Yeast Infections: Common and Treatable

Vaginal yeast infections are very common – 3 out of 4 women experience at least one yeast infection in their lifetimes. Yeast is a fungus that normally lives in small amounts in the vagina, along with other types of bacteria. Healthy vaginas contain balanced mixes of both yeast and bacteria: the bacteria normally prevent the overgrowth of yeast. However, disruptions can affect the balance, leading to an overgrowth of yeast, causing a yeast infection.

There are a few factors that can cause an overgrowth of yeast. First, use of antibiotics can change your vaginal pH and decrease the amount of bacteria in your vagina, allowing more yeast to grow. This does not mean the antibiotics should be avoided – it is important to take antibiotics prescribed by your doctor. Changes in hormone levels, such as in pregnancy and the use of birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, lead to higher estrogen levels that can cause yeast infections. Douching can also lead to yeast infections as it upsets the natural balance of yeast and bacteria in the vagina. Other factors include diabetes and conditions affecting the immune system. A yeast infection can also be sexually transmitted.

The symptoms of yeast infections include itching and irritation in the vagina, especially on the vulva, redness and swelling of the vulva, burning sensations during urination or intercourse, other vaginal pain and soreness, and thick, white, odor-free vaginal discharge that looks like cottage cheese. See your gynecologist if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

Eating a balanced diet, controlling diabetes, and practicing good genital hygiene can all help prevent a yeast infection. For good genital hygiene, it is important to keep your vaginal area clean, always wipe from front to back, change pads and tampons often, do not use scented feminine products, and do not douche. Also, it is important to wear cotton underwear and change out of a wet bathing suit as soon as possible – both of these will help keep your vagina dry and won’t expose your vagina to extended periods of warmth and moisture, which can cause bacterial imbalances.

Having an occasional yeast infection is normal. The infection is treated easily with antifungal medication prescribed by your doctor.

 

Sources:

Mayo Clinic

WebMD

Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

 

Discovery Made at NU on Sex Differences in Multiple Sclerosis

Scientists at Northwestern Medicine recently made an exciting discovery regarding why there is a higher prevalence rate for women than men in multiple sclerosis (MS) and other autoimmune diseases. They found that the innate lymphoid cell, which is a type of white blood cell, works differently in males versus females.

Most labs that study MS use female mice because they are much more likely than male mice to get the disease. Typically, two groups of female mice are used: one group of normal mice used as a control group and one group of mice with a genetic mutation in a growth factor receptor, which blocks the development of a subset of immune cells. However, a graduate student in the lab made an honest mistake and used two sets of male mice instead of female mice. At the end of the experiment, the male mice who had the mutation were extremely sick, which led to the realization that the mutation was acting differently in females and males.

The mice with the mutation were found to lack type 2 innate lymphoid cells, which are normally present in bone marrow, lymph nodes, and the thymus of both females and males. These cells are not found in the males with the mutation, which leads to a drastic change in the immune response of the mice and means that they are not protected against MS. In the normal male mice, these lymphoid cells were activated and protected the mice from the disease.

While female mice have the same lymphoid cells that male mice do, they do not become activated and therefore do no protect them from developing MS. This discovery in the lab has led to the current investigation into why these cells are activated more so in males than females and subsequently if it is possible to activate them in females in order to reduce their vulnerability to contracting MS.

Background on MS

Multiple sclerosis is a disease in which your immune system attacks your central nervous system, which is made up of your brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord. More specifically, the protective layer (myelin) that covers your nerves is attacked and subsequently damaged, disrupting the crucial communication between your brain and the rest of your body. The distortion and disturbance of nerve impulses traveling to and from the brain generate a wide variety of symptoms, depending on which nerves are affected and how damaged they become.

 

Sources:

Northwestern Press Release

Original Publishes Findings in The Journal of Immunology

National Multiple Sclerosis Society

Mayo Clinic

 

 

Peppermint Oil may be Helpful for IBS

A new slow-release formulation of peppermint 0il has been shown to reduce the severe abdominal symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome  (IBS) according to a study researchers  at the U of Alabama.  Peppermint has been used to relieve  stomach problems for generations but this is a new look at an old remedy.    The main component of peppermint oil is  L-menthol which has properties that help with intestinal bloating, cramping, and infections.  Until recently, the main source has been typically over-the-counter capsules or gel caps but the dosing has not been well regulated.    Too much of the oil at the beginning of the GI tract can lead to heartburn and dyspepsia.   Too much release at the end of the track can lead to lower bowel symptoms.

According to the researchers, IBgard is a new ultra pure formulation of peppermint oil with a unique delivery system that gets the product out of the stomach quickly  and into the small intestine where it will have its primary effect.  IBS symptoms can be severe and include adominable pain, bloating, constipation and flatulence.

The new slow release formula will be on the market soon, but as with every herbal related product, users should check with their health care provider before taking it.

 

Beware of Ticks & Lyme Disease!

Planning on hiking, camping, or gardening this summer? If so, be careful of ticks and Lyme disease! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that there were over 30,000 cases of Lyme disease in 2013, a number that is estimated to grow each year.

Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. Infected ticks spread the bacteria by biting animals and people. The two types of ticks that carry Lyme disease in the United States are Deer ticks, which are primarily found in the Northeast and the Midwest, and Western black-legged ticks, which are found along the Pacific coast. These ticks are brown and can be very small – often they are around the size of the head of a pin – and often attach to moist or hairy areas of the body.

In order to contract Lyme disease, a tick carrying the bacteria must bite you. In general, the tick must be attached for between 36 and 48 hours in order to transmit the disease. The bacteria enter your body through the bite, making its way into your bloodstream.

This disease is also known as “The Great Imitator” because its symptoms mimic a host of other diseases and it affects more than one system in the human body, including skin, joints, and the nervous system. Early signs and symptoms of Lyme include a rash in a bull’s eye pattern that has a red outer ring surrounding the site of the tick bite. This rash may also be found on other parts of your body, not just where the bite was. Other early symptoms may mimic the flu, including fever, chills, sweats, muscle aches, fatigue, nausea, and joint pain. Later symptoms, which develop several weeks after you’ve been infected, include severe joint pain and neurological problems such as temporary paralysis of one side of your face or impaired muscle movement. If left undiagnosed or untreated, the disease may become late-stage or chronic. The disease can spread to other parts of the body and can cause neurological symptoms, cognitive defects, chronic joint inflammation, and heart rhythm irregularities.

The best ways to protect yourself from Lyme disease are to avoid heavily wooded, bushy areas where ticks live, and wear long pants and long sleeves when walking through these types of areas. Check yourself, your kids, and your pets for ticks regularly, especially after spending time in the woods. Since ticks can be the size of a poppy seed, make sure to search carefully and thoroughly. If you find a tick, remove it as soon as possible by gently getting ahold of the tick with tweezers and pulling it carefully away from the skin. Don’t squeeze or crush the tick. If you think you’ve been bitten by a tick and start to experience symptoms of Lyme disease, contact your doctor immediately!

 

CDC

Mayo Clinic

LymeDisease.org

Protect Your Skin This Summer!


It is almost summer, which means many of you may be thinking about laying outside on the beach, by the pool, or in your backyard to soak up some sun! While being outside in the sun can help make us happier and help our bodies produce Vitamin D, sunlight can also cause a lot of damage to our skin, so much so that the most common type of cancer in the United States is skin cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that over 73,800 people in the United States will be diagnosed with skin cancer in 2015.

Sunlight travels to the Earth in both long and short waves. While long waves are harmless to humans, short waves, such as ultraviolet light, are harmful to people. Sunburns are caused when the human body is exposed to too much ultraviolet light from the sun. There are two major affects that this can have on the human body. The first is that too much exposure to these rays makes your skin thicker, leading to wrinkled, aged skin. The other affect that sunlight has is much more dangerous and severe: it can cause skin cancer.

When ultraviolet light enters the skin, it causes a disruption in the growth process of skin cells. This damage causes changes to the cells that make them grow and divide uncontrollably, leading to the growth of tumors, just like other forms of cancer. These typically appear as a small spot on your skin and can be sometimes hard to notice. The spots, however small, reach deep and invade the surrounding tissue. This can eventually cause the cancer to spread to other parts of your body, making it harder to cure.

The best way to protect your skin and help prevent skin cancer is to first limit your exposure to the sun. This includes avoiding long periods of time in the direct sunlight, choosing to sit in the shade, and wearing a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen when you will be in the sun. Sunscreen is especially important as it can protect every inch of skin if used properly. Different sunscreens can be found in every drugstore and they come labeled in different sun protection factor (SPF) levels, from as low as 15 to as high as 75. An SPF labeling of 30, for instance, means it will take you 30 times as long to burn from the sun than if you were not wearing sunscreen at all.

Remember to be safe in the sun and protect your skin from wrinkles and disease!

 

Sources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

NIH

National Cancer Institute

Pretty Nails...but at What Price?

 Manicures and pedicures used to be reserved for special occasions but they have now become a staple for all ages of women across the economic spectrum.    

 Two recent articles in the New York Times, have exposed the harsh reality of the price nail workers pay so we can have those ‘pretty toes’

 The first, a May 7th NYT article explores how salon workers are underpaid, mistreated and even abused.   This exploitation by salon owners mainly focuses on Asian and Hispanic immigrant workers.  The majority of them are paid below the minimum wage---if they are even paid!    Some salons charge new employees a fee during their ‘training period’ and even when they are paid, many report wages as low at $1.50 an hour with no overtime pay.   Some salons skim tips and dock workers for mishaps that they may or may not have caused.

 The second NYT article,  focuses on the growing number of health problems reported by salon workers that may be due to the environmental dangers associated with the ingredients found in nail polishes and other beauty products.  There is more and more evidence showing a link between chemicals used by the industry to health problems including  miscarriages, respiratory diseases, cancer and abnormal fetal development.  Research on these issues is long overdue and organizations that work with immigrants are demanding more.  Laws that regulate the beauty industry are weak and outdated. Unfortunately, the beauty industry manufacturers are fighting more stringent regulations which may cut profits.

 Read the articles –they are truly enlightening and troublesome!   It is a classic example of exploiting the most vulnerable for the benefit of those with money to spend on personal pleasures.

 What can we do??    Ask a few questions about the salon you visit ---especially if it has really cheap prices (an indication that they DO NOT pay well).  If it looks like the workers are being exploited, report it and stop patronizing that place.    Give your tips in cash directly to your manicurist (not to a tip jar or on your credit card). 

 Well groomed nails are an important part of our personal hygiene plan and we all like a bargain.   But take a good look at the working conditions of your salon, ask a few questions, and only support salons that treat their staff well---even if it costs a few dollars more.  

FDA to release guidance on medication use during pregnancy

This June, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will release a revision to prescription guidelines--the first since 1979.   These new guidelines will provide  up-to-date and specific information to doctors about the risks and benefits of medication that pregnant women may need to control other conditions.   The rule of thumb over the years has just been to tough it out and not take any medicines that may (or may not) hurt the mother or the fetus. Research in this area is limited because pregnant women are excluded from most drug trials.  Dr. Katherine Wisner, WHRI Leadership Council Member and expert on mood disorders at Northwestern U, "Pregnant women get sick and sex women get pregnant.   But somehow we have created this myth of the medication-free pregnancy."   We've all heard stories about pregnant women who have serious depression and stop their meds---harming themselves or their baby because their condition is out of control. 

The old system used a scoring system of A, B, C, D, and X with ' X" being the most dangerous.  The new system will have three components:

  • Information on dosing and risks to the fetus
  • Known risks about the drug's impact on breast feeding (e.g. will it concentrate in the milk)
  • Drug's impact on fertility.

According to the CDC, about 90% of pregnant women are on at least one prescribed or OTC medication.  Providing doctors more labeling information with help them determine safe options for treatment and help women have a healthier pregnancy.. 

Read more in the Chicago Tribune.

It's Spring and Time for Tick Patrol!

Spring finally came to the Midwest this weekend and like many homeowners, it was time to check out my garden and see what perennials survived the long winter.   As I washed up after clearing dead foliage, I ran my hand at the back of my head and felt a small "scab"...but soon found out it was a little reddish tick that had not yet embedded in my skin and was alive and well!!

So, all you outdoor types, it is time to start tick patrol!    Lyme disease--spread by tick bites,  is the most common occurring vector-borne disease in the United States.  An estimated 300,000 infections occur each year only about 10% get reported by state health departments.    The risk is greatest in New England, the mid- Atlantic states and the upper Midwest (my cottage is in the Indiana Dunes--- a hotbed for ticks!).

Here are a few ways to protect yourself:

  • Avoid tall grassy and wooded areas
  • Use a repellent with DEET (skin and clothing--up to 20% concentrate)  or permethrin (clothing and gear)
  • Perform daily tick checks then you come inside.  Be sure to check under the arms, around the ears, belly button, back of knees, around all body hair, between legs and around waist.
  • Remove any tick (http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/removal/index.html)
  • If you find a tick that has been attached to your skin for 24 hours or more, after removal, continue to check for any rashes especially one that looks like a bullet target and see a health provider if you do.
  • Check your family pets and if you are in a woody area, consider a tick collar.
  • Modify your landscape making it less desirable for ticks (remove litter, clear vegetation around your patio, etc.)
  • Don't encourage deer to hang out on your property...they are pretty, but adult ticks thrive on them!
  • Remember, they are very tiny and easy to miss!

 To learn more about Lyme disease visit:  http://www.medicinenet.com/lyme_disease/article.htm

With some precautions, enjoy the summer!

 

 

 

 

 

May 5, 2015 is World Asthma Day

An estimated 300 million people worldwide are living with asthma, a chronic disease that inflames and narrows the airways of the lungs, causing wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing. Globally, an estimated 15 million years of life are lost each year due to asthma-related disability or early death. Asthma is a leading cause of hospitalization and missed school and work days in the United States, and managing the condition can be costly for families and health care systems.

 

To learn more about asthma, visit the CDC site:  http://www.cdc.gov/asthma/faqs.htm

Men's Health in 2015: Facts Men should Know

Interesting in learning about men's health issues?   Join Northwestern Medicine Physicians as they discuss men's health at a free seminar.  Spouses and partners are welcome.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015
5:15 pm - 8 pm
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Feinberg Pavilion, 3rd Floor
251 E. Huron Street
Chicago

Space limited.   Register on line at http://nm.org/menshealth or call 312-926-7975

Date & Time:  Tuesday, May 5, 2015 - 5:15pm to 8:00pm

Women Underpresented in Medical School Leadership

The percentage of women faculty at medical schools has greatly increased in the past two decades, but women are significantly underrepresented in leadership positions. This report provides a snapshot of the number of women in leadership positions at U.S. medical schools. The authors conclude by suggesting that institutions strive to increase representation of women in leadership positions, arguing that doing so would result in significant organizational and productivity benefits.

Posted by Diana Lautenbreger, Claudia Raezer, and Susan Bunton in February 2015 for the Association of American Medical Colleges

WHRI members teams with national leaders on sex inclusion

The Women's Health Research Institute has teamed up with North American leaders to advocate for sex inclusion in basic research.   Teresa K Woodruff, PhD, director of WHRI, and Melina R Kibbe, MD, WHRI Leadership Council member and vascular surgeon have joined nine other academic leaders in sex based medicine on an opinion piece entitled Sex inclusion in basic research drives discovery.  Published in the April 2015 edition of PNAS the article reinforces why sex inclusion is one of "most underappeciated differences in biomedical research".   It addresses the objections that have been made against inclusion of females in preclinical research by naysayers who are resisting a more equitable policy.  

While most of the discussion on this topic has revolved around biological sex differences, this article begins the discussion of the complex interdependency of sex and gender in animal research.

This article emerged from a workshop held at Stanford University in September 2014.  Besides Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, the other authors represent John Hopkins, Stanford U, U of California Irvine, U of Toronto, Georgia State, U of Maryland, McGill U, U of California Berkeley.

Understanding Dietary Fats

We need a certain amount of fat in our diets to stay healthy. Fats provide needed energy in the form of calories. Fats help our bodies absorb important vitamins—called fat-soluble vitamins—including vitamins A, D and E. Fats also make foods more flavorful and help us feel full. Fats are especially important for infants and toddlers, because dietary fat contributes to proper growth and development.

“Fats are really the most concentrated source of energy in the foods we eat, and our bodies need that energy,” says NIH nutritionist Dr. Margaret McDowell. “Fats are truly an essential nutrient.”

Problems arise, though, if we eat too much fat. Dietary fats have more than twice as many calories per gram as either proteins or carbohydrates like sugar and starch. Excess calories, of course, can pack on the pounds and raise your risk for diabetes, cancer and other conditions.

“Some fats are better for our bodies than others,” McDowell says. “We should really aim to eat the right types of fats.”

 Unsaturated fats are considered “good” fats. They’re sometimes listed as “monounsaturated” and “polyunsaturated” fat on Nutrition Facts labels. These can promote health if eaten in the right amounts. They are generally liquid at room temperature, and are known as oils. You’ll find healthful unsaturated fats in fish, nuts and most vegetable oils, including canola, corn, olive and safflower oils.

The so-called “bad” fats are saturated fats and trans fats. They tend to be solid at room temperature. Solid fats include butter, meat fats, stick margarine, shortening, and coconut and palm oils. They’re often found in chocolates, baked goods, and deep-fried and processed foods.

“When we eat too many solid fats, we put our bodies at risk. These fats tend to raise total blood cholesterol, as well as the part of cholesterol known as low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (bad cholesterol),” says McDowell.  LDL can lead to the buildup of plaque in the arteries and cardiovascular problems.

Experts say that the total fat intake for adults ages 19 and older should be 20% to 35% of the calories eaten each day. For children ages 4 to 18, it should be 25% to 35%.  Less that 10% of our fat calories should come from saturated fatty acids.

Other NIH-funded research found that, when it comes to weight loss, the source of calories—whether from fat, protein or carbohydrate—isn’t as important as the number of calories you consume. But when it comes to risk factors for heart disease, replacing some carbohydrates with protein or unsaturated fats can greatly improve blood cholesterol. In a specialized diet designed to lower blood pressure, using unsaturated fats in place of some carbohydrates boosted blood levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL cholesterol) and caused a more healthful drop in blood pressure. 

Source:  National Institutes of Health

Teens and E-cigarettes

Current e-cigarette use among middle and high school students tripled from 2013 to 2014, according to data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP). Findings from the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey show that current e-cigarette use (use on at least 1 day in the past 30 days) among high school students increased from 4.5 percent in 2013 to 13.4 percent in 2014, rising from approximately 660,000 to 2 million students. Among middle school students, current e-cigarette use more than tripled from 1.1 percent in 2013 to 3.9 percent in 2014—an increase from approximately 120,000 to 450,000 students.

This is the first time since the survey started collecting data on e-cigarettes in 2011 that current e-cigarette use has surpassed current use of every other tobacco product overall, including conventional cigarettes. E-cigarettes were the most used tobacco product for non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic other race while cigars were the most commonly used product among non-Hispanic blacks.

“We want parents to know that nicotine is dangerous for kids at any age, whether it’s an e-cigarette, hookah, cigarette or cigar,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Adolescence is a critical time for brain development. Nicotine exposure at a young age may cause lasting harm to brain development, promote addiction, and lead to sustained tobacco use.”

Hookah smoking roughly doubled for middle and high school students, while cigarette use declined among high school students and remained unchanged for middle school students. Among high school students, current hookah use rose from 5.2 percent in 2013 (about 770,000 students) to 9.4 percent in 2014 (about 1.3 million students).

The increases in e-cigarette and hookah use offset declines in use of more traditional products such as cigarettes and cigars. There was no decline in overall tobacco use between 2011 and 2014. Overall rates of any tobacco product use were 24.6 percent for high school students and 7.7 percent for middle school students in 2014.

“In today’s rapidly evolving tobacco marketplace, the surge in youth use of novel products like e-cigarettes forces us to confront the reality that the progress we have made in reducing youth cigarette smoking rates is being threatened,” said Mitch Zeller, J.D., director of FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. “These staggering increases in such a short time underscore why FDA intends to regulate these additional products to protect public health.”

This report concludes that further reducing youth tobacco use and initiation is achievable through regulation of the manufacturing, distribution, and marketing of tobacco products coupled with proven strategies.  Several states have passed laws establishing a minimum age for purchase of e-cigarettes or extending smoke-free laws to include e-cigarettes, both of which could help further prevent youth use and initiation.

For broadcast-quality video and audio clips featuring FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products Director Mitch Zeller speaking about the findings from the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey, visit http://dmr.homefrontdc.com/697/ctp-nyts-findings.

Beyond Lung Cancer---Other Smoking Effects

We are well aware that cigarette smoking has a direct link to lung cancer.  Did you know that the latest Surgeon General's report identified 21 other diseases that have a causal relationship to cigarettes?

The list included 12 types of cancer, 6 categories of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and some pneumonias.  But a new report put  out by the American Heart Association, the National Cancer Institute and several major medical centers that pooled data on millions of subjects of both sexes and age 55 years and older found other concerns for smokers. In this study,  mortality was followed from 2000 to 2011.

 There were 181,377 deaths overall---19% in smokers and 14% in non smokers. The study reconfirmed the increase morality due to smoking in the conditions listed above.    However, 17% of the smokers with increased mortality helped identify new conditions impacted by smoking:   renal failure, intestinal ischemia, hypertensive heart disease, infections, various respiratory conditions, breast cancer and prostate cancer---conditions not part of the earlier "21". 

While the study provides a more complete lists of conditions increased due to smoking, it also reinforces the fact that the rate of death from almost any cause was two to three time higher in current smokers when compared to non smokers.  While more study is needed to rule our other behaviours and determine how smoking effects treatment, the study demonstrates how important it is to reduce smoking espeically in young people.   Smoking also impacts one's  quality of life and will often cause mortality due to chronic conditions a decade earlier in smokers.  It sure makes sense to put those cigarettes away.

 

 

Junk Journalism and the Scientific Method

In the last few weeks, we saw the Rolling Stone retract a highly read article about an alleged gang rape at the U of Virginia that raised a lot of questions about the ethics of journalism.  In short, many of the accusations posed by the reporter were not backed up by facts and in the end cast a dark cloud over the university and the fraternities that were involved.  Theconversation.com, an online news source written by academics and scholars, posted an article by Ivan Oransky, an associate professor at New York University, and Adam Marcus, that asks whether or not journalism should use the scientific method with its rigourous investigation, questioning of evidence, testing and revised hypotheses as a good model for self-correction.   This article also takes a look at the scientific method itself and whether or not it, too, has some shortcomings and is vulnerable to human biases.   

If you are a fan of truth in reporting and rigor in science, you will find this article thoughtful.   Unlike a Rolling Stone:  is science really better than journalism at self-correction? 

Equal Pay Day: Women Earnings Still Down!

Equal Pay Day is finally here! Equal Pay Day (April 14, 2015)  is the symbolic day when women's earnings catch up to men's earnings for the previous year.  The most recent data shows that on average for every dollar paid to a man, a woman receives 78 cents.  That is one penny more than the statistic women have been stuck at for the past decade and this gap is of course even wider for women of color!

So what can you do to ensure equal pay for women?  You can start by asking your local member of congress to support an important piece of legislation, the Paycheck Fairness Act.  This act would update the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by closing loopholes that prevent the original legislation from fully addressing the gender pay gap.  Contact your state representatives and urge them to support the Paycheck Fairness Act because women deserve better!   

Seeking young women to share breast cancer stories

While rare, breast cancer does affect women under the age of 45. In young women, the disease is more often hereditary than it is in older women. Young women, however, may not realize they are at risk for this disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) new Bring Your Brave campaign will feature young women telling their personal stories about how their lives have been affected by breast cancer. The goals of the campaign are to motivate young women to learn about the disease and its prevention, learn their family history of cancer, and engage in conversations with their health care provider.

CDC is looking for stories from women ages 18-44 who:

  • Found a lump or abnormal change in their breast that turned out not to be breast cancer.
  • Have a mother, sister or first counsil who had breast cancer before age 50 and is BRCA+
  • Have a family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer
  • Have undergone genetic counseling/testing and fit one of the following:  have had breast cancer and a BRCA mutation, have a family history of breast/ovarian cancer nad BRCA mutation, are of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage with a personal/family history of breast cancer and BRCA mutation.

CDC is also looking for stories from women of any age who have been diagnosed with breast cancer before age 50, have a BRCA mutation, AND have a daughter age 18 through 40. Both women must be willing to share their story about hereditary cancer, learning about family history, and having a BRCA mutation.

To be considered for this project women must:

Not smoke or use illegal drugs.
Have completed their cancer treatment (if applicable) at
least one year ago.
If you are interested in participating or know of someone who might be, please contact CDC for more information by May 15th.

Web www.cdc.gov/BringYourBrave/casting
Email BYBRecrutiment@cdc.gov
Phone (202) 729-4099

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