Author: Dr. Judi Favor

Ovarian Cancer: Educating Women about Symptoms

In my last blog post, I talked about Chris Evert’s ovarian cancer diagnosis and the importance of knowing your family medical history. While reviewing my medical journals this month, I found another reason to write about ovarian cancer:  the importance of recognizing symptoms.
About OVarian Cancer
About 13,000 women in the U.S. die of ovarian cancer each year—making it the deadliest of all cancers of a woman’s reproductive system. Survival rates are poor because the cancer is usually not discovered until an advanced stage (III or IV). Only about 10 to 30% of women diagnosed…

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Menstrual Irregularities and the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Reports have begun to appear in mainstream and social media about an association between the COVID-19 vaccine and menstrual irregularities. This is very disappointing—not because the question shouldn’t be studied; but rather, because the reports thus far offer no scientific evidence whatsoever. Unfortunately, they do grab attention—exactly their purpose. For example, NPR covered the topic this week in its popular morning segment All Things Considered.

The headline read: “A Possible Side Effect? Thousands Of People Saw Menstruation Changes Post-Vaccine.” What was this about? The NPR commentator reviewed the post-vaccine experiences of two women, Dr…

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FYI from Dr. Favor–Do You Have Hereditary Risk for Pancreatic Cancer?

So purple—the awareness color this month—comes right behind October’s pink ribbons for breast cancer. It’s good timing. Did you know that sometimes breast and pancreatic cancer are related? About 5% of people who develop pancreatic cancer also have a hereditary risk for breast cancer (BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene abnormalities…

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

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 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…

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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…

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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 abnormal variations within  genes known as BRCA1 and BRCA2 have a much greater risk of developing these cancers. Our “new patient” or “return visit” forms ask you to provide or update family history information. At your annual well-woman exam, your physician will review the family history you provide. We offer genetic testing when appropriate based on your risk factors.

Should I be tested for the cancer genes…

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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…

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

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…

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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…

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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…

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