Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Black tea, citrus consumption 'could lower ovarian cancer risk'

Good news for women who like to drink their daily cup of black tea or orange juice; it could lower risk of ovarian cancer risk. A new study suggests that consuming foods containing flavonols and flavanones - subclasses of dietary flavonoids found in tea and citrus fruits and juices - is linked to a decreased risk of developing epithelial ovarian cancer, the fifth cause of cancer death among women.

The researchers, from the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK, publish their results in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

According to the team, ovarian cancer affects over 6,500 women in the UK and 20,000 women in the US each year. Epithelial ovarian cancer - the most common form of the disease - is where the cancer begins in the surface layer covering the ovary.
This type of cancer "remains a highly lethal malignancy," note the researchers, adding that few modifiable risk factors have been established.
However, some previous studies have suggested that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may be associated with a decreased risk, but subsequent studies have produced inconsistent findings.

Plants contain flavonoids that adjust key cellular signaling pathways and regulate cancer-inflammation pathways, note the team, which suggests flavonoids might be the compounds in plants that could reduce ovarian cancer risk.

Flavonoids include flavonols - found in tea, red wine, apples and grapes - and flavanones - found in citrus fruit and juices.

'Just a couple cups of black tea daily linked with a 31% reduction in risk'.

To further investigate the link between flavonoid intake and ovarian cancer risk, the researchers studied dietary habits of 171,940 women aged between 25-55 as part of the Nurses' Health Study and Nurses' Health Study II over the course of 3 decades.

"This is the first large-scale study looking into whether habitual intake of different flavonoids can reduce the risk of epithelial ovarian cancer," says lead author Prof. Aedin Cassidy, from UEA's Norwich Medical School.
To calculate the participants' dietary intake, the researchers analyzed validated food-frequency questionnaires that were collected every 4 years and found that main dietary sources of flavonols were black tea (31%), onions (20%) and apples, while the main sources for flavanones were citrus fruit (36%; 27% from orange intake) and juices (63%; 54% from orange juice).

During the 16-22 years of follow-up, the researchers found that there were a total of 723 cases of medically confirmed ovarian cancer.

Results show that participants who had the highest intakes of flavonol and flavanone had a lower risk of developing epithelial ovarian cancer than those who had the lowest intakes.

 Commenting on their findings, Prof. Cassidy says:

"The main source of these compounds include tea and citrus fruits and juices, which are readily incorporated into the diet, suggesting that simple changes in food intake could have an impact on reducing ovarian cancer risk. 
In particular, just a couple of cups of black tea every day was associated with a 31% reduction in risk."

Fast facts about ovarian cancer in the US
  • In 2014, an estimated 21,980 new cases and 14,270 deaths due to ovarian cancer will occur
  •  Around 1.3% of women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer at some point in their lives
  •  In 2011, there were an estimated 188,867 women living with ovarian cancer in the US.



Article courtesy of Medical News Today.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Affordable Care Act Contraception Update

Though the Obama Administration finalized how women covered by most private health plans will have contraceptive coverage without cost-sharing as guaranteed under the Affordable Care Act, there is still confusion over which types and brands of contraceptives will be available without copay. 

Here are the facts.

The ACA requires insurance plans to offer options in each of the five major contraceptive categories: barrier methods, hormonal methods, implanted devices, emergency contraception and permanent methods. Plans can treat contraception much like other prescription drugs, categorizing drugs in a tiered system where some are available for free, while others come with varying co-pays. Plans must cover a specific contraceptive without cost-sharing if it’s ordered by a women’s doctor for medical reasons.

This means that employer health insurance plans don’t have to cover every type of birth control approved by the FDA; they can charge co-pays for some brands or products as long as they offer others for free. Patients should check with their insurers before their doctor’s appointment. Otherwise, they may not know which specific type of contraception their insurer covers until the pharmacy rings it up.

The National Women’s Law Center is establishing a hotline where women can share difficulties with paying for or accessing contraception through their insurers. NWLC plans to release a report with their findings. Stay tuned for updates.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Universal Access to Maternity Care

The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) filed sex discrimination complaints against five institutions that exclude pregnancy coverage from the health insurance benefits provided to their employees’ dependent children. These complaints are believed to be the first to challenge dependent pregnancy coverage exclusions provided in the Affordable Care Act.

The ACA’s requires that plans provide comprehensive coverage to women, including full coverage for gynecological and maternity care, on the same terms as other benefits. Treating pregnancy differently has long been considered sex discrimination under civil rights statutes such as Title IX and Title VII.

ACOG strongly supports these efforts and has called for universal access to maternity care since 1971. Lend your support by letting your elected officials know your stance. 
Visit the NWLC website for information on the ACA’s nondiscrimination provision and their complaints filed against each institution.

Monday, July 29, 2013


The emergency contraception ping-pong game seems to have ended in a resounding win for women’s health. Following a recent court order, the Obama Administration has announced that it will fully comply with allowing emergency contraception over the counter without age restrictions.
For years, ACOG and other women’s health partners have been advocating for over the counter access to emergency contraception without age restrictions. We know all too well that time is of the essence for females facing the possibility of an unintended pregnancy. And unrestricted access to contraceptives is key to reducing abortions.
We agreed with the Food and Drug Administration when it ruled for over the counter access and we opposed Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ decision to include an age limit to OTC access. ACOG has been working with the advocacy community to overturn Sebelius’ decision.
We had good news recently when a panel of the 2nd Circuit Appeals Court ruled that the two pill variant, including Next Choice and other levonorgestral tablets, must be made immediately available over the counter without age restrictions. We had better news soon after when the White House announced that it would give up its insistence on age restrictions and allow the FDA to move forward in the direction that science has pointed to all along.
This decision to increase access to over the counter contraception is a powerful one because in spite of our efforts to be there all the time for our patients, decisions impacting long term health will happen WITHOUT our presence. It is so important to make contraception easily available, to remove barriers.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


ACOG has made it a priority to combat legislative interference with the patient-physician relationship. ACOG’s Executive Board recently approved a Statement of Policy formalizing this effort.

Most of us recognize that government serves a valuable role in protecting public health and safety and in the provision of essential health services. However, we at KerismaMD and others, like ACOG, oppose any government interference that threatens communication between patients and their physicians or other health care providers. ACOG also objects to laws that interfere with the patient’s right to be counseled according to the best currently available evidence-based guidelines and the physician’s professional medical judgment.
ACOG President Jeanne A. Conry, MD, PhD acknowledged that “given the relentless legislative assault on the patient-physician relationship that we’ve seen in the past few years—and unfortunately continue to see—we were compelled to issue a formal Statement of Policy.”

Click here to read the full news release accompanying the Statement.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

NWLC “Getting the Coverage You Deserve” Toolkit

 At KerismaMD, we want to make all women aware of The National Women’s Law Center’s Toolkit which provides women with information on ACA coverage of preventive services and tools they can use if they encounter problems with this coverage. Includes detailed instructions on how to file an appeal with insurance companies and includes draft appeal letters on a range of preventive services. Click here to view “Getting the Coverage You Deserve.”