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What you should know about recent studies on pathology diagnoses

If recent media coverage questioning the accuracy of pathology diagnoses on breast biopsies has you worried, you’re not alone. 

A recent study published by Elmore et al investigated diagnostic agreement for breast biopsies between individual pathologists and “consensus-derived reference diagnoses” rendered by a panel of three pathologists.  While variable rates of diagnostic disagreement were identified, it is important to realize that the strict study design and methodology are not applicable to the daily practice of pathology. 

In real life practice, pathologists are not restricted by the number of slides available for review, and typically evaluate multiple slides/tissue levels for each breast biopsy sample.  In addition ...

How much water should I be drinking?

"How much water should I be drinking?" is one of the most common questions I get and the answer I give is "enough to keep you urine flowing and generally a light yellow color".

The old advice of 8-10 glasses of water a day is with the caveat if you aren't eating food - you have to consider the fluids in your food as part of your daily water intake - so 8-10 glassses a day is too much water for most of us.

Most active women who are ...

All about fibroids

Fibroids are a benign growth of the muscular wall of the uterus. In some women, the cells of the muscle of the uterus start to grow and form a ball of tissue. This ball of tissue, or fibroid, can be very small such as the size of a pea to 10 cm or more in diameter. Fibroids can cause a woman to have heavy periods and bleed between periods, or may cause pressure on the bladder so she needs to urinate frequently, or may cause a large mass in the abdomen. Fibroids sometimes cause discomfort or pain, but not as often.

What a woman who has fibroids notices depends on ...

Bladder control problems are not a normal part of aging

I remember hearing a lecture about 15 years ago, learning that by the year 2020 there will be more adults in diapers than babies!

It was hard to imagine that day back in 2000, but shopping in my local drugstore I realize that day is upon us. There is a whole double aisle dedicated to "Adult Continence Products" and only a quarter of the floor space dedicated to baby diapers. There is a tsunami wave of baby boomers, and bladder control is a big deal for many of us.

Over half of American women over 50 years old have some daily bother with bladder control - we are in the midst of an epidemic and women need to know this isn't a normal part of aging. Many women ...

Do I need a pap smear?

When women come in for their yearly well-woman exam, many are surprised to find out that they may not need a pap smear. This is because the mechanisms through which women develop changes in their cervix that may lead to cervical cancer are now much better understood. This had led to a drastic change in pap smear screening recommendations with the most recent updates to recommendations in 2012. Although, we still recommend regular well-woman exams, it is likely that most women will only need a pap smear every ...

Frequently asked questions about pelvic health

I recently participated in a live chat with Swedish to answer questions that women had on urine leakage, bladder control treatments, pelvic floor disorders, and other pelvic health topics.

Click here to read through the archive of the chat. I also wanted to answer a few other questions I get asked, but didn't come up in the chat:

Having a healthy road to pregnancy

If you’ve been thinking about getting pregnant, here are some steps to take before your pregnancy to ensure a healthy and successful journey to becoming a mom.

  1. Start taking prenatal vitamins at least a month before conceiving. The folic acid in these vitamins (usually between 400 and 800 micrograms) will help decrease risk of a neural tube defect, like spina bifida. The spinal cord forms and closes by four weeks gestation, before many women even know that they are pregnant, so it’s important to get on this early.

  2. Starting pregnancy at a healthy weight decreases your risk of complications of pregnancy like high blood pressure and gestational diabetes. Good control of chronic medical problems will also help a future pregnancy go much more smoothly.

  3. Consider  ...

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