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Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Effect on the chance of subsequent pregnancy quantified for first time

Date:July 3, 2017

Source:European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology

For the first time, a large population study has quantified the chance of pregnancy after treatment for cancer diagnosed in girls and women aged 39 or under. This landmark study, which linked all cancers diagnosed in Scotland between 1981 and 2012 to subsequent pregnancy, found that the cancer survivors were 38% less likely to achieve a pregnancy than women in the general population. This detrimental effect on fertility was evident in almost all types of cancer diagnosed.

“This analysis provides the first robust, population-based evidence of the effect of cancer and its treatment on subsequent pregnancy across the full reproductive age range,” said presenter Professor Richard Anderson from the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, Queen’s Medical Research Institute at the University of Edinburgh, UK.

“The major impact on pregnancy after some common cancers highlights the need for enhanced strategies to preserve fertility in girls and young women.”

Professor Anderson will present the results of the study today at the Annual Meeting of ESHRE in Geneva.

The need for better access to fertility preservation has become more pressing in recent years for two reasons: first, the improved rates of survival in young women and girls diagnosed with cancer; and second, improvements in the techniques of freezing eggs and ovarian tissue to restore fertility.

This latest study, which cross-linked 23,201 female cancer survivors from the Scottish Cancer Registry with hospital discharge records, revealed 6627 pregnancies among the cancer survivors when nearly 11,000 would have been expected in a comparable matched control group from the general population.

For women who had not been pregnant before their cancer diagnosis, 20.6% of the cancer survivors achieved a first pregnancy after diagnosis (2114 first pregnancies in 10,271 women), compared with 38.7% in the control group. Thus, women with cancer were about half as likely to achieve a first pregnancy after diagnosis as were controls.

The analysis also found that the chance of pregnancy was reduced in all age groups, with substantial variations between different cancer diagnoses — notably, reduced pregnancy rates in women with cervical cancer, breast cancer and leukemia. However, those cancers diagnosed later within the study period (2005-2012) were associated with higher rates of pregnancy than those diagnosed earlier (1981-1988), suggesting that for some cancer treatments the impact on fertility has reduced.

The diagnosis and treatment of female cancers are known to affect fertility for several reasons: some chemotherapy regimens can cause damage to the ovary, and this can occur at any age; radiotherapy can also compromise female fertility through effects on the ovary, uterus and potentially those brain centres which control the reproductive axis.

However, Professor Anderson stressed that the results of the study related only to subsequent pregnancy itself, and not to the incidence of infertility caused by cancer treatment. “Some women may have chosen not to have a pregnancy,” he explained. “Thus, while these results do show an expected reduction in the chance of pregnancy after chemotherapy and radiotherapy, having a pregnancy after cancer does involve a range of complex issues that we cannot address in this study.”

With rates of cancer survival increasing in both young male and females, fertility preservation ahead of treatment has an increasing role to play in fertility clinics. However, Professor Anderson described such services in all parts of the world, including the USA and Europe, as “very variable.” “Oocyte and embryo freezing are regarded as established,” he said, “but ovarian tissue cryopreservation is considered experimental, although it is the only option for prepubertal girls.”

He added that the results of this study would allow clinicians to advise girls and women more accurately about their future chance of pregnancy. “They emphasise the need to consider the possible effects on fertility in girls and women with a new cancer diagnosis. The implications of the diagnosis and planned treatment and, where appropriate, options for fertility preservation should be discussed with the patient and her family. Even for patients considered at low risk of infertility as a result of treatment, a fertility discussion is recommended before treatment begins.”

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John Boehner

At this point, I assume you know that a new health care system is being implemented in this country.  If you don’t know this then…..well, there is no sense in reading this cause, honey, you are on another planet.

We’ve heard all the arguing and seen some of the commercials and watched the elections and all.  We’ve heard how the new Speaker of the House, John Boehner, has vowed to repeal the new law.  Well, that’s a total crock because while the House of Representatives will vote to repeal it, it’s unlikely that the Senate will do the same and, if by some chance they do repeal it, well, Obama-Man is sitting there with his ole veto pen.  End of story.

We’re gonna be living with this new law for some time.  That being the case, I thought I would regularly send you a short explanation of what all of this means to you to cut through all of the stuff that you see and don’t have time to sort out.

A number of the provisions of the law will not take effect for quite a while, but some things are already in effect.  So, right now, here’s the deal:

Any health plan that you get through your job or any new individual plan has to let any kids you have under 19 to have coverage.  In other words, they cannot be denied coverage if they are already sick or have some medical condition.

If your health insurance allows you to have coverage for your dependents, then they can be covered until they are 26 years old.  After that, you kick them out of the house and they’re on their own.

Insurance companies cannot drop you from their plans when you get sick just because you made a mistake on your coverage application.

Many insurance companies say that during your lifetime you can only be covered up to a certain point.  Today, there are no limits.

If your employer offers a health plan, you generally can’t be turned away or charged a higher premium because of your health status or disability.  This protection is called “nondiscrimination.”

If family members are eligible but are not currently enrolled under your health plan at work, you may be able to add them during a “special enrollment” opportunity outside of the usual “open enrollment” period.

Not too shabby, huh?

There’s so much more to come!  Stay tuned.

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Downward Graph on Women's Health

The National Women’s Law Center has just issued a “report card” on the state of women’s health in this country – and it looks like we’re failing girls.

The Center reviewed the goals of the recent “Healthy People” initiative and found that 23 of the 26 goals outlined in the government’s plan so far remained unmet.  Now, this is a decade long effort but still, it doesn’t look good.  When referring specifically to women, the report found that more women are engaging in binge drinking and less women are being screened for cervical cancer than in 2007. Indeed, the percentage of women who reported consuming five or more drinks at a time in the past month jumped more than 3% since 2007, to 10.6%, while the percentage of women who received annual pap smears dropped nearly 10% to 78% over the same time period.

And there’s more!  According to the Center, more women reported obesity, hypertension and diabetes than they did in 2007.  More tested positive for chlamydia.  And here’s no surprise, out of all the states in the union guess which ones came in dead last?  Yep, Louisiana and Mississippi came in 50th and 51st, respectively.  Big shock, huh?

Still, in every report, there has to be some good news, right?  Well, I found it.  One indicator – cholesterol

Women

screening — received a higher grade than in the previous report.  Also, three goals of the Healthy People 2010 initiative were met, including the percentage of women receiving regular mammograms, visiting the dentist and screening for colorectal cancer. Also worth noting is that the rate of smoking among women declined in 42 states, making that one of the most improved health status indicators.

Still, it’s clear to me that you girls have got to get your act together, especially you young ones.  Sure, you may not feel bad right now and you probably cannot even imagine what it will be like to be 60 years old but unless you take care of yourself now, you’re gonna pay for it later.  I’m 61 and as I said in a previous post, I probably drank too much in my younger days.  And, now I am struggling with gout.

It ain’t fun getting old, my dears….Don’t make things worse by not taking care of yourself now.

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Gout

A while back I wrote about how I had a gout attack. It was focused on my left big toe and I can tell you it was the most horrible pain I have ever felt. It lasted for about three weeks. Ultimately, it started to subside but I will tell you that those weeks were pure hell, not just for me but for my family. Basically, you get gout when you have too much uric acid in your blood. This happens when you drink a lot of alcohol (I don’t unless my mother in law is coming to visit), eat rich foods (guilty – I love my fish) and don’t drink enough water (guilty – do I really want to be peeing all day long?).

Now, a new study has come out that says that drinking orange juice, soda or other sugary beverages can also increase gout in middle age women. For women in the study who drank two or more servings of these drinks a day, the risk of gout was more than double that for women who drank sugary sodas and less than once per month.

So, my first reaction is: I can’t drink Orange Juice?  What the heck?  I was raised on Orange Juice. In my day

Orange Juice

it was practically mandatory to have a big glass for breakfast (along with my real eggs and real bacon).  This study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The thing that I found interesting was that, while gout is not common in the United States, the rate of incidences has more than doubled over a 20-year period, from 16 cases per 100,000 Americans in 1977 to 42 per 100,000 in 1996. Coincidentally, over this period we Americans have consumed increasing amounts of soda and other drinks sweetened with fructose.

After my gout went away, I went to my doctor and he put me on alluprinol. The interesting thing is that one

Drinking Water

of the warnings on the label is that alluprinol “may cause gout.” Nice, huh? But I did some research and found that getting gout in some weird way flushes out that high uric acid. I’ve been on the pill for three weeks and, KNOCK ON WOOD, no problems so far. Of course, I’ve been drinking a LOT of water and spending a lot of time in the bathroom. I also have been exercising more.

We’ll see how it goes, but I hate getting old, I just hate it.

What’s next?

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