In This Issue
Vaccinations Women Need Most
10 Tricks to Avoid Halloween Treats
6 Things You Don't Know About Breast Cancer
10 Mammogram Myths and Facts
7 Things Oral Contraceptives Can Do That Have Nothing to Do with Pregnancy

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vaccinationVaccinations Women Need Most

When we're kids, parents and pediatricians keep us on top of all of our necessary vaccinations. But women need to keep up with their boosters when they're adults, too. Things definitely shift according to personal medical history, but certain vaccinations are recommended for all healthy adult women. In order to stay in tip-top shape, be sure to keep vaccination records readily available and that you know which of these you are due for.

Human papillomavirus: The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted disease. One of the best methods for prevention is a three-dose series of vaccinations for girls and women, ages 11 to 26.

Tetanus: By age 6, you should have received your first tetanus shot. But you may have forgotten that a booster is needed every 10 years. If you're older than 19 and have never received a tetanus shot, then you're going to need to get the Tdap vaccine. Tdap is a combination vaccine that protects against three potentially life-threatening bacterial diseases: tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough).

Meningococcal: To protect yourself against the bacterial disease meningitis, the meningococcal vaccine is recommended for anyone living in a communal environment. Before entering college or enlisting in the military, many women receive the recommendation or the requirement to get this vaccine.

Varicella: If you never had the chickenpox as a child, a two-dose series of a varicella vaccine is recommended for adults with no evidence of immunity to the virus.

Influenza: For nearly all adult women, an annual flu shot is recommended to keep all the germs during flu season at bay. Flu season typically peaks in January and February, but can also be seen as early as mid-October, so it's best to get this vaccine once it's available!

Source: Fitsugar

candy10 Tricks to Avoid Halloween Treats 

If the thought of Halloween candy makes you panic, not to worry. There are ways to keep your hands out of the candy jar so you can avoid packing on some extra pounds even before the holiday season starts. Here are some expert tips to help you avoid the temptation of Halloween goodies, at home and at the office.

Buy candy you don't love . If the candy in your pantry is stuff kids like but that you don't enjoy, it will be easier to resist opening those bags and diving in. For most of us, that means anything but chocolate. Sour candy, gummy-textured [candies], hard candies and the others that are not chocolate are lower in fat and calories and typically not the candy we overeat.

Out of sight, out of mind . Ask your co-workers to keep their candy jars and bowls inside their desks or stashed in a cabinet in the break room so you won't be tempted every time you see it. If they want to keep candy on their desks, ask them to use a colored container with a lid so you can't see inside.

Savor one piece of your favorite candy a day . Decide what time of day you most relish the sweet stuff, and save your special treat for that time. Then sit back and slowly savor the taste sensation. It is so easy to pop a piece of candy into your mouth mindlessly and not get the full enjoyment you would get if you saved it and ate it when you know you will enjoy it the most. Indulge your sweet tooth on occasion, because denying yourself completely could lead to an all-out binge.

Chew gum . Sugarless gum gives your mouth a burst of sweet sensation for very few calories. Studies have shown that gum chewing can also help [you] relieve stress, mentally focus on tasks, satisfy a sweet tooth, overcome the urge to eat candy, and help manage hunger pangs to hold you over until your next meal.

Replace the candy with better choices . Make the see-food diet work in your favor by putting out a bowl of colorful fruit or veggies in place of the candy.

Move the candy jar . If you have to get up to get a piece of candy, it is not always worth the effort, whereas when the candy is convenient, consumption is higher.

Count the empty wrappers . It's so easy to pop fun-size candy bars into your mouth that you can lose track of how quickly the calories are adding up. If you keep the wrappers on your desk, it will remind you of how many you ate and hopefully inspire you to exercise moderation and stop after one or two.

Take a walking break . Getting away from your desk for a breath of fresh air can invigorate you and help you get over the mid-morning or mid-afternoon slumps that are often mistaken for hunger.

Manage your hunger . Eat breakfast before coming to work and plan for a few healthy snacks along with a satisfying lunch. Your preplanned meals with keep you feeling satisfied and make you less likely to raid the candy bowl.

Sip on a low-calorie beverage . Keep your hands and mouth busy by drinking a zero-calorie cup of hot tea (rich with disease-fighting antioxidants) or big glass of water. And light hot chocolate can satisfy your sweet tooth for few calories than most fun-size chocolate bars.

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October 2016  

Be More Than Pink:  
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month 

Wearing pink is a tradition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month to raise awareness of such a life-affecting disease. The point of wearing pink is not to show that you are simply acknowledging the fact that October is the month to raise awareness for this cause. It is more than that. Wearing pink gives you an opportunity to spread the word about breast cancer and how it affects women all across the world. It not only affects the women diagnosed, but also their families and friends.

One in eight. That's the chance of a woman having invasive breast cancer some time during her life, making it the second most common cancer among women in the US, after skin cancer. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to become as educated as possible about the disease. Start by reading 6 Things You Don't Know About Breast Cancer will help you separate fact from fiction.

Despite the knowledge that mammograms screenings can be the best tool toward early detection, many women remain reluctant to take the initiative and schedule a mammography screening. One reason is due of the fear of the unknown, especially for women who have never had one and don't know what to expect. 10 Mammogram Myths and Facts will prove that your reasons for putting off that mammogram are weaker than you think.     

You know that hormones have a huge impact on your daily life (or, in some cases, it's convenient to think so). Got a colony of pimples on your chin? Hormones. Famished for lunch before noon despite eating breakfast at 10 AM? Hormones. So it's pretty silly to think that birth control pills-which are basically hormone regulators-can only be used for, well, birth control. Here are 7 things oral contraceptives can do that have nothing to do with pregnancy prevention.

Want to stay healthy this winter? First up: shots aren't just for kids as grown-ups need them, too.  Some vaccines that you had as a child may no longer leave you protected.  Find out which ones you should have to best protect yourself and the people around you by reading Vaccinations Women Need Most.

With Halloween nearing, it seems like every store and desktop candy dish is taunting you to take a bite or buy a whole package of sugary snacks! What's a healthy eater to do? Use these 10 Tricks to Avoid Halloween Treats to help you make it through several weeks' worth of taunts without guilt.    
With warm regards,
The Practitioners and Staff of Lawrence OB/GYN  
6 Things You Don't Know About Breast Cancerbreastcancer
October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month-and with everything from football fields to candy counters suddenly awash in pink, it's the right time to shine a light on some little-known but totally surprising truths about the disease. Who better to give us an assist than Lindsay Avner, 31, the founder of Bright Pink, a nonprofit advocacy organization that educates young women about breast and ovarian cancer? Not only does Avner encourage women to take charge of their health, she also has personal experience on the breast cancer frontlines. She underwent a preventive double mastectomy at 23 after testing positive for the BRCA1 gene mutation, which raises your risk of breast cancer up to 87 percent. Brave, right? Here, she fills us in on six crucial facts all women need to be up on.

1. Breast cancer isn't limited to your breasts. Because breast tissue extends up to your collarbone and deep inside armpit, the disease can strike here too, says Avner. No wonder breast self-exams involve touching and looking at these body areas, in addition to your actual breast. Need a self-exam refresher? Check out Bright Pink's infographic, which gives you a step by step. Since they only help you out if you remember to do them every month, text "PINK" to 59227, and Bright Pink will text you monthly reminders.

2. A lump isn't the only symptom. True, it's the most common sign (though 80 percent of lumps turn out to be benign). But there are other tip-offs: persistent itching, a bug bite-like bump on the skin, and nipple discharge, says Avner. In fact, any weird or mysterious change in the way your breasts look or feel can turn out to be a symptom. So take note, and if something persists for a few weeks, check in with your doctor.

3. But when it is, it might feel like a frozen pea. A lump that's solid and immobile, like a frozen pea or marble or another hard item fixed in place, is concerning. That doesn't mean it's cancer, of course. But if it doesn't vanish after a few weeks or grows larger, have your doctor take a look.

4. The risk for younger women is lower than you might think. Two-thirds of women who are diagnosed have already passed their 55th birthday, according to the National Cancer Institute. And age is one of the strongest risk factors for developing the disease. That's reassuring news and a strong reminder not to panic if you notice a weird sign.

5. Breast cancer is not a death sentence. Diagnose it early, and the cure rate skyrockets. If it's detected and treated while still in Stage 1, the five-year survival rate hovers at 98 percent, says Avner. Even if it's Stage III, 72 percent of women can expect to survive at least five years, reports the American Cancer Society. That's the best argument we can think of for not blowing off monthly self-exams and yearly mammograms.

6. Seventy-five percent of breast cancers occur in people with no family history. The gene mutations linked to breast cancer, BRCA1 and BRCA2, get so much media love, many women think that if they have no first-degree relatives (mom, sister, and daughter) with the disease, they don't have to worry about it. But every year, thousands of women find out that they're the first ones in their family to be diagnosed. It's not totally clear what exactly causes breast cancer. But limiting alcohol intake and maintaining a healthy body weight have been shown to be risk reducers, says Avner.

Source: Shape
10 Mammogram Myths and Factsmammogram 
Putting Off Your Mammogram? You may have a million excuses not to get that annual mammogram, but your reasons may not be as good as you think. Don't blow off your appointment before you get the facts behind these myths and defenses.

1. Breast cancer doesn't run in my family, so I don't need to go.
It's true that if breast cancer runs in your family, you're more likely to get it, especially if your sister or mom had it. But most women who get breast cancer -- 85% -- have no family history of the disease. So get checked anyway.

2. I'm too young.
Breast cancer is most common in women 55 or older. But it can still happen to younger women. There are different guidelines about when to start. Ask your doctor what's right for you.

3. The radiation is too risky.
You'd get a lot less radiation from a mammogram than what you'd get on a plane trip from Houston to Paris, says Therese Bevers, MD. She is medical director of the Cancer Prevention Center at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. You know you'd take a free ticket to Paris in a heartbeat. Don't think twice about a mammogram either.

4. I'm afraid of what they might find.
Don't jump to conclusions. Remember, 80% of callbacks turn out to be benign, Bevers says. Also, a mammogram doesn't change anything. It just gives you information about what's already there. If a mammogram finds something that turns out to be cancer, wouldn't you rather know about it sooner than later?

5. It's too expensive.
Not anymore. Mammograms are free under the health care reform law (the Affordable Care Act), with no deductibles and no copays. Medicare also covers mammograms. If for some reason you fall through the cracks, there are other free or low-cost options. Call the National Cancer Institute at 800-4-CANCER (800-422-6237) for information.

6. It's too painful.
Mammograms are pretty quick. Any discomfort is brief, says Debbie Saslow, PhD, director of breast and gynecologic cancer at the American Cancer Society. It can help to:
  • Schedule the screening test when your breasts are less sensitive (i.e. not right before your period).
  • Take an aspirin or over-the-counter pain reliever before.
  • Let the technologist know that you might be sensitive. He or she might be able to make the mammogram a more positive experience.
7. I don't have any lumps.
That's good, but mammograms can find small tumors up to 3 years before you can feel them. Those small, early-stage tumors are treatable.

8. I'm too busy.
Make the time. Mammograms only take 15-30 minutes, and it's part of your routine health care. "It's a lot more time-consuming if you get sick," Saslow says.

9. My breasts are too dense.
Mammograms may be less helpful in finding cancer in dense breasts, but they're not useless. If your mammogram isn't readable because you have dense breasts, you may get a second check with an ultrasound or MRI.

10. I eat right and I exercise regularly, so I'm not at risk.
Keep up the good work and still get tested. A healthy lifestyle may lower your risk of getting breast cancer, but "it doesn't eliminate it," Saslow says.

Source: WebMD
7 Things Oral Contraceptives Can Do That Have Nothing to do with Pregnancy Preventionpill
You already know it's one of the most popular and effective forms of contraception out there, but the Pill does so much more than just prevent unwanted pregnancy. It also comes with some noteworthy non-contraceptive benefits. In fact, 14 percent of users-1.5 million women-count on oral contraceptives exclusively to help them with issues that have zero to do with pregnancy prevention, according to a Guttmacher Institute study. Here's a look at some of the most common benefits that go along with popping that little pill every day.

1. It can make endometriosis bearable.
With this painful condition, tissue that normally grows inside the uterus (and sheds during your period) also grows outside of it, commonly on the ovaries, bowel, and bladder. This excess tissue causes swelling, inflammation, and scarring, which leads to extreme pain. The Pill will decrease the severity of monthly menstrual symptoms, which means that there will be less monthly uterine buildup, less shedding, and, for those with endometriosis, even less migration and growth of uterine tissue throughout the body. Which all adds up to less pain.

2. It can conserve your blood.
How much red you see in each month varies from woman to woman, but normal bleeding is considered anywhere from a few tablespoons to 80 ml (about a third of a cup), according to Cleveland Clinic. If your flow is much heavier than that, it could potentially up your chances of anemia, resulting in fatigue and lack of energy. The Pill can help by lessening your monthly tides.

3. It can save you money on foundation (and waxing).
That colony of pimples mentioned earlier can often be cleared up by contraceptives. The same thing goes for the few stray hairs on your chin. Those two nuisances are often caused by an excess of androgens, a type of hormone (testosterone is one), in the body. When you're on birth control pills, your liver makes a protein that prohibits testosterone from floating around in your bloodstream, lowering acne and unwanted hair growth.

4. It can offer some cancer protection.
Fifteen years of pill-taking can cut your risk of developing ovarian cancer by 50%; for endometrial cancer, that number shoots to 70%, according to a study in the journal Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology. Ovarian cancer protection comes from stopping ovulation, says Dweck. The thought is that the repetition of ovulation over many years can up the chance of ovarian cancer, but the Pill prevents that. The prevention of uterine cancer is similar-since the Pill thins out the uterine lining, less tissue buildup means a lower risk of developing the disease. It should be said, however, that oral contraceptives may increase your risk of developing breast and cervical cancers, due to higher levels of estrogen.

5. It can shield against pelvic inflammatory disease.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a sexually-transmitted infection of the female reproductive organs. Left untreated, it can cause chronic pelvic pain or infertility. And while the birth control pill doesn't protect against the sexually-transmitted infections that may cause PID, the Pill can still offer protection by thickening your cervical mucus, making it more difficult for infected bacteria to make it to your uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries.

6. It can help with polycystic ovary syndrome.
Normally, a woman's body releases at least one egg each cycle, but with polycystic ovary syndrome, those mature eggs aren't released and instead stay in the ovaries, which can lead to infertility. Other symptoms of PCOS include irregular periods and excess body hair. Because hormone imbalances are at the root of this issue, contraceptives can help regulate your levels so your body releases eggs on time and sticks to a regular menstrual cycle.

7. It can help you chill through perimenopause.
Normally, birth control is associated with women of childbearing age, but staying on the Pill while you're going through menopause can make the transition a little easier. It helps keep your hormone levels balanced and controls some menopause symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, and irregular bleeding.

Source: Prevention
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