased four and a half minutes of air time, including two spots for its new beer, Budweiser Black Crown. Of course, with all the emphasis on booze, both on and in front of the TV, Super Bowl Sunday is often followed by hangover Monday.
Screenings for several forms of cancer, such as of the prostate and ovaries, get low marks in our new Ratings of cancer screening tests, because their risks clearly outweigh the benefits for most people. But the decision whether to get a mammogram to check for breast cancer is especially complex, as illustrated in three recent reports in the British Medical Journal.
If you suffer from overactive bladder you now have two new options: Botox injections (yes, the wrinkle-shrinking drug), and an over-the-counter version of the Oxytrol patch, which used to require a prescription. The Food and Drug Administration approved both recently. But our medical advisors recommend caution before trying either medication.
If you take a sleeping medication that contains zolpidem (Ambien, Ambien CR, Edluar, Zolpimist, or generic), you could still have levels in your body the next morning that are high enough to impair driving, even if you feel wide awake. That's according to the Food and Drug Administration, which said Thursday it was requiring manufacturers to lower the recommended dose of the insomnia drugs by half to help reduce the risk of traffic accidents. Women are especially at risk because they clear the drug slower than men.
On a recent visit to see my mom, we had a reminder about the importance of regularly checking blood-pressure levels. She's already on medication for the condition, but her hairdresser noticed her ankles were swollen and suggested we get her levels checked. Good thing: They were unusually high, indicating stage 2 hypertension, which could trigger a heart attack, stroke, or kidney problems.
Keeping a journal of everything you eat can be daunting, not to mention an unpleasant reality check. But new research suggests that it's one of the most effective things you can do to if you're trying to lose weight. The other two most important strategies were things to avoid: regularly going out for lunch and skipping meals.
The rates of babies being born too early and dying soon after birth has gone down in the U.S., according to a new government report. But the rates of those events are still higher here than in many other industrialized countries.
Under threat of a lawsuit from the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest, healthcare giant Pfizer has agreed to remove claims related to breast and colon health from some of its Centrum brand multivitamins, and to tone down certain other claims that the CSPI alleged are misleading.
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