The Pill at Work (Sex Health Guru Tip)

April 13, 2011 by  
Filed under VIDEO

I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

Want to know how the birth control pill works? Here’s the scoop! See videos all about sex and contraception –

Tell us what you think about this video in the comments below, or in the Battling For Health Community Forum!

Cancer film feature: In the family

March 17, 2009 by  
Filed under CANCER

inthefamily_dvdHow much do you sacrifice to survive?

She was young, had a promising career as a filmmaker. Joanna Rudnick was 27 years old when she tested positive for a mutation in the breast cancer gene BRCA which makes her a high-risk candidate for breast and ovarian cancer. In a way, it seems inevitable because her family has a history of the diseases. In high risk cases like Joanna, pre-emptive removal of the said organs (prophylactic mastectomy and oophorectomy) is sometimes recommended before the monster cancer strikes.

Armed with a positive genetic test result that leaves her essentially ‘a ticking time bomb’, she balances dreams of having her own children with the unnerving reality that she is risking her life by holding on to her fertility. In The Family follows Joanna as she takes us on a journey through the unpredictable world of predictive genetic testing.

Turning the camera on herself, Joanna bares her conflicting emotions about preventative surgery and the potential consequences. Turning the camera on her new relationship, she and her partner capture a young couple falling in love in the shadow of the mutation. Turning the camera on the company that owns the patents to the BRCA genes, she questions their control over access to the test. Along the way, she looks to other women and families dealing with the same unbelievable information.”

Based on her experience, Joanna wrote, produced and directed “In the Family”. In the process of making the film, Rudnick tries to answer the question “How much do you sacrifice to survive?”

About the interventions

According to a research report at Columbia University, prophylactic mastectomy and oophorectomy can prolong life expectancy by about 8.5 years but “at a great cost to quality of life.” A more recent study University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center seems to confirm that ovary removal can substantially reduce the risk for both cancers.

The lifetime risk of breast cancer ranges from 56 percent to 84 percent, according to the researchers, whereas the risk for ovarian cancer ranges from 36 percent to 46 percent for BRCA1 mutation carriers and 10 percent to 27 percent for BRCA2 mutation carriers.

Cancer event at University of Michigan, March 17

On March 17, 2009, a forum at the University of Michigan will focus on community engagement and breast cancer research. The event at will kick off with a showing of “In the family” as part of the National Institutes of Health-funded program “Engaging the Community in Clinical Research.” The film showing will be followed by a panel discussion, including Joanna Rudnick herself.

Women’s Resource Fair Film Screening, March 20

The film will also be shown at The 2009 Evanston Women’s Resource Fair in Evanston, IL on March 20, 2009.

Keeping your ovaries during hysterectomy

November 13, 2008 by  
Filed under CANCER

The prognosis for cervical cancer has greatly improved over the years. However, it comes with a heavy price – the loss of the uterus via hysterectomy.

Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure of removing uterus of a woman as a consequence of cancer. About 600,000 hysterectomies are performed in the US each year. With hysterectomy comes the consequence that a woman can longer bear an offspring in her body for nine months. However, with the recent developments in reproduction medicine, a woman without a uterus can still have a “genetic offspring” from her own eggs which can be fertilized in vitro and borne by a surrogate mother.

This is probably one of the reasons why the practice of oophorectomy performed together with a hysterectomy is now placed under close scrutiny. It is reported that about 50% of hysterectomies performed also include the removal of the ovaries. The reason why many surgeons do this is pre-emptive – to prevent the development of ovarian cancer.

A recent review of clinical studies, however, indicate that the intervention of oophorectomy may actually be unnecessary in many cases. In fact, it can actually be detrimental to the health of the patient that it is supposed to protect.

What happens when a woman’s ovaries are removed?

  • In a young woman, premature menopause sets in and the body can no longer produce female hormones.
  • Early menopausal is linked to many diseases including heart disease, stroke and age-related disorders such as osteoporosis and dementia.
  • A woman can no longer produce eggs, thus ruling out the possibility of having genetic offsprings.
  • A woman probably has to have hormone replacement therapy (HRT), a treatment linked to many health problems, including cardiovascular diseases and breast cancer.

However, leaving the ovaries intact has some benefits. The organs will continue to produce female hormones and not be on HRT. The patient need not suffer from premature menopausal and biological aging. And most important, the patient can still reproduce through assisted reproduction.

There are of course circumstances where oophorectomy is highly recommended, even necessary. This is in the case of women who have high risks for ovarian cancer.

It is therefore advisable that the necessity of performing oophorectomy, especially in young women of reproductive age should be carefully considered by the doctors as well as the patient. However, if oophorectomy is absolutely necessary, a woman can still have her eggs frozen prior to the surgical intervention.

Check your options carefully. Cancer shouldn’t stand in the way of reproduction!

Hysterectomy: keeping the ovaries keeps the heart healthy

August 5, 2008 by  

Cervical cancer is a cancer that affects the tissue of the cervix, the funnel-shaped organ located between the uterus and the vagina. According to estimates by the National Cancer Institute, about 11,000 new cases of cervical cancer have been diagnosed in the US in 2008, and 3,870 cases have resulted in death.

One of the most common forms of intervention for cervical cancer is hysterectomy which is the surgical removal of a woman’s uterus. According to MedicineNet, about 600,000 hysterectomies are performed in the US each year and about 50% of these also include bilateral oophorectomy, which is the removal of the 2 ovaries. The reason for removing the ovaries is to prevent the development of ovarian cancer.

The removal of a woman’s ovaries has drastic consequences, namely:

  • A woman without ovaries, even at a young age, goes into premature menopause because the organs that produce the female hormones – the ovaries – are gone.
  • A premenopausal woman will have to undergo hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to counteract menopausal symptoms. In recent years, HRT has been linked to many health problems in women, including cardiovascular disorder and breast cancer.
  • A young woman without ovaries can no longer ovulate and produce eggs, thus ending the chances of a woman to produce an offspring. There have been many cases of women who had hysterectomy but with intact ovaries to have biological children through surrogate motherhood.


A recent study reviewed the database of clinical studies on hysterectomy and oophorectomy to answer the question whether performing an oophorectomy is necessary, especially in premenopausal women. The authors analysed data from studies conducted up to 2007. The results of the analysis were not conclusive but there is a tendency to point to the fact that oophorectomy may not be beneficial in the long run.

Leaving the ovaries in will mean a woman’s body can continue to produce female hormones that provide protection from a lot of age-related diseases including heart diseases, stroke osteoporosis and dementia.

There are of course, women who are at very high risk for developing cancer of the ovaries and in such cases, oophorectomy may be necessary, However, in many cases, especially when involving women of premenopausal age, the risk/benefit ratio of such an intervention should be carefully considered.

According to lead author Leonardo Orozco

“Until more data becomes available, [ovary removal during hysterectomy] should be approached with great caution…Currently, the existing evidence does not support the high number of ovary removals in clinical practice.”




Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Jul 16;(3):CD005638, 18 July 2008


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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.