Posted by: yourhealthradio | December 8, 2011

House Calls – Posture & Ovarian Cancer

House Calls from the Carrboro Citizen 12.08.11

Dear HOUSE Calls, My son walks and sits with his shoulders bent forward. Are there any health consequences with his back later in life from slouching?
We all just sat up a little – you sound like our mothers. But seriously, that is a great question. a slouch in the shoulder tends to add tension to the neck and can be related to neck pain or tension headaches. Poor posture in the lower back can be related to pain in the lower back. Really the issue is minimizing tension and strengthening more neutral-posture muscles, like those in the abdomen. Does this cause serious harm in the back like arthritis or bone loss? Probably not. However, improved posture and core strength is an important part of back rehabilitation to remove some muscular stress. All in all, most people have poor posture and most people do not have serious back problems. We would recommend not worrying too much about it.
Dear HOUSE Calls, My doctor told me there was no test for ovarian cancer. Is this true?
We have screening tests for many kinds of cancer (colon, breast, cervical, prostate, etc.). However, we don’t really do any population screening for ovarian cancer, and it is a very serious, if not common, form of cancer. About 21,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year in the U.S., and 15,000 die from it. There are some tests for ovarian cancer, but the tests have limitations and they don’t make sense for everybody. Ovarian cancer tests include blood marker tests (CA 125), genetic testing and ultrasounds and other imaging studies. Assuming we are talking about average-risk women, the genetic test (BRCA) rarely would be positive and would only demonstrate a genetic risk of ovarian cancer, not the disease. The other tests, both the CA 125 and ultrasound, fail to diagnose many cancers and have too many false positive tests, resulting in more tests or surgery. This is complicated and based on the fact that ovarian cancer is unusual and difficult to diagnose in the early stage, and the tests themselves are just not very good. The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecology recommend against routine screening for ovarian cancer for average- risk women. However, if you have symptoms such as early fullness, unexplained weight loss or abdominal bloating, pressure or pain, get to the doctor promptly for an exam.

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