Our Bodies, Our Blog

Reducing Breast Cancer Risk: From the Personal to the Political

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Our Bodies Our Blog has invited the folks at Breast Cancer Action to write monthly guest posts on breast cancer and related issues.

by Pauli Ojea

Last week, as part of a special section on health and the human body, The New York Times published a story on reducing breast cancer risk. The piece included the usual tips: exercise, maintain a healthy weight, limit alcohol consumption, breast-feed and avoid hormone therapy.

While these tips are generally good guidelines to follow by anyone who wants to stay … Read

When Drug Marketing Creeps into Television Programming

By Rachel Walden |

As noted by the Wall Street Journal Health Blog, online searches for the drug amantadine spiked on Monday after the drug played a prominent role in the medical drama “House.” The drug topped Monday’s Google Hot Trends list as viewers went to their computers to find out read about the drug, taken by a character in the episode.

What viewers might have missed in their search results, however, is that while amantadine is one of four FDA-approved antiviral drugs for … Read

This Just In: Court Strikes Down Virginia Abortion Ban

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

From the Washington Post:

A federal appeals court has ruled that Virginia’s ban on late-term abortions, which was approved by the General Assembly in 2003 over objections from then governor Mark R. Warner (D), is unconstitutional.

In a ruling issued this afternoon, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals said the procedures covered under Virginia’s ban “imposes an undue burden on a woman’s right to obtain an abortion.”

The ruling will likely reignite the abortion debate in Virginia.

The decision was 2-1. According to the Associated … Read

Arizona Hospital Banning VBAC?

By Rachel Walden |

The Flagstaff Birth Network is reporting that Flagstaff Medical Center (the only hospital in the city) has banned vaginal births after cesarean. According to Barbara Stratton, however, a successful protest rally that drew local NPR and tv news coverage was recently held at the hospital, and the hospital administration has indicated that they are trying to take steps to reverse the ban. FBN is also asking individuals to send letters to the hospital board, with read information on how to do so at … Read

Double Dose: The New Film Genre: Fertility Films; D.C. Sets Up a Place to Pump; The Business of Bacteria; Culture Affects How Teen Girls See Harassment …

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

When Chick Flicks Get Knocked Up: “Eventually, your female friends — the ones who married late and retained youthful obsessions with Yo La Tengo and graphic art books until forty — may shock you by having children,” writes Alissa Quart at Mother Jones. “This year, at least, they have cinematic alter egos; those millennium Mary Tyler Moores Sarah Jessica Parker and Helen Hunt have left their cosmos and canned laughter behind and gotten knocked up onscreen too. In the process, they have created … Read

When to Start Routine Mammograms: Breast Cancer Organizations Discuss Safety and Concerns

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

It’s not as well known as October’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but May is Mammography Month. In its honor, we thought we’d take a closer look at the debate over routine mammograms for premenopausal women in their 40s.

When a woman turns 40, her doctor will likely suggest she schedule a screening mammogram, with a repeat screening every year or two. Mainstream organizations such as the American Cancer Society, and government institutions like the National Cancer Institute, recommend beginning routine mammograms at this age (women … Read

Victims of Sexual Assault Seeking Support Online

By Rachel Walden |

CNN had a piece yesterday about survivors of sexual assault turning to the web to share their stories and seek help, including one young woman, Crystal, who posted a video asking for help on YouTube.

Counselors the reporters spoke to for the article noted that it’s good for women to reach out after an assault, but that posting too much personal information on sites such as YouTube and MySpace may make them vulnerable to retribution from the perpetrator. The piece also includes the statement, … Read

This Just In … California Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Same-Sex Marriage

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

The California Supreme Court has overturned the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, by a vote of 4-3.

From The New York Times:

The court’s 4-to-3 decision striking down state laws that had limited marriages to unions between a man and a woman makes California only the second state, after Massachusetts, to allow same-sex marriages. The decision, which becomes effective in 30 days, is certain to play a role in the presidential campaign.

“In view of the substance and significance of the fundamental constitutional right to form … Read

Expanded Discussion of Nitrous Oxide for Labor Pain Relief

By Rachel Walden |

Last week’s post questioning why nitrous oxide isn’t read widely available to women in labor generated a lot of discussion, so we’ve decided to dedicate today’s post to exploring the issue further.

One commenter posted a response from her anesthesiologist friend, who discussed his concerns about the safety of nitrous oxide for both the laboring woman and other people in the room exposed to the gas. After reading the anesthesiologist’s concerns, Judith Rooks, a nurse-midwife, epidemiologist, and Our Bodies, Ourselves contributor, felt … Read

Touring Your Body, One Story at a Time

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

The New York Times today published a pull-out special section, “A Guided Tour of Your Body,” with articles and advice on healthy aging for every body part.

The graphics are a bit surreal to look at in print, but it makes read sense online, where each body part is an interactive link to a related story (don’t say you weren’t warned that the shoulders and knees lead to nowhere). Online additions include links to exercises, test-your-knowledge quizzes and health risk calculators.

Update: The knee now … Read