Thursday, December 14, 2006

Good news for women's health

Breast cancer rates in the U.S. dropped in 2003.

The 7.2 percent decline came a year after a big federal study linked menopause hormones to a higher risk of breast cancer, heart disease and other problems. Within months, millions of women stopped taking estrogen and progestin pills.
About 200,000 cases of breast cancer had been expected in 2003; the drop means that about 14,000 fewer women actually were diagnosed with the disease.

New scan could be better (and certainly less painful) than mammograms.
The new scan produces three-dimensional pictures, which are better at showing whether a spot on the X-ray is a benign lesion or a tumor, the researchers at the University of Rochester in New York said.

It can also provide pictures of tissue around the ribs and outer breast toward the armpit, where 50 percent of cancers are found, the researchers told a Radiological Society of North America meeting in Chicago.

Better tools to detect breast cancer early, thus raising the odds of survival.

New oral contraceptives may allow women to forgo their periods!

After a year on the pill, roughly 60% of the women in the study experienced no periods and 20% had some spotting.
"There just is no good medical reason for a woman to have menstrual periods if she doesn't want them," gynecologist and study researcher David F. Archer, MD, tells WebMD. "It really does come down to an issue of preference."

Woohoo! I already do the 4 periods a year thing. No periods just sounds so much better than 4 (though 4 is way better than 12 a year). No more cramps, no more crazy hormonal changes, no more migraines during the week of placebo. I'm sure plenty of women out there will be thrilled with this development.

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