Health advice and news from Sutter Health’s Northern California experts. The latest on fitness, nutrition, menopause, disease prevention and more.
Now more than ever, women are encouraged to have it all – a fulfilling career, a loving partner and children to adore. But sometimes plans to have children are impacted by our career, relationship, age or other factors. For those not ready to have children, but whose biological clock is ticking, there’s good news. Developments such as egg freezing have the potential to extend your fertility, in essence giving you more time to prepare for a child.
Egg freezing is not for everyone as it can cost tens of thousands of dollars, but for those with the desire and means it can be a comforting option. Many woman who are about to start chemotherapy or radiation choose to freeze their eggs before treatment. The ability to freeze our eggs has only been available since late 2013, but Mary Abusief, M.D., FACOG, a reproductive endocrinologist with the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, says it’s growing in popularity.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. From athletes on television to special packaged products at stores, we see pink ribbons everywhere, reminding us there is still no cure for this serious disease.
With so many reminders about breast cancer, it can be easy to forget that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women – causing one in three deaths each year. In fact, more women die every year from heart disease than from all forms of cancer combined.
Living in a society bent on obtaining the perfect body, we’re all familiar with the endless stream of gadgets and gizmos meant to help us lose weight and look sexy. Remember the belly wrap that promised to give us washboard abs by zapping our tummy muscles with electricity? Well, the latest trend in body shaping is a “waist trainer,” a corset-like garment made popular by Hollywood celebrities such as the Kardashians.
Akin to Victorian-era corsets, these waist-cinching contraptions have been getting a lot of ink lately in publications such as Marie Claire and Men’s Health. Promoters of the devices claim they can permanently give women and men an hourglass figure with a smaller waist if worn for a few hours each day, every day. However, there’s no research to support any of the claims.
Driven by an unprecedented drought and above-average temperatures, wildfires continue to scorch hundreds of thousands of acres throughout California. Since the start of 2015, more than 5,200 fires have burned through nearly 218,000 acres of vegetation, according to Cal Fire. Sutter Health doctors say these fires have a negative impact on our air quality, making it difficult for people with respiratory problems to breathe.
Dr. Tze-Ming Chen, a pulmonary and critical care specialist with the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, says smoky conditions cause great respiratory distress for many of his patients.
A recent study looking at the effectiveness of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has been making headlines by claiming youths may only need one shot instead of three to be protected from the sexually transmitted virus. But Sutter Health doctors say the study was not comprehensive, and caution against foregoing any life-saving vaccines.
The U.S. National Cancer Institute study, published in the journal Lancet Oncology, claimed the HPV vaccine remained effective after four years in 77 to 86 percent of its 260,000 female participants, regardless of how many shots they received. However, as Dr. Nancy Brown with the Palo Alto Medical Foundation explains, the study only took certain types of HPV (HPV-16 and HPV-18) into account.