Women health

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HPV TEST BETTER THAN PAP SMEAR FOR OVER 40S

If you are a woman under 40 you are better off having a Pap Smear, if you are over 40 you are better off having a human papillomavirus (HPV) test, say researchers from the Danish Cancer Society. The majority of cervical cancers are caused by HPV infections. You can read about this study in the journal Cancer Research.


NEW SCREENING MAMMOGRAPHY GUIDELINES FOR WOMEN AGE 40 TO 49

The American College of Physicians (ACP) has issued new clinical guidelines for screening mammography for women age 40 to 49. The clinical guidelines and related articles appear in today's edition of the Annals of Internal Medicine. The ACP recommends that for every woman aged between 40 and 49 in their care clinicians should: -- Assess regularly her individual breast cancer risk and help her decide about screening mammography.


UK MPS VOTE TO KEEP 24 WEEK ABORTION LIMIT

Last night, Tuesday 21st May, members of UK parliament's House of Commons voted to reject a proposal to reduce the upper limit for abortions from 24 to 22 weeks. The 22 week limit, which was rejected by a 304 to 233 majority by MPs who were given a free vote, was one of several proposals to overhaul the 20-year-old Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill and bring it in line with advances in science and medicine.


MAMMOGRAMS BENEFIT WOMEN INTO THEIR 70S

New research from The Netherlands suggests that mammograms benefit women up to the age of 75 by cutting deaths; the researchers claim this is the first study to show this because until the late 1990s, few women over 70 were undergoing mammogram screening. The study is the work of Jacques Fracheboud, a senior researcher at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, and colleagues, who presented their findings at the 6th European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC-6) in Berlin, on Friday 18th of April.


BREAST CANCER HER2 TEST FOR HERCEPTIN CANDIDATES APPROVED BY FDA

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Tuesday that it had approved a new test that measures the strength of HER2 gene amplification in breast cancer patients so that decisions can be made about whether they should be given the cancer drug Herceptin (trastuzumab). HER2 genes control the growth, division and repair of breast cells, and when overexpressed this leads to too many HER2 proteins sending too many signals to grow cells which results in unregulated growth and cancer.


HERCEPTIN PROLONGS PROGRESSION FREE SURVIVAL OF HER2 BREAST CANCER PATIENTS

The results of a phase III trial comparing Herceptin with chemo against chemo on its own showed that Herceptin helped women with aggressive metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer live nearly three months longer without their cancer progressing. The findings are being presented this weekend at the 44th annual meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago.


E-HEALTH 3.0: HOW CAN THE SEMANTIC WEB CHANGE THE WORLD OF INTERNET HEALTH INFORMATION?

Access to online health information is something most individuals take for granted these days. Whether sifting through a million Google hits or a laborious visit to WebMD, most people with access to a computer have utilized the current online health tools. Just ten years ago, few would give credence to reputable health information posted on the Web.


TARGETED BREAST ULTRASOUND COULD REDUCE NEED FOR INVASIVE BIOPSIES FOR WOMEN UNDER 40

Two new studies from the US that explored the effectiveness of targeted breast ultrasound showed it was able successfully to tell the difference between benign and cancerous tumors in young women with lumps or other specific, localized signs or symptoms of breast cancer; so much so that the researchers recommended this method as a "tool of choice" for evaluating palpable lumps in women under 40, thus reducing the need for invasive biopsies.


HUMAN PAPILLOMA VIRUS VACCINE EFFECTIVE IN WOMEN AGED 24-45 NOT PREVIOUSLY EXPOSED

An article published Online First and in an upcoming edition of The Lancet reports that women aged between 24 and 45 can be protected by the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine, if they have not been already infected by the virus. The report is the work of Dr Nubia Muñoz, from the National Institute of Cancer, Bogotá, Colombia, and collaborators.


DISCOVERY OF GENE THAT CAUSES HER2 BREAST CANCER TO SPREAD RAISES HOPE FOR NEW TREATMENT

Scientists in Scotland have identified a gene that plays a key role in the spread of HER2 positive breast cancer to other parts of the body, raising hopes of a new treatment for this common form of breast cancer. Research leader Dr Elad Katz, from the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Unit at the University of Edinburgh, and colleagues describe their research and discovery of the new gene, called C35, in a paper that was published online in the British Journal of Cancer on 13 July.


FETUS CANNOT FEEL PAIN BEFORE 24 WEEKS, SAYS ROYAL COLLEGE OF OBSTETRICIANS AND GYNAECOLOGISTS, UK

Two Working Party reports have been released by the RCOG (Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists), UK: 1. Fetal Awareness, and 2. Termination of Pregnancy of Fetal Abnormality. The first one updates the previous report published in 1997, while the second replaces the 1996 report. Both reports were commissioned by the DoH (Department of Health, UK), after recommendations by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee in 2008.


PREGNANCY RELATED DEATHS DROP 34% GLOBALLY, BUT STILL 1000 WOMEN DIE EACH DAY

The total number of deaths of women worldwide caused by childbirth or complications during pregnancy fell by 34% between 1990 and 2008, according to Trends in Maternal Mortality, a report released by WHO (World Health Organization), UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund), the UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) and the World Bank.


ABORTION RATE RISES TO 19.6 PER 1000 WOMEN IN THE USA

In 1981 there were 29.3 abortions per 1000 women, compared to 19.4 in 2005 and 19.6 in 2008. The steady decline which lasted over two decades has stalled, and has started to rise slightly, according to a new report by the Guttmacher Institute. There were 1.21 million abortions in the United States in 2008.


OVERALL ABORTION RATE DROPS 8% IN EIGHT YEARS, RISES 18% AMONG POOR WOMEN IN USA

While the abortion rate dropped between 2000 and 2008 overall in the USA, among women whose family incomes are below the federal poverty level it rose, researchers from the Guttmacher Institute wrote in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology. 40% of all abortions in America in 2008 were performed on poor women.


NO BREAST CANCER SCREENING FOR WOMEN AGED 40-49, NEW CANADIAN GUIDELINES

Women aged forty to forty-nine should not undergo routine mammography screening for breast cancer, according to new guidelines issued by the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care, which were published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). The Task Force also recommends that the screening interval be extended to every two to three years for females aged 50 to 74, from every two years.


TRIPLE DRUG COMBO ERADICATES 50% MORE TUMORS IN HER2-POSITIVE BREAST CANCER THAN STANDARD TREATMENT

Findings of the phase 2 NeoSphere study, published Online First in The Lancet Oncology shows that by adding monoclonal antibody pertuzumab to standard therapy (trastuzumab [Herceptin] plus the chemotherapy drug docetaxel) for women with an aggressive type of early-stage breast cancer (HER2-positive disease) improved the rate of complete tumor disappearance by over half after just four cycles, i.


INCLUDING HPV TEST IN CERVICAL SCREENINGS SAVES 3,500 WOMEN FROM POINTLESS TESTS

According to a new study published in the British Journal of Cancer, including testing for the human papillomavirus (HPV) in cervical screenings reduces over a third of further pointless tests for women. The results are from the primary assessment, led by The Institute of Cancer Research, of the 'Sentinel sites' project, which aims to make HPV testing part of routine cervical screening.


20% OF BREAST IMPLANTS REMOVED WITHIN 10 YEARS

Women who have breast implants need to know that the risk of complications and having them removed or replaced grows with time, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) announced. 20% of women who received breast augmentation implants will have to have them removed within 10 years of the procedure. For breast reconstruction the figure could be as high as 1 in every 2 within ten years.


FAT LIPOSUCTIONED FROM HIPS RETURNS TO BELLY WITHIN 12 MONTHS

Women who have fat removed from their hips by liposuction are likely to see it come back again within 12 months, only this time to the belly, according to new research from the US that was published online in the journal Obesity this week. Drs Teri L. Hernandez and Robert H. Eckel of the University of Colorado, Denver, and colleagues, wrote in their background information that there were no published reports of randomized studies on humans that examined whether fat came back after it was removed, and if it did, was it to the same place or elsewhere in the body.


11.7% MEDICATION ERROR RATE IN E-PRESCRIBING

The chances of mistakes occurring in prescriptions sent electronically are no lower than in those written out by hand, a researcher from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston wrote in the Journal of American Medical Information Association. This will be a disappointment for health reform experts and policymakers who assured that E-prescribing would have fewer medication errors, as well as saving the government billions of dollars.