Women’s Health News in Brief

Because we understand that knowledge is power, we encourage our patients to become informed about health issues. Here are brief news nuggets about health issues, along with Web sites for more in-depth information (FMI.) It’s important to note that Women’s Care physicians don’t necessarily endorse these findings.

Patients and doctors often overlook early symptoms of ovarian cancer. Better recognition of early symptoms and research to improve detection are key to saving patients’ lives. Ovarian cancer can cause symptoms for months or years before it’s diagnosed.

Researchers at the University of California at Davis Medical School found that women with the disease were far more likely than those without it to have bloating, gas, abdominal pressure, or pelvic pain before diagnosis. Doctors don’t usually consider ovarian cancer to be one of the possible diagnoses because there are so many other possible sources of these symptoms. If your symptoms persist, however, ask your doctor if he/she has considered ovarian cancer on the list of diagnoses being ruled out, and if a pelvic ultrasound or a blood test for the CA-125 protein might be appropriate for you.

Java junkies, rejoice! Drinking coffee won’t increase your risk of high blood pressure. However, a possible link has been found between high blood pressure and consumption of diet and non-diet cola. Those were the findings of a study published in the Nov. 9, 2005, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The research was based on data from the Nurses’ Health Study, which followed 150,000 women for 12 years. None of the women who participated had medically-diagnosed high blood pressure at the beginning of the study.

“The results were intriguing because two caffeinated beverages behaved differently,” said lead author Wolfgang Winkelmayer, MD, ScD, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.