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Fewer Scans May Lower Breast Cancer Risk W

hile screening for breast cancer is important, women should avoid unnecessary medical imag- ing, according to a recent report issued by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) which identified two factors that increased the risk for the disease: post-menopausal hor- mone replacement therapy and radiation exposure from medical imaging. Physician Rebecca Smith-Bindman, a professor of

radiology and biomedical imaging, epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California-San Fran- cisco, who contributed to the IOM report, notes that CT scans and other forms of medical imaging have revo- lutionized medicine and can be lifesaving. However, she recommends that women engage their doctors in

the decision-making process and discuss the necessity and safety of all potential radiological scans. To understand the risks and benefits, it’s suggested women ask their doctor: “Is this scan absolutely essential? Is it necessary to do it now? Are there other, alterna- tive tests [such as thermography]? How can I be sure the test will be done in the safest way possible? Will having the scan information change the management of my disease? Can I wait until after seeing a specialist before getting the scan?”

Midwife-Led Birth Centers Improve Outcomes W



esearchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center, in New

omen that receive care at midwife-led birth centers incur lower medical costs and are less likely to have Caesarean births than women that give birth at hospitals, according to new findings by the American Association of Birth Centers (AABC). The rising number of Cesarean births in the United States (32 percent in 2010, according to the National Centers for Disease Control National Vital Statistics Report) has generated concern due to short-and long-term health implications for women, their newborns and future pregnan- cies. The AABC study, which included more than 15,500 women that received care in 79 midwife- led birth centers in 33 states from 2007 through 2010, found that fewer than 6 percent of the par- ticipants required a Caesarean birth, compared to

nearly 24 percent similarly low-risk women cared for in a hospital setting. Birth centers—homelike facilities functioning within the health care system— are based on a wellness model of pregnancy and birth personalized to individual needs. “They are uniquely positioned to provide healthy women and their new- borns with maternity care, avoiding unnecessary Caesarean births,” advises AABC President-Elect Lesley Rathbun, a certified nurse midwife and family nurse practi- tioner. “Americans need to learn about the high-quality care that midwife-led birth centers offer.”

Source: American College of Nurse-Midwives Northern & Central New Mexico


York, suggest that primary care prac- titioners can improve their communi- cations skills and quality of care via training in mindfulness meditation. A majority of the doctors participating in a recent study reported experienc- ing an improved capacity to listen more attentively and respond more ef- fectively to others, and do it in a more non-judgmental frame of mind. The scientists found that both doctors and their patients believed the quality of care improved following the training.

Source: Academic Medicine A


ccording to new data presented at the American Heart Association’s High Blood Pressure Research 2012 Sci- entific Sessions, people that switched to cooking with a blend of sesame and rice bran oils experienced noteworthy drops in blood pressure and improved cholesterol levels. The 60-day study in New Delhi, India, involved 300 participants and showed that cook- ing with a combination of these oils in a variety of ways worked nearly as well as a commonly pre- scribed high blood pres- sure medication.

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