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What Birmingham Women Need to Know about COVID Vaccination

The CDC has published this helpful Q&A to encourage you toward a decision to be vaccinated. I am strongly encouraging my patients to receive the vaccine when you become eligible. For our pregnant patients, we recommend that you have a conversation with your obstetrician before receiving the vaccine. You can read more about COVID vaccination for pregnant and breast feeding women in my recent post “Should Our Pregnant and Breastfeeding Patients Receive a COVID-19 Vaccine…

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Dr. Sparks’ COVID-19 New Year’s Resolution

As we wished you good health and happiness at this time last year, we could not have imagined what 2020 would hold. But the New Year always brings hope, and with weekly shipments of vaccine arriving in Birmingham, we have much reason to be hopeful. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but we are not there yet. Let our resolutions for this New Year include continuing to protect ourselves and others until we have all been vaccinated against COVID-19. We can do this for three or four more months and give thanks that it…

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Dr. Stradtman’s Christmas Wish…

For the Stradtman Family, memories of “Christmas Past” always include musical traditions. Celia, Sandy, and their children share a love of music at home, in worship, and in the community. They have long been supporters of the Birmingham Boys Choir. The group nurtured son Skip’s development toward his career as a composer and arranger.

This year, the music is silent, or nearly so.  Some Birmingham area churches have again suspended in-person worship. The Jemison Concert Hall will be dark where the Alabama Symphony would have performed Handel’s Messiah when we most need to hear “Fear not, for…

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Should Our Pregnant and Breastfeeding Patients Receive a COVID-19 Vaccine?

The short answer is—we don’t know. When the FDA Advisory Committee meets on December 10th to decide the matter of Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer COVID vaccine (and a week later for the Moderna vaccine), they are likely to specify whether pregnant and breastfeeding women (along with young children and the very elderly) will be included.
What factors will influence their decision…

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Ask Your OB-GYN: Should We Postpone Pregnancy during COVID?

The decision to have your first child or add to your family is deeply personal. You and your partner may have begun planning your family years ago as you discussed education, career, and financial goals.  For some couples, their ages or other factors make the “ideal” time to have a baby a very narrow window.

Come now the year 2020, and suddenly parents are overwhelmed with confusion. The COVID-19 pandemic is not the first public health emergency where women have asked, “Will a pregnancy right now be safe for me and my baby? The HIV epidemic in the 80s…

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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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My Story: Facing a Breast Cancer Diagnosis—from Mammogram to Surgery

The year 2020 has affected all of us in ways we could not have imagined a year ago. But last February as we were beginning to realize how Covid-19 might alter our lives, I confronted another difficult life event. My annual screening mammogram revealed an abnormality that would require surgery and was likely to be malignant. I feel very fortunate that, in this case, the routine care I recommend to women each day allowed me to receive early treatment. I look forward to continued good health.

This October is the first Breast Cancer Awareness Month I have experienced as…

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Our Mammography Technologist Discusses 3D Mammography

So…two years have passed since we began using our new 3D mammography unit. If you have not yet had a mammogram with this technology, you may be overdue. Here is a re-run of our original post about the advantages of 3D mammography. Our patients also tell us that it’s Smart-Curve compression surface is indeed more comfortable! Breast Cancer Awareness Month reminds us to ask ourselves “When was my last mammogram.” (If you can’t remember, call us. We’ll check.)

Most of our patients (beyond that “certain age”), have met Mrs. Charlene Aitken, Sparks & Favor…

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Dr. Sparks Discusses Back-to-School Health Concerns

As students return to Alabama college campuses facing the risks and restrictions of COVID-19, please consider that the greatest risks to the well-being of young adults are not COVID-related. They happen year after year. This year we have lost about 285 young people, ages 15 to 24, who were Covid positive at the time of their death. But every year, a subgroup of these young people (college students age 18 to 24), lose nearly six times as many friends and classmates to alcohol-related accidental deaths. Many thousands more suffer life-altering unintentional injuries including sexual assault…

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