Pelvic health concerns in women are common -- yet how the issues impact sexuality and childbearing is not often discussed, according to Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource. The February issue features an overview of pelvic health problems, risk factors, causes and treatment options. The key recommendation is that women should talk to their doctors about pelvic health concerns because several treatment options, including physical therapy, can help. The pelvic floor holds in place the uterus, bladder and rectum. Over time, the pelvic floor may stretch, weaken or become excessively tense. The tension or loss of support can lead to pain, bladder and bowel problems, pain during sexual intercourse and other symptoms.
Breast cancer rates are declining, but some groups have seen a more significant decline than others, with race, ethnicity and economic background playing a part. According to a new national study, the only significant decline in breast cancer rates occurred among white, non-Hispanic women, 50 and older, who live in affluent countries and who have the kind of tumors that an estrogen-rich environment will nourish. Breast cancer rates declined by as much as 10 percent annually in this group. The study, which appears online and in the April supplement of the American Journal of Public Health, relied on data obtained from 13 U.S. population-based cancer registries for 1992 to 2005, and analyzed trends among 350, 000 cases, looking at race/ethnicity and socioeconomic position, as well as age at diagnosis and breast cancer tumor characteristics.
Although a recent study found that sex education emphasizing abstinence "may work better" than other models, "chastity zealots might want to hold off on the celebrations, " Los Angeles Times columnist Sandy Banks writes. She notes that according to the study's authors, the curriculum "was designed to be 'not moralistic'" and "stressed the health risks of sex and taught students how to resist peer pressure." Banks writes that while the curriculum "strikes me as a common-sense approach for kids so young they can imagine getting sick better than they can envision getting pregnant, " what "shocked me most was not that abstinence classes helped delay the start of sex -- but that it was too late for so many of these middle-school students.
Research conducted by the President of the American College of Sports Medicine and colleagues shows many doctors aren't sure what to tell their pregnant patients about exercise. ACSM President James Pivarnik, Ph.D., FACSM, and colleagues Patricia Bauer, Ph.D., and Cliff Broman, Ph.D., surveyed 93 M.D.s, D.O.s (doctors of osteopathy ) and Certified Nurse Midwives about their knowledge of exercise recommendations for pregnant women. Although nearly all respondents - 99 percent - believed exercise was good for their expecting patients, 60 percent of M.D.s and 86 percent of D.O.s weren't familiar with pregnancy exercise guidelines. The results of the survey were published in the Journal of Women's Health.
The death toll from the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti has risen to 230, 000, Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue, the country's communications minister, said on Tuesday, the Associated Press reports. She said the new number is only an estimate and it does not include people who had private burials and were buried by family members. The death toll is higher than the previous estimate of 212, 000 and the government says some bodies still have not been counted (2/9). "The new figure gives the quake the same death toll as the 2004 Asian tsunami. It comes as aid groups warned that disease could kill hundreds more in the second phase of the country's medical emergency, " the Telegraph reports (2/10).
The following summarizes recent action on state legislation related to abortion rights and sex education programs. ~ Kentucky: During a rally at the Kentucky Capitol on Wednesday, antiabortion-rights advocates urged lawmakers to support a bill ( SB 38 ) that would require a woman seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound and obtain counseling 24 hours before the procedure, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports. The bill passed the state Senate Jan. 25 and is pending in the state House Health and Welfare Committee. In 2009, a similar bill died in the committee after a tie vote (Yetter, Louisville Courier-Journal, 2/4). Meanwhile, advocates for sex education in public schools rallied at the Capitol on Thursday to advocate for a bill ( HB 119 ) that would require a science-based curriculum for teaching sex education, the AP/Lexington-Herald Leader reports.
Also In Global Health News: Pakistan IDPs; HIV And Herpes; Ending FGM; WFP Budget In Afghanistan; Cholera In PNG
U.N. Launches $538M Aid Appeal For Displaced Persons In Pakistan The U.N. launched an international appeal Tuesday, calling for $538 million to provide aid in Pakistan for "hundreds of thousands of people displace[d] by army clashes against the Taliban, " the Associated Press/Washington Post reports (Toosi, 2/9). Agence France-Presse writes: "The appeal focuses on funds needed to implement the Pakistan Humanitarian Response Plan (PHRP) 2010, which the United Nations, international and local aid groups have drawn up with the cash-strapped Pakistan government." Martin Mogwanja, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Pakistan, said, "Considering that the number of IDPs (Internally Displaced People) from Orakzai agency has risen nearly tenfold in the last two months, the emergency in Pakistan seems far from over" (Gilani, 2/9).
MAC AIDS Fund Survey Reveals 73 Percent Of Women Unaware Of Their Current HIV Status False Sense Of Security Prevents Most Women From Taking Control
The MAC AIDS Fund (MAF) launched its latest VIVA GLAM campaign, a women's initiative aimed at strengthening the service network and resources available to women living with and at risk of contracting HIV. MAF commissioned nationwide surveys to gauge perceptions of HIV/AIDS and its impact on women through the lens of the American consumer and nation's leading experts. This side-by-side comparison was a crucial step in assessing key areas fueling the spread of HIV/AIDS in women and outlining potential solutions. As a result of the startling finds, MAF is supporting programs in the United States, Canada and internationally with a commitment of more than $2.5 million.
The Society of Gynecologic Oncologists (SGO) will host its 41st Annual Meeting on Women's Cancer March 14-17, 2010 at the Moscone West Convention Center in San Francisco, California. This year's meeting will feature more than 434 scientific presentations in addition to lectures, workshops, symposia and postgraduate courses that focus on emerging science, clinical trials and treatment advances for physicians and health care professionals in the field of gynecologic oncology. This year's meeting attracted 839 research and clinical trial abstracts submitted from all over the world the most submitted since the Annual Meeting's inception in 1969. The comprehensive, broad range of educational programming offered at the Annual Meeting mirrors the core competencies of gynecologic oncologists -- surgical disease management, medical/oncologic/radio-therapeutic treatment, preventative medicine and scientific research.
Endometrial cancer is the most common cancer of the female reproductive tract, representing 6% of all cancers. There is currently no screening method or biomarker to indicate early presence of disease. "It is a very common malignancy that affects women of all ages" comments paper author Dr. Diego Castrillon. The cancer forms from the cells that grow along the inner lining of the uterus, which is called the endometrium, and usually it is diagnosed following patient reports of abnormal bleeding. The normal endometrium is a dynamic place, providing a thick, highly vascularized environment ready to generate a placenta if it is implanted with an embryo. The dynamic and cyclic activity of the endometrium makes it very sensitive to signaling molecules.