Patti NeighmondAward-winning journalist Patti Neighmond is NPR's health policy correspondent. Her reports air regularly on NPR newsmagazines All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition.
Fear of cancer's return may be driving women with an early diagnosis of breast cancer to have one or both breasts removed, though research shows milder treatment is just as effective.
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In a study of 1.3 million women, ages 40 to 74, having a false positive on a screening mammogram was associated with a slightly increased chance that the woman would eventually develop breast cancer. The extra risk seemed to be independent of the density of her breasts.
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Birth control pills are 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy, research shows — but only if you remember to take them as prescribed. Rod-shaped implants, T-shaped IUDs and vaginal rings are other options.
Physical exercise, diet and supportive counseling are the first steps of any weight-loss program. But sometimes that's not enough to take large amounts of weight off, and keep it off, doctors say.
A woman's health history and tolerance for different kinds of risks should have a legitimate role in determining the timing of when she starts and stops getting screening mammograms, some leading doctors say.
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