News

Can IUDs Protect Against Cervical Cancer?

IUD use is associated with a dramatic decrease in the incidence of cervical cancer, a new study has found.IUD use is associated with a dramatic decrease in the incidence of cervical cancer, a new study has found.

Considered a safe and highly effective contraception method, intrauterine devices (IUDs) may also be quietly offering protection against the third-most common cancer in women worldwide. A new study from the Keck School of Medicine of USC has found that IUD use is associated with a dramatic decrease in the incidence of cervical cancer.

The systematic review, published in Obstetrics & Gynecology on Nov. 7, is the first to combine data from multiple studies on IUDs and cervical cancer. The analysis included data from 16 high-quality observational studies involving more than 12,000 women worldwide. Results showed that in women who used an IUD, the incidence of cervical cancer was a third lower.

“The pattern we found was stunning. It was not subtle at all,” says the study’s lead author, Victoria Cortessis, PhD, associate professor of clinical preventive medicine at the Keck School. “The possibility that a woman could experience some help with cancer control at the same time she is making contraception decisions could potentially be very, very impactful.”

Averting a looming global health crisis

The number of women diagnosed with cervical cancer is steadily rising. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 528,000 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer worldwide in 2012, and 266,000 women died from the disease. By 2035, the WHO projects that those numbers will climb to more than 756,000 and 416,000, respectively.

For women in developing countries, where cervical cancer prevention resources such as the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine or regular cervical screenings are scarce, and where populations are increasing rapidly, a contraceptive that offers protection against cervical cancer could have a profound effect, Cortessis explains.

“A staggering number of women in the developing world are on the verge of entering the age range where the risk for cervical cancer is the highest — the 30s to the 60s. Even if the rate of cervical cancer remains steady, the actual number of women with cervical cancer is poised to explode,” Cortessis says. “IUDs could be a tool to combat this impending epidemic.”

Should gynecologists begin recommending IUDs for protection against cervical cancer?

Not quite yet, but it could be on the horizon. Understanding the mechanism of action behind the protective effect of IUDs is the next logical step, Cortessis says. Some scientists speculate that the placement of an IUD stimulates an immune response in the cervix, giving the body an opportunity to fight an existing HPV infection that could one day lead to cervical cancer. Another possibility is that when an IUD is removed, some cervical cells that contain HPV infection or precancerous changes may be scraped off.

“If we can demonstrate that the body mounts an immune response to having an IUD placed, for example, then we could begin investigating whether an IUD can clear a persistent HPV infection in a clinical trial,” explains gynecologic oncologist and study coauthor Laila Muderspach, MD, chair of obstetrics and gynecology at the Keck School. “The results of our study are very exciting. There is tremendous potential.”


Story Source: University of Southern California – Health Sciences. “IUDs may have a surprising benefit: Protection against cervical cancer.” Read this article on ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 November 2017. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171107180111.htm

Dr. Melissa Seeker joins The Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group of Santa Rosa

Dr. Melissa A. Seeker joins the Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group to become part of a unique team of highly skilled healthcare professionals.

Dr. Melissa A. Seeker has joined Santa Rosa’s preeminent Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group. She is an alumnus of Saint Louis University where she graduated as a member of Alpha Sigma Nu with honors prior to receiving her MD at Creighton University School of Medicine. She served as Chief Resident in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University Of Arizona College Of Medicine – Phoenix, formerly Banner University Medical Center, where she underwent her residency training.

Dr. Seeker holds many awards and honors in her specialty of Obstetrics and Gynecology including the Award for Excellence in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery from the University Of Arizona College Of Medicine – Phoenix. During her medical training, she spent six weeks in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia providing care to over 3,500 patients with a small medical team. Her resident research project in minimally invasive surgery was selected for presentation at the Society for Gynecologic Surgeons Annual Scientific Meeting. Dr. Seeker also received advanced certification in integrative medicine after completing an elective course from The University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine.

Dr. Seeker has special interest in pregnancy education and has volunteered her services to worthy organizations and outreaches specializing in gynecologic care. She is happily married and the proud owner of two boxer dogs and one cat. Outside of medicine, she enjoys traveling, scuba diving, camping, hiking, cooking, and enjoying the great outdoors.

“We are delighted to welcome Melissa to our growing practice,” says Dr. Lela Emad M.D. “Dr. Seeker is a talented and caring physician whose expertise will enhance our services to women in very positive ways.”

About the Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group

As recognized leaders in their field the Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group has offered a full range of premier obstetrics and gynecology services and expertise to women in the North Bay area for more than 25 years. The provider team of expert OB/GYN physicians, certified nurse midwives, family nurse practitioners, and medical assistants provides unmatched care to patients in the Santa Rosa region. As women proudly serving women, this unique group understands patient needs and expectations like no other.

Along with Dr. Seeker, the Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group’s staff of physicians includes; Lela Emad, MD, Shazah Khawaja, M.D., Amita Kachru, M.D.,  Susan Logan, M.D. and Tara Bartlett M.D. Together, these doctors share a unique whole-body approach to medicine as they work to discover the underlying causes of a woman’s health problems, rather than simply treating the symptoms. Every one of the health professionals at Women’s OB/GYN is committed to both alleviating short-term ailments and maximizing long-term health.

The Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group strives to better the lives of all women with a holistic approach to women’s health. To learn more about these fine physicians and the many services provided by the Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group visit the website. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Seeker, please call: (707) 579-1102.

How do women stay heart healthy? Go bananas!

Bananas and avocados -- foods that are rich in potassium -- may help protect against pathogenic vascular calcification, also known as hardening of the arteries.

Bananas and avocados — foods that are rich in potassium — may help protect against pathogenic vascular calcification, also known as hardening of the arteries.

University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers have shown, for the first time, that reduced dietary potassium promotes elevated aortic stiffness in a mouse model, as compared with normal-potassium-fed mice. Such arterial stiffness in humans is predictive of heart disease and death from heart disease, and it represents an important health problem for the nation as a whole.

The UAB researchers also found that increased dietary potassium levels lessened vascular calcification and aortic stiffness. Furthermore, they unraveled the molecular mechanism underlying the effects of low or high dietary potassium.

Such knowledge of how vascular smooth muscle cells in the arteries regulate vascular calcification emphasizes the need to consider dietary intake of potassium in the prevention of vascular complications of atherosclerosis. It also provides new targets for potential therapies to prevent or treat atherosclerotic vascular calcification and arterial stiffness.

A UAB team led by Yabing Chen, Ph.D., UAB professor of pathology and a Research Career Scientist at the Birmingham VA Medical Center, explored this mechanism of vascular disease three ways: living mice fed diets that varied in potassium, mouse artery cross-sections studied in culture medium with varying concentrations of potassium, and mouse vascular smooth muscle cells grown in culture medium.

Working from living mice down to molecular events in cells in culture, the UAB researchers determined a causative link between reduced dietary potassium and vascular calcification in atherosclerosis, as well as uncovered the underlying pathogenic mechanisms.

The animal work was carried out in the atherosclerosis-prone mouse model, the apoliprotein E-deficient mice, a standard model that are prone to cardiovascular disease when fed a high-fat diet. Using low, normal or high levels of dietary potassium — 0.3 percent, 0.7 percent and 2.1 percent weight/weight, respectively, the UAB team found that the mice fed a low-potassium diet had a significant increase in vascular calcification. In contrast, the mice fed a high-potassium diet had markedly inhibited vascular calcification. Also, the low-potassium mice had increased stiffness of their aortas, and high-potassium mice had decreased stiffness, as indicated by the arterial stiffness indicator called pulse wave velocity, which is measured by echocardiography in live animals.

The different levels of dietary potassium were mirrored by different blood levels of potassium in the three groups of mice.

When researchers looked at arterial cross-sections in cultures that were exposed to three different concentrations of potassium, based on normal physiological levels of potassium in the blood, they found a direct effect for the potassium on arterial calcification within arterial rings. Arterial rings in low-potassium had markedly enhanced calcification, while high-potassium inhibited aortic calcification.

“The findings have important translational potential,” said Paul Sanders, M.D., professor of nephrology in the UAB Department of Medicine and a co-author, “since they demonstrate the benefit of adequate potassium supplementation on prevention of vascular calcification in atherosclerosis-prone mice, and the adverse effect of low potassium intake.”

Mechanistic details

In cell culture, low potassium levels in the culture media markedly enhanced calcification of vascular smooth muscle cells. Previous research by several labs including Chen’s group has shown that calcification of vascular smooth muscle cells resembles the differentiation of bone cells, which leads to the transformation of smooth muscle cells into bone-like cells.

So the UAB researchers tested the effect of growing vascular smooth muscle cells in low-potassium cell culture. They found that the low-potassium conditions promoted the expression of several gene markers that are hallmarks of bone cells, but decreased the expression of vascular smooth muscle cell markers, suggesting the transformation of the vascular smooth muscle cells into bone-like cells under low-potassium conditions.

Mechanistically, they found that low-potassium elevated intracellular calcium in the vascular smooth muscle cells, via a potassium transport channel called the inward rectifier potassium channel. This was accompanied by activation of several known downstream mediators, including protein kinase C and the calcium-activated cAMP response element-binding protein, or CREB.

In turn, CREB activation increased autophagy — the intracellular degradation system — in the low-potassium cells. Using autophagy inhibitors, the researchers showed that blocking autophagy blocked calcification. Thus, autophagy plays an important role in mediating calcification of vascular smooth muscle cells induced by the low-potassium condition.

The roles of the CREB activation and autophagy signals were then tested in the mouse artery cross-section and living-mouse models, with low, normal or high levels of potassium in the media or diet. Results in both of those systems supported the vital role for potassium to regulate vascular calcification through calcium signaling, CREB and autophagy.

Besides Chen and Sanders, co-authors of the paper, “Dietary potassium regulates vascular calcification and arterial stiffness,” published in JCI Insight, are Yong Sun, Chang Hyun Byon and Youfeng Yang, UAB Department of Pathology; Wayne E. Bradley, Louis J. Dell’Italia and Anupam Agarwal, UAB Department of Medicine; and Hui Wu, UAB Department of Pediatric Dentistry. Sanders, Agarwal and Chen are also members of the Research Department, Veterans Affairs Birmingham Medical Center.


Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Alabama at Birmingham. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yong Sun, Chang Hyun Byon, Youfeng Yang, Wayne E. Bradley, Louis J. Dell’Italia, Paul W. Sanders, Anupam Agarwal, Hui Wu, Yabing Chen. Dietary potassium regulates vascular calcification and arterial stiffness. JCI Insight, 2017; 2 (19) DOI: 10.1172/jci.insight.94920

Read this article on ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 October 2017. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171005102712.htm.

Healthy Lifestyle Choices to Ensure a Lifetime of Breast Health

In this article Dr. Shazah Khawaja MD  of the Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group of Santa Rosa focuses on empowering women for Breast Cancer Awareness month by highlighting breast cancer prevention strategies.

We believe that when a woman understands the facts about breast cancer she becomes empowered to take the necessary steps towards prevention. Breast health.During October’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign, The Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group is focusing on empowerment through knowledge leading to healthy choices. “We believe that when a woman understands the facts about breast cancer she becomes empowered to take the necessary steps towards prevention. By working to detect the disease in its early stages, a woman is able to make lifestyle changes to reduce the odds of developing the disease in the first place,” explains Dr. Shazah Khawaja, MD, Obstetrician & Gynecologist.

Despite decades of pursing an all-out cure and national efforts aimed at education and prevention, breast cancer remains the most common cancer among women in the United States, second only to skin cancer. Today millions of women are surviving the disease, thanks in part to early detection, improvements in treatment and by enacting healthy lifestyle choices.

The First Step in Staying Healthy

Experts agree that the key to not only surviving a breast cancer diagnosis, but to thriving for years afterwards is early detection followed by early treatment. Routine breast exams and general awareness of how to maintain breast health are both important elements in staying healthy. Practitioners at the Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group encourage routine screening including regular self-breast exams, breast checks during annual gynecologic exams, and screening mammography – all approaches that help to detect breast problems early-on.  “I routinely tell my patients that when we have the opportunity to catch and treat breast problems early, we have a better shot of ensuring the treatment will be successful,” says Dr. Khawaja.

Understanding Breast Cancer Risks for Better Outcomes

Although a having a higher risk for developing the disease may be frightening, it is also true that women who have one or more risk factors for developing breast cancer, never actually develop the disease. With increased awareness about the risk associated with certain factors – particularly those that revolve around lifestyle choices that can be changed – women of all risk levels can become empowered to make better choices.

Some risk factors such as age, genetics or race obviously cannot be changed. Other factors including environment, can also be difficult to modify. While some factors influence risk more than others, a person’s risk for developing breast cancer can change naturally due to aging and by making certain changes in habits and daily practices.

According to the American Cancer Society there are several factors that can affect a woman’s breast cancer risks including:

  • Having children after age 30 (shown to increase the risk of breast cancer in some cases).
  • Birth Control (oral and injectable contraceptives stand out in studies as contributors to breast cancer).
  • Alcohol consumption (the more consumed, the higher the risk).
  • Weight (women who carry extra pounds have a higher risk for developing breast cancer, primarily due to the higher insulin levels that accompany obesity).
  • Smoking (evidence suggests a link between smoking and breast cancer risk, particularly in premenopausal women).

Known Factors that Lower Risk:

Researchers continue to pursue the link between diet and breast cancer risk and many studies actually indicate that diet does play a role. More and more studies cast a wary eye towards red meat consumption, and there is an increased risk associated with high-fat diets, which perpetuates weight gain and obesity (a known breast cancer risk factor).

There may be sure way to prevent breast cancer as of yet, but there are things women can do to help lower the risk. A short list of actions includes;

  • Breast Feeding – for women who breast feed for 1.5 to 2 years studies suggest that there may be some benefit in reducing breast cancer risk
  • Physical Activity – a growing body of evidence indicates that a person’s risk of developing almost any cancer, particularly breast cancer is reduced by adopting a daily routine of physical activity. For example, as little as 1.25 hours of moderate physical activity per week may reduce the risk by up to 18 percent according to some studies.
  • Limit dose and duration of hormone therapy – Combination hormone therapy for more than five years is known to increase the risk of breast cancer. If you and your healthcare provider decide that the benefits of short-term hormone therapy outweigh the risks, use the lowest dose possible.

How OB/GYN Providers Can Help

Self-check breast exams are easy to perform in the home and should be conducted monthly in addition to annual breast exams with a physician at Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group. Depending on a patient’s age and individual health, we may recommend a more frequent interval of regular check-ups with a health care provider. And of course, if you suspect a breast health problem contact a provider immediately.

About the Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group

Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group’s staff of physicians include; Lela Emad, MD, Shazah Khawaja, MD, Amita Kachru, MD, and Susan Logan, MD along with two new providers; Tara Bartlett, D.O and Melissa A. Seeker, M.D. Together, these doctors share a unique whole-body approach to medicine as they strive to find the underlying causes of a woman’s health problems, rather than simply treating the symptoms. The expanded team of health professionals including Certified Nurse-Midwifes and Nurse Practitioners is committed to both alleviating short-term ailments and maximizing long-term health. The Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group strives to better the lives of all women with a holistic approach to women’s health. To learn more visit our website or to call for an appointment dial (707) 579-1102.

Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group Welcomes Elisabeth Niess, Certified Nurse Midwife

Elisabeth Niess, CNM Joins Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group

The newest addition to the OB/GYN Medical Groups team of midwives is Elisabeth (Lisa) Niess. She is a certified nurse midwife (CNM) with a Master of Science in Nursing.  Lisa received her nursing degree in Women’s Health from San Francisco University in 2012 and went on to complete her MSN in midwifery from Frontier Nursing University in 2017.

Lisa provides a full range of midwifery services to women and families of Sonoma County.  She is an advocate for women, encouraging shared decision making to empower women to be active participants in their own care.  She is also passionate about supporting women through the process of labor, birth, and the postpartum period.  As a lactation specialist, she loves providing counseling and resources to the nursing mother.

In her free time, Lisa enjoys spending time with her family, knitting, running, hiking, and baking.

About Certified Nurse-Midwives

Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) are specially trained in providing healthcare to pregnant women from conception through labor and delivery. Many women opt to have a CNM serve as their primary healthcare providers during pregnancy. Maximizing the birth experience and the health of newborns and their mothers is our practice’s primary goal for pregnant patients. Achieving this goal requires expert knowledge about the gestation period and birthing process, as well as heightened empathy between providers and their patients.

Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group’s experienced CNMs offer expertise and tender care guidance to women during their childbearing years. Our CNMs understand that delivery preferences are extremely important and personal to expecting mothers, and that they can also be difficult for some women to determine. To ensure that our patients have the best possible experience during their pregnancies, our CNMs are especially attentive to pregnant mothers’ personal philosophies on giving birth and general reproductive health.

To schedule an appointment with Lisa Niess, please call: (707) 579-1102.

OB/GYN Midwives provide expertise and guidance during the childbearing years

Midwifery Services with Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs)

Suzanne Saunders, CNM, Elisabeth Niess MSN, CNM, Cecelia Rondou, CNM, Kirsten Eckert CNM, WHNP

Suzanne Saunders, CNM, Elisabeth Niess MSN, CNM, Cecelia Rondou, CNM, Kirsten Eckert CNM, WHNP

Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) are specially trained in providing healthcare to pregnant women from conception through labor and delivery. Many women opt to have a CNM serve as their primary healthcare providers during pregnancy. Maximizing the birth experience and the health of newborns and their mothers is our practice’s primary goal for pregnant patients. Achieving this goal requires expert knowledge about the gestation period and birthing process, as well as heightened empathy between providers and their patients.

Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group’s experienced CNMs offer expertise and tender care guidance to women during their childbearing years. Our CNMs understand that delivery preferences are extremely important and personal to expecting mothers, and that they can also be difficult for some women to determine. To ensure that our patients have the best possible experience during their pregnancies, our CNMs are especially attentive to pregnant mothers’ personal philosophies on giving birth and general reproductive health.

Our CNMs work in close collaboration with OB/GYN doctors, and serve as the primary health resource for pregnant women whom prefer to involve a midwife in their pregnancies. What to expect from your Certified Nurse-Midwife at Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group during your pregnancy:

  • Routine Gynecological Check-ups with attentive care to your physical and emotional health needs
  • Hospital delivery of your baby and special guidance during labor if desired
  • Supportive consultations with you and your partner
  • Constant communication with our OB/GYN physicians
  • Family planning and expert advice on the contraceptive use
  • Obstetrical Care
  • Educational discussions about breastfeeding, infant care, and what to expect during the postpartum period

The Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group strives to better the lives of all women with a holistic approach to women’s health. Call for an appointment today: (707) 579-1102. Visit our website: www.womensobgynmed.com

The facts about licorice extracts for treating menopausal symptoms

Licorice roots have a flavorful history, having been used in ancient Egyptian teas and in traditional Chinese medicines, all the way to today as a flavoring agent and candy. And some women now take licorice extracts as supplements to treat menopausal symptoms. But scientists caution that licorice could pose a health risk by interacting with medications.
Women take licorice extracts as supplements to treat menopausal symptoms. But scientists caution that licorice could pose a health risk by interacting with medications.Licorice roots have a diverse and flavorful history, having been used in ancient Egyptian times as a tea and in traditional Chinese medicines, all the way to today as a flavoring agent and as an ingredient in some licorice candies. Some women now take licorice extracts as supplements to treat hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. But scientists caution that the substance could pose a health risk by interacting with medications.

The researchers are presenting their results today at the 254th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

“Concerns about the risk of stroke and breast cancer associated with conventional hormone therapy are prompting women to seek alternatives,” Richard B. van Breemen, Ph.D., says. “Some take botanical dietary supplements, such as licorice, to treat menopausal symptoms like hot flashes.”

But just because a substance is sold as a supplement in a health food store doesn’t mean it is completely safe for all people to take. And on its own, even as a candy, licorice can be harmful in some cases. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that licorice not be eaten in large amounts during one sitting, and warns that excessive consumption can lead to irregular heart rhythm and muscle fatigue.

“Consuming too much licorice can be harmful, but in our lab, we wondered whether the small amounts in dietary supplements might also cause problems by interfering with drug metabolism or transportation,” says van Breemen, who is at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “The liver has enzymes that process medications, and if these enzymes are induced or inhibited, the drugs will either be processed too quickly or too slowly, respectively.” He points out that these changes could pose a significant safety risk to those who take a daily licorice dietary supplement along with other medication.

Van Breemen’s team analyzed how three types of licorice — two North American species, Glycyrrhiza uralensis and G. inflata, and a European species called G. glabra — affected liver enzymes involved in drug metabolism. They found that all three species inhibit several of these enzymes. Only G. uralensis and G. inflataextracts were found to induce some of these enzymes. Therefore, the researchers say that G. uralensis and G. inflata are more likely to interfere with drug metabolism when compared to G. glabra.

Consumers would have a difficult time using this information, however, because most supplements don’t list the species on their labels. But the researchers are using this knowledge to develop their own licorice therapy that would be safe and effective for women experiencing menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes. They plan to start clinical trials on their G. glabra-based supplements next year.


Story Source:

Materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Read this article on Science Daily: American Chemical Society. “Licorice is a hot trend in hot flashes, but could interact with medications.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 August 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170821085705.htm.

Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group Physicians Recognized as Among “Top Doctors” of 2017 by Sonoma County Magazine

Santa Rosa physicians, Lela Emad, Shazah Khawaja, and Susan Logan of NCMA Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group have been chosen as among the top Obstetrics and Gynecology doctors by Sonoma Magazine’s Top Doctors survey.

Santa Rosa physicians, Lela Emad, Shazah Khawaja, and Susan Logan Top Doctors 2017

Amita Kachru, MD, Susan Logan MD, Lela Emad MD, Shazah Khawaja, MD

Sonoma Magazine’s Top Doctor 2017 survey polled Sonoma County doctors and medical specialists for healthcare practitioners they most often recommend to a loved one. More than 300 professionals are noted in the September issue as “the crème de la crème” in more than 50 categories. Among physician peers Dr. Lela Emad, Dr. Shazah Khawaja and Dr. Susan Logan ranked at the top for most likely to be referred in the category of OB/GYN specialists. “For the second year in a row, we are honored to be included among such an elite group of physicians in Sonoma County,” said Dr. Emad. “Our group is devoted to the work we do for women in this community, and it is nice to be recognized by our peers.”

About the Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group

With a team made up of compassionate, expert doctors, midwives, nurses and medical assistants aimed at providing unmatched care to patients, the Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group offers a full range of obstetrics and gynecology services to women in the North Bay region. “By putting our patients first, our goal has always been to meet the healthcare needs of women in a comfortable environment, close to home,” says Dr. Emad. “This is something we’ve been doing for more than 25 years.”

Services offered include:

  • general gynecological health screenings
  • state-of-the-art diagnostics
  • comprehensive pregnancy and postpartum care
  • full mid-wifery services
  • minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery
  • uro-gynecological procedures
  • incontinence care
  • menopause care
  • laser hair reduction, skin care and Botox Cosmetic

Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group’s staff of physicians include; Lela Emad, MD, Shazah Khawaja, MD, Amita Kachru, MD, and Susan Logan, MD along with two new providers; Tara Bartlett, D.O and Melissa A. Seeker, M.D. Together, these doctors share a unique whole-body approach to medicine as they strive to find the underlying causes of a woman’s health problems, rather than simply treating the symptoms. The team of health professionals including Certified Nurse-Midwifes and Nurse Practitioners is committed to both alleviating short-term ailments and maximizing long-term health. The practice partnered with Northern California Medical Associates (NCMA) in 2014 to strengthen its network of experienced healthcare providers, directly benefitting patient access to healthcare specialists in the area.

“The theme of our care is ‘women proudly serving women’,” explains Dr. Emad. “As women we understand the needs and expectations of our patients, and we strive to provide each patient with the best experience possible.”

The Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group works to better the lives of all women with a holistic approach to women’s health. To learn more about these fine physicians and the many services provided by the Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group visit the website. Call for an appointment at (707) 579-1102.

Annual mammograms at 40 prevents the most cancer deaths

 
When to initiate screening for breast cancer, how often to screen, and how long to screen are questions that continue to spark emotional debates.

 

When to initiate screening for breast cancer, how often to screen, and how long to screen are questions that continue to spark emotional debates.When to initiate screening for breast cancer, how often to screen, and how long to screen are questions that continue to spark emotional debates. A new study compares the number of deaths that might be prevented as a result of three of the most widely discussed recommendations for screening mammography. Published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the findings may provide valuable guidance to women and their physicians about choosing a screening regimen.

To uncover insights that might help women make informed choices about mammography screening, researchers led by Elizabeth Kagan Arleo, MD, of Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian, and R. Edward Hendrick, PhD, of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, used computer modeling to estimate the possible effects of three schemes: annual screening starting at age 40 years, annual screening at ages 45 to 54 years and then biennial screening at ages 55 to 79 years, and biennial screening at ages 50 to 74 years.

The investigators estimated how many breast cancer deaths might be prevented with the different screening schemes. The team found that the recommendation of annual screening starting at age 40 would result in the greatest reduction in breast cancer-specific deaths: a nearly 40 percent reduction in deaths due to breast cancer, compared with 23 percent to 31 percent reductions with other recommendations.

“Our findings are important and novel because this is the first time the three most widely discussed recommendations for screening mammography have been compared head to head,” said Dr. Arleo. “Our research would be put to good use if, because of our findings, women chose to start annual screening mammography starting at age 40. Over the long term, this would be significant because fewer women would die from breast cancer.”

The researchers’ modeling also considered risks associated with screening, including callbacks for additional imaging and, in some cases, a needle biopsy, both of which may reveal the absence of breast cancer despite a suspicious mammography finding.

“Our results show the differences in the three current recommendations for screening mammography in terms of benefits and risks. Women and their physicians can use these findings to guide choices of when a woman begins screening mammography and how often she gets screened,” said Dr. Hendrick.

An estimated 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 63,410 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the United States in 2017, with 40,610 US women expected to die from breast cancer in 2017. About 33 million screening mammography exams are performed each year.

In an accompanying editorial, Otis Brawley, MD, of the American Cancer Society, noted that it is ultimately an individual’s value judgment as to how many false positive mammograms and biopsies are too many to save one life. He stressed that it is important to acknowledge the limitations of mammography and to make it a priority to develop a better test. “The ideal test would be easy to administer and accurate in women of all ages, meaning there would be few false positives and few tumors would be missed,” he wrote.


Story Source:

Materials provided by Wiley. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Elizabeth Kagan Arleo, R. Edward Hendrick, Mark A. Helvie, Edward A. Sickles. Comparison of recommendations for screening mammography using CISNET models. Cancer, 2017; DOI: 10.1002/cncr.30842

View this article on ScienceDaily.com; “Comparison of screening recommendations indicates annual mammography: Starting at age 40 prevents the most cancer deaths.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 August 2017.

 

Dr. Tara Bartlett D.O. joins The Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group

Dr. Tara Bartlett, DO joins the Women’s OB/GYN Medical GroupDr. Tara C. Bartlett, DO joins the Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group to become the newest member of a team of healthcare professionals made up of compassionate, expert doctors, midwives, nurses and medical assistants, all aimed at providing unmatched care to patients. Dr. Tara C. Bartlett, D.O., is a practicing obstetrician and gynecologist.  She graduated from University of California, Los Angeles as a Phi Beta Kappa with High Honors.  She holds a B.S. degree in Biology with a minor in Global Studies.  Dr. Bartlett obtained her medical degree at Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine in California.  She completed her residency at Genesys Regional Medical Center in Grand Blanc, Michigan.

Dr. Bartlett holds numerous awards and certifications including Da Vinci robotic surgery certification.  She is trained in minimally invasive robotic and laparoscopic surgery, hysteroscopic surgery, myosure device, novasure endometrial ablation, nexplanon insertion, and intrauterine device placement.  She has participated in a number of research projects pertaining to her specialty including HPV genotyping research.

Dr.  Bartlett has a special interest in international medicine and was awarded the Rafi Younoszai International/Cross-Cultural Health Scholarship Award in 2013.  She has participated in medical outreach providing OB/GYN services for areas with minimal healthcare access in Peru, the Dominican Republic, and northern Spain.  “We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Bartlett as the newest physician to join our unique group of women healthcare providers,” says Dr. Lela Emad of the Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group. “We are honored to have her in our practice. With this addition, both staff and patients gain a very talented and caring physician focused on providing quality support and unmatched healthcare to patients.”

About the Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group

With a team made up of compassionate, expert doctors, midwives, nurses and medical assistants aimed at providing unmatched care to patients, the Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group offers a full range of obstetrics and gynecology services to women in the North Bay region.  Services offered include;

  • General gynecological health screenings
  • State-of-the-art diagnostics
  • Comprehensive pregnancy and postpartum care
  • Full midwifery services
  • Minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery
  • Uro-gynecological procedures
  • Incontinence care
  • Menopause care
  • Laser hair reduction, skin care and Botox Cosmetic

Along with Dr. Bartlett, the Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group’s staff of physicians includes; Lela Emad, MD, Shazah Khawaja, MD, Amita Kachru, MD, and Susan Logan, MD. Together, these doctors share a unique whole-body approach to medicine as they strive to find the underlying causes of a woman’s health problems, rather than simply treating the symptoms. Every one of the health professionals at Women’s OB/GYN is committed to both alleviating short-term ailments and maximizing long-term health.

The Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group strives to better the lives of all women with a holistic approach to women’s health. To learn more about these fine physicians and the many services provided by the Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group visit the website. Call for an appointment at (707) 579-1102.