Author: Dr. Judi Favor

Are You Protected from Measles?

As measles outbreaks continue to occur in several states—the most in 25 years—patients have begun to ask me whether they are protected or whether they should receive another vaccination.

Public health officials are appropriately concerned. Up to 95% of persons who are exposed to the virus will become sick with measles if they have no immunity. Experts consider measles one of the most contagious of all infectious diseases. Health officials have traced several recent cases to Disney theme parks in Florida and California where international visitors from countries with low vaccination rates mix in crowded facilities. And this…

Read Full Article

From Dr. Favor–Myth: Men are much more likely to die of heart disease.

Did you know that HEART DISEASE IS THE #1 KILLER OF AMERICAN WOMEN?
Yes, it’s true. According to the Centers for Disease Control, heart disease takes more women than all cancers combined. Yet surveys show that only about half of you are aware of that fact. February is American Heart Month.
THE GENDER GAP IN HEART ATTACK DEATHS
The risk of death after a heart attack is higher in women than men.
Medical research has not been clear about why this occurs. Women are likely to be older than men when they suffer a first heart attack because estrogen…

Read Full Article

Update from Dr. Favor–“Genetic Testing for Breast and Ovarian Cancer”

Although most breast and ovarian cancers are sporadic—meaning they do not appear to be hereditary—women who carry genes known as BRCA1 and BRCA2 have a much greater risk of developing these cancers. At your annual well-woman exam, your physician will review the family history you provide. Your “new patient” or “return visit” forms ask you to provide or update your family . We offer genetic testing when appropriate based on your risk factors.

Should I be tested for the cancer genes…

Read Full Article

From Dr. Favor: A Word about Pancreatic Cancer

The pancreas is a small organ behind the stomach. It produces hormones like insulin and enzymes that help digest food. Like other very serious cancers, pancreatic cancer usually doesn’t cause noticeable symptoms until it reaches an advanced stage. There is no reliable test to find pancreatic cancer at an early stage. With so little available to fight this disease, you might wonder why, as a women’s physician, I am talking about pancreatic cancer…

Read Full Article

Preconception Health and Health Care–(something to think about even if you’re not planning a pregnancy!)

THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN EDITED SINCE ITS ORIGINAL POSTING DUE TO THE SPREAD OF ZIKA VIRUS. FOR CURRENT CDC RECOMMENDATIONS ABOUT ZIKA VIRUS AND FOREIGN TRAVEL–INCLUDING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PREGNANT WOMEN–CLICK HERE.
First things first–why did I add the subtitle? Every woman can benefit from most of these recommendations even if her pregnancy plans are uncertain or a long way off. Preconception health care focuses on improving wellness, now and for life.  Keep in mind as well that about half of pregnancies in the United States are not planned.

Your annual well-woman visit is a good time…

Read Full Article

The Apgar Score–What It Is and Is Not

The Apgar score was developed in 1952 by New York anesthesiologist Dr. Virginia Apgar. Dr. Apgar was the first woman full professor at Columbia University. She wanted to establish a standardized method for “grading” how well a newborn transitions to life outside the uterus. She chose five signs of newborn well-being that could be easily judged without interfering with its immediate care. Her tool was simple for the hospital staff to learn and did not leave too much room for individual interpretation…

Read Full Article

Are There Alternatives to My Annual Mammogram?

Each October hundreds of unlikely pink makeovers—NFL football shoes, the White House lit up at night, Kate Hudson’s hair, to name a few—remind those of us over 40 to schedule our annual mammograms. Although it’s nearly impossible not to get the message, nearly a third of all women over 40 have not had a mammogram within the past two years. Even among women whose health insurance takes cost out of the decision, around 29% are skipping their annual mammogram. Often the reason is simply the difficulty of fitting the test into their busy lives, but some…

Read Full Article

Are There Alternatives to My Annual Mammogram?

Each October hundreds of unlikely pink makeovers—NFL football shoes, the White House lit up at night, Kate Hudson’s hair, to name a few—remind those of us over 40 to schedule our annual mammograms. Although it’s nearly impossible not to get the message, nearly a third of all women over 40 have not had a mammogram within the past two years. Even among women whose health insurance takes cost out of the decision, around 29% are skipping their annual mammogram. Often the reason is simply the difficulty of fitting the test into their busy lives, but some…

Read Full Article

The Controversy over Routine Pelvic Exams–Dr. Favor Responds

You may have heard or read this month that a physicians’ group has stated that women no longer need an annual pelvic exam if they have no gynecologic symptoms. Your physicians at Sparks & Favor still recommend a pelvic exam to our patients as an important part of your annual well-woman exam.

We take very seriously our responsibility to provide the up-to-date information you need to make decisions about the benefits of exams, tests, or treatments we recommend, as well as any potential risks.

Facts about this very controversial recommendation include:

The new recommendation came from the…

Read Full Article

Dr. Favor applauds Angelina Jolie’s decision to share her mastectomy story

Today actress Angelina Jolie announced in the New York Times that she has undergone a preventive double-mastectomy to reduce her very high risk of developing breast cancer. Her mother died of breast cancer at age 56 and her maternal grandmother died at age 45, and she herself carries a defective BRCA1 gene. In her Times op-ed piece, Jolie describes the urgent need for all high-risk women to have access to the expensive BRCA test, “regardless of their means and background, wherever they live.” She also offers a candid description of the three-part surgical procedure she chose…

Read Full Article