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October 20th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines Revised

By ddouda ddouda

woman having a mammogram, checking for breast cancer

The American Cancer Society (ACS) has updated its recommendations for breast cancer screening for women at average risk of the disease. The recommendations strongly support the value of mammograms and provide some further direction for women at both ends of the age spectrum.

Sandhya Pruthi, M.D., a Breast Clinic physician and Mayo Clinic Cancer Center researcher says,"This is an important paper and we are pleased that ACS has paid attention to and respected patient preferences and values in its recommendation. While the ACS now recommends annual screening mammograms for women who have no risk factors at age 45, it did recommend that women age 40 and up still receive an annual screening mammograms if they choose to seek screening. This shared-decision making approach between a patient and her provider is something we support at Mayo Clinic. Overall, the new ACS recommendations reaffirm that screening mammography for women in their 40s is associated with a decrease in breast cancer deaths."

Breast Cancer is the most common cancer among women and the second deadliest cancer for women, surpassed only by lung cancer. More than 230,000 women in the United States are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.

The new guidelines were just released in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association). Among the key updates by age:

  • 40-44 Should have opportunity for annual mammograms
  • 45+     Strongly recommend regular mammogram screening
  • 45-54  Annual mammogram screening
  • 55+     Mammograms every two years/annual opportunity
  • 70+     Mammograms for those in good health

Dr. Pruthi says, “So, we have been recommending for years that women in their forties be screened annually with mammogram. So, it’s nice to have the American Cancer Society support what we’ve been telling patients at Mayo Clinic.”

Dr. Pruthi does say she was surprised, however, that the ACS no longer recommends clinical breast exams by physicians for women of average risk. "One surprising part of the recommendation was that ACS no longer supports annual clinical breast exams. We know that mammograms can miss detecting a breast cancer due to the presence of very dense breast tissue. Clinical breast exams conducted by providers can improve the opportunity to detect breast cancers or abnormalities early.  Women are encouraged to be aware of breast changes and bring this to the attention of their providers promptly for evaluation."

Journalists: Broadcast quality sound bites are available in the downloads. Mammogram b-roll is also available. Click here for a transcript of Dr. Pruthi's comments, .

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Tags: #Newsapp, Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer Screening, Dr. Sandhya Pruthi, Mammogram, Mayo Clinic Breast Clinic

September 3rd, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Obesity Treatment: Achieving Long-Term Success For Women

By micahdorfner micahdorfner

Did you know that obesity is considered a chronic disease? It’s also a national epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than one-third of U.S. adults (over 78 million people) are obese. Obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater.woman in kitchen cutting up healthy vegetables

"It’s no secret that weight gain occurs easily and weight loss can be a bit more challenging. Although there are genetic and hormonal influences on body weight, obesity occurs when you take in more calories than you burn through exercise and normal daily activities," says Seanna Thompson, M.D., Mayo Clinic Health System OB-GYN physician. "Your body stores these excess calories as fat. As fat cells accumulate, so do the pounds you carry around your body each day."

Significant health risks are associated with obesity. Obesity is linked to dozens of other chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. Numerous cancers — including female reproductive tumors — are also associated with being overweight or obese. Other gynecologic problems may include infertility and irregular periods. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Dr Seanna Thompson, Mayo Clinic Health System, obesity, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Medication, women's health

July 30th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Cost-effective addition to mammography in detecting cancer in dense breast tissue

By bobnellis bobnellis

ROCHESTER, Minn. – For women with dense breast tissue, supplementing standard mammography with a new imaging technique called molecular breast imaging (MBI) can lower the cost of diagnosis of breast cancers, according to a Mayo Clinic study published in the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR).

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine found that adding MBI to mammography of women with dense breast tissue increased the costs of diagnosis 3.2 times, compared to costs of mammography alone, and nearly quadrupled the rate of cancer detection. Because the supplemental test found more cancer, screening with a combination of mammography and MBI saved $8,254 per cancer detected.

While mammography is still the standard tool for widespread breast cancer screening, it is now known to perform less effectively in women with dense breast tissue. Both tumors and normal dense breast tissue can appear white on a mammogram, making tumors hard to detect. Nearly half of all women over age 40 have mammograms classified as “dense,” according to Carrie Hruska, Ph.D., a medical physicist in the Mayo Clinic Department of Radiology and the study’s lead author. Supplemental screening techniques like MBI address a significant need for better cancer detection methods for this patient population.

Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Hruska are in the downloads.

MEDIA CONTACT: Bob Nellis and Shea Jennings, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Breast Cancer, center for individualized medicine, Dr Carrie Hruska, Dr Deborah Rhodes, Dr Michael O'Connor, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, MBI, molecular breast imaging, research, Rochester news release

May 5th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Expert Alert – Fertility and Conception

By briankilen briankilen


ROCHESTER, Minn. -- With Mother’s Day being May 10 and May being Women’s Health Month, Mayo Clinic offers expert guidance on fertility and conception.

Mayo Clinic expert Jani Jensen, M.D. is available to talk about the latest research and provide expert guidance for reporters writing articles on women’s health and fertility and conception.

Dr. Jensen is a Mayo specialist in the division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and co-director of the In Vitro Fertilization Program at Mayo Clinic.

She is co-author of the recently released Mayo Clinic Guide to Fertility and Conception. The comprehensive book provides answers and explanations for nearly every aspect of achieving a successful pregnancy. It covers lifestyle and nutrition, the intricacies of natural conception, common fertility problems, the latest medical treatments to help (including intrauterine insemination, in-vitro fertilization and donors), and information on special situations (fertility preservation, choosing single parenthood, same-sex couples and more). Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Caffeine, conception, Dr Jani Jensen, Fertility, GBS, Minnesota news release, News Release, pregnancy, stress, women's health

April 28th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Exercise During Pregnancy: Safe And Beneficial

By micahdorfner micahdorfner

pregnant women doing exercises in a gym or yoga medication class

Pregnancy might seem like the perfect time to sit back and relax. You may feel more tired than usual, your back might ache and your ankles might be swollen.

But there's more to pregnancy and exercise than skipping it entirely. Unless you're experiencing serious complications, sitting around won't help. In fact, pregnancy can be a great time to get active — even if you haven't exercised in a while.

Seanna Thompson, M.D., Mayo Clinic Health System OB/GYN physician, answers a few common questions about pregnancy and exercise.

What are the benefits of exercise during pregnancy?

Regular exercise can help your body adapt to the changes that occur during pregnancy. Exercise reduces constipation, bloating, swelling and backaches. Physical activity improves mood, posture, muscle tone, strength and endurance. It may also help you sleep better. Additionally, exercise can benefit the baby and may even prevent or treat gestational diabetes.

Overall, exercise regularly keeps you fit during pregnancy, increases your energy level and can help you cope better with labor. Post-baby workouts will also help you take weight off more quickly after delivery. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Dr Seanna Thompson, Mayo Clinic Health System, Pregnancy exercises

April 13th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

10 Tips To Help Survive Nausea During Pregnancy

By micahdorfner micahdorfner

pregnant woman feeling sick with nausea, morning sicknessPositive pink line on pregnancy test? Check.
Small flutter on early ultrasound? Check.
Nausea and vomiting? Double-check.

Often the constant feeling of nausea, which is accompanied by vomiting, soon overshadows the excitement of early pregnancy. Approximately 50-90 percent of women experience nausea and vomiting in their pregnancy, and 5 percent of women have the same symptoms throughout the entire pregnancy, per The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

"The term 'morning sickness' is misleading; nausea can occur any time of the day," says Emily Linklater, D.O., Mayo Clinic Health System OB/GYN physician. "For most women, the nausea ends sometime in the late stages of the first trimester. Nausea may also be worse — or better — in one pregnancy versus another." Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Dr Emily Linklater, Mayo Clinic Health System, morning sickness, nausea, pregnancy

March 25th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Menopause Transition: What’s Normal?

By micahdorfner micahdorfner

Did you know the menopausal transition known as perimenopause begins four years before a woman’s final menstrual cycle? It’s true. Hormone production from the ovaries often starts to change when a woman is in her 40s, and thus the time between periods begins to shorten.

"Some women have menopausal symptoms clustered around the time of menses," says Kathryn Gruenwald, M.D., Mayo Clinic Health System obstetrician and gynecologist. Others do not. It’s important to know that perimenopausal symptoms are common and usually diminish with time.

Approximately 80 percent of women experience symptoms such as hot flashes, sleep disturbances, mood changes and vaginal dryness during perimenopause. Other symptoms include:middle aged Asian woman with headache pain and stress

  • Headache
  • Vertigo (dizziness)
  • Itchy skin
  • Restless leg symptoms
  • Heart palpitations
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Breast tenderness
  • Constipation
  • Bloating
  • Muscle and joint aches

Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Dr Kathryn Gruenwald, Mayo Clinic Health System, Menopause, Perimenopause, women's health

February 10th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

“Jolie Effect” on Awareness of the Breast Cancer Genes

By elizabethzimmermann elizabethzimmermann

What every woman needs to know … and do

In a study released Feb. 11, 2015, the AARP Public Policy Institute reported that BRCA genetic testing among women without breast cancer increased dramatically in the days after Angelina Jolie’s announcement that she carried the BRCA1 mutation and had an elective double mastectomy.

Referred to among health care circles as the “Jolie Effect,” her openness led to increased awareness and action. When celebrities or other public figures talk freely about their medical journeys, it raises awareness of specific health issues and may facilitate patient-doctor conversations leading to more informed decision-making.

MEDIA CONTACT: Joe Dangor, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005,

Amy Degnim, M.D., a breast cancer surgeon at Mayo Clinic, answers some of the important questions surrounding breast cancer genes: Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Angelina Jolie, BRCA gene mutation, BRCA1, BRCA2, Breast Cancer, Optum Labs, preventive mastectomy

February 2nd, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Quick Quiz: Women’s Heart Health

By micahdorfner micahdorfner

woman holding a red heart stone

It's time we start seeing red!

That's what Mayo Clinic Health System nurse practitioner Susan Pope says, as we prepare to recognize American Heart MonthHeart disease is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined and according to the American Heart Association, while one in 31 American women dies from breast cancer each year, heart disease claims the lives of one in three. That’s about one death each minute.

So make sure you’re as committed to heart disease prevention as you should be to your yearly mammogram. That means maintaining a healthy weight, keeping your blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol at healthy levels and quitting smoking. Or better yet, don’t start. Stay physically and mentally active.

The more we know about our nation’s No. 1 killer of women, the better. So, take this quick quiz on heart disease and women.

True or False: Heart disease only affects older women.

False. Heart disease affects women of all ages. The combination of birth control pills and smoking boosts heart disease risks by 20 percent in young women, the American Heart Association says. Yes, our risk increases as we age. Overeating and leading a sedentary lifestyle are factors that lead to blocked arteries over time. But don’t let your age lull you into a false sense of security. I take care of women of all ages in the hospital. Heart disease is an equal opportunity threat. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: American Heart Month, Cardiology, Go Red for Women, Heart Health, Mayo Clinic Health System, Susan Pope, women's health

December 24th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Christmas Eve Discovery 100 Years Ago is Still Helping Millions

By ddouda ddouda

'Mayo 150 years serving humanity' 150th Sesquicentennial LogoSome medical discoveries truly stand the test of time. The case of a dedicated Mayo Clinic chemist is a prime example. Feeling he was on the verge of a breakthrough that could help countless people, Edward Kendall spent Christmas Eve 1914 locked away in his lab. What he accomplished by Christmas morning was a gift to millions, one that is still improving lives 100 years later. [TRT 4:43]

Journalists: A broadcast quality video package is available in the downloads. To read the full script click here

This is a special report produced for the Mayo Clinic 150th Anniversary Collection of Stories. To view other stories and learn about Mayo Clinic's sesquicentennial, please click here.


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Tags: cortisone, Department of Endocrinology, Dr John Morris, Edward Kendall, Endocrinology, HL, hormone, Levothyroxine, Nobel Prize, Pkg, Thyroid, thyroxin, thyroxine, Collection of Mayo Clinic Stories, Mayo Clinic 150th anniversary