Study Questions Frequent Follow-Up for 'Probably Benign' Mammograms

Of the nearly 30 million American women who undergo screening mammograms every year, up to 11 percent receive “probably benign” test results — and therefore are asked to come back for a follow-up mammogram in three to six months. But according to a new study by UC Davis researchers, such frequent re-testing may be unnecessary. The study appears in tomorrow’s issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The UC Davis researchers examined the mammography records of nearly 60,000 women enrolled in the national Women’s Health Initiative project, one of the largest preventive health studies in the United States. Among the women who had probably benign mammograms, only 1 percent went on to develop breast cancer within two years, the investigation found.

Progesterone-type hormone therapy could help prevent pre-term births

Injections of a progesterone-type hormone may be able to prevent more than a third of pre-term births in women with a history of giving birth early, reported Paul J. Meis, M.D., of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, today (Feb. 6) at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine in San Francisco. “The evidence of this treatment’s effectiveness was so dramatic, the research was stopped early,” said Meis, the national principal investigator and a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Wake Forest. “This drug is readily available and can be used by doctors to improve outcomes for mothers and babies.”

Abortion ‘informed consent’ should include physical, psychological effects

Before women undergo induced abortions, doctors should — as part of the informed consent process — offer them information about the subsequent small but apparently real increased risk of pre-term delivery and depression, researchers say. Clinicians also should mention the unproven possibility that their chance of developing breast cancer could climb slightly later in life. Those are conclusions a team of doctors reached after completing a review of the best studies of the long-term physical and psychological health effects of intentional abortions.

Study confirms Caesarian best way to prevent herpes transmission at birth

For over 30 years, physicians have assumed that any expectant mother with genital herpes lesions at delivery must deliver her baby by Caesarian section to minimize chances of transmission of the disease to the infant, although there was no clinical or research information supporting that practice. A study by University of Washington physicians confirms that Caesarian section is indeed the way to go to prevent transmission of HSV (herpes simplex virus).