Women Physicians
GYN Medical Group
Care of Women by Women

Newsletter Index -- 4/1/09




Join Us In The Fight Against Cancer!

Once again, Women Physicians Ob-Gyn has formed a team to participate in the American Cancer Society’s signature event, Relay for Life.  This will take place at beautiful Cuesta Park on May 30, 2009 at 10 am until May 31, 2009 at 10 am.  A team commits to have a walker on the track for a full 24 hours, reflecting the fact that cancer never sleeps.  And this year our team goal for fund-raising is $9,000.  Last year, we had a lot of fun, got some good exercise, and raised over $15,000.  This event Celebrates survivors, Remembers loved ones, and gives us all a chance to Fight Back.   To get a taste of Relay, watch the 4 minute video at  www.RelayForLife.org/mountainviewca .  There are many different ways you can participate in Relay.


·          Join our Team! 

We invite you and your family to participate on our team.  As a team member, you would agree to walk for one or more hours at your own pace along the path at Cuesta Park.  Other than your shift, you are free to come and go throughout the day and night, enjoying the entertainment, music, games, midnight movies, and beautiful luminaria that line the track after dusk.  You can set up a tent and camp over-night if you please.  We also encourage team members to try to raise at least $100 each.  You can join our team on-line at www.RelayForLife.org/mountainviewca  or call Randy at 650-988-7557.  Randy has the schedule of times available for walkers.

·          Donate to our Team!

If you are unable to join the team, but would like to donate to this great cause, you can do so online at www.RelayForLife.org/mountainviewca  or by contacting Randy at 650-988-7557.

·          Walk the Survivor Lap!

Everyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer of any type is invited to join other survivors in the inspirational survivor lap that will take place right after opening ceremonies at about 10:15 am on May 30.  You do not need to be on a team, but in order to get a survivor t-shirt, you should register.  This can be done on-line at www.RelayForLife.org/mountainviewca  or a form can be printed out at our website, www.elcaminoobgyn.com, and mailed in. 

·          Purchase a luminaria!

Luminaria  are white bags, each decorated to honor a survivor or remember a loved one who had cancer.  You can purchase a luminaria for the suggested donation of $10 at www.RelayForLife.org/mountainviewca  or if you prefer to decorate the bag yourself, you can purchase it through our office.  





Cancer Prevention

There is no better time to talk about cancer prevention than now, when we’re all working hard to make this year’s Mountain View Relay for Life the most successful ever!  Relay is not just about raising money for cancer treatment and research.  It’s also about raising awareness about all aspects of cancer, especially cancer prevention.

It is estimated that 50% of all cancer is preventable—isn’t that an almost unbelievable statistic?  Worldwide, there are over seven million cancer deaths each year. In this newsletter, we’d like to discuss what steps you can take to prevent cancer.


Smoking alone is responsible for 30% of all cancer related deaths in the US. Besides causing most lung cancers, it is also a causative factor in other cancers of the respiratory tract, such as in the nasal and oral cavity, sinuses, trachea and larynx.  Smoking is also implicated in cancers of various organs of the digestive tract, cervix, bowel and prostate. And finally, even leukemia is increased in smokers.

Reducing this risk is obvious, though not simple.  Smoking cessation has proven health benefits no matter how long an individual has been smoking. However, the greatest prevention will come from eliminating the initiation of smoking in our youth.


Excess Sun Exposure

Over 1 million cases of skin cancer (basal and squamous cell) and about 60,000 melanomas are diagnosed in the US each year.  And the numbers for melanoma are rising each year.  The increased risk for squamous and basal cell cancer appears to correlate with total lifetime sun exposure. While this may also be a factor in melanoma, repeated intense exposure leading to blistering is the most significant risk for melanoma.

All individuals should limit the time spent in the sun, especially between the hours of 10am and 3pm, wear hats, sunglasses and other protective clothing, and use sunscreen.  Because the majority of lifetime sun exposure occurs in childhood and adolescents, protective behaviors early in life will be the most beneficial.



The association between diet and cancer is not well established.  This is probably because there are so many dietary variables and it is difficult to control for them in adequate, long-term studies. Several associations have been postulated but none have been “proved” through rigorous studies. Certain micronutrients may have a protective role, but again this has been problematic to prove.

The most likely associations are red meat increasing colon cancer in both men and women, and fat intake associated with increases in breast and prostate cancer. Though the association with cancer is not definitively proved, since there are other health risks from too much red meat and fat in our diet, we should limit them.

The most likely dietary factors that may decrease the risk of some cancers include: tomatoes (high lycopene content), soy, diet high in fruits and vegetables (micronutrients and fiber).  Eating at least 5 servings of vegetables and 2 of fruit, of multi-colors daily, will probably help to decrease your overall risk of cancer.


Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamin D may decrease the risk of colorectal cancer as well as breast and prostate cancer.

Increased calcium intake has been linked to a reduced risk of colorectal cancer but a possible increase risk of prostate cancer in doses above 700mg/day.

Selenium has been shown in animal studies to decrease the risk of a variety of tumors but data in humans is variable.



It has been estimated that world wide, 3.6% of cancers are associated with chronic alcohol use.  Studies have shown that even 1 drink/day increases the risk of cancer. The decrease in cancer is just one of the many reason to limit/eliminate alcohol from your diet.



It is estimated that 17% of new cancers worldwide are due to infections.

These include:

  • HPV (human papilloma virus) and cervical cancer
  • HBV/HCV (hepatitis B and C) and liver cancer
  • HIV and Kaposi sarcoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • HTLV-1 and adult T cell leukemia
  • EBV (Epstein-Barr virus) and Burkitt’s lymphoma
  • Helobacter pylori (H. pylori) and gastric cancer

The majority of these viruses are spread through contact with infected blood or body fluids, thus offering an opportunity for prevention, with limited number of sexual partners, safer sex with condoms and universal precautions for bodily fluids.

In addition, there are vaccines available for Hepatitis B and HPV, which can decrease the incidence of their associated cancers.


Physical Activity

It has been estimated that 5% of cancer deaths can be attributed to a sedentary life style. Numerous cancers, including breast, colon, pancreatic and stomach have shown decreases with increasing physical activity.

Since there are many other health benefits from physical activity, modifying this risk factor makes sense.


Excess Weight

Obesity is estimated to account for 14% of cancer deaths in men and 20% of cancer deaths in women. Multiple cancers including, colorectal, postmenopausal breast, endometrial (uterine lining), kidney and esophageal have been linked to obesity.  39% of endometrial cancers are obesity related.



Chemoprevention is the use of a prophylactic medication to reduce the risk of a particular cancer in high-risk individuals. Tamoxifen is a well-known example of chemoprevention. More recently, Raloxifene (Evistaд) which is drug initially marketed to treat and prevent osteoporosis now has a dual indication for osteoporosis treatment and breast cancer reduction.

Aspirin and other non steroidal, anitinflammatory drugs, like Motrinд have been shown to decrease colorectal cancers and may have a role in other cancers as well.

Finasteride (Propeciaд) used to treat male baldness has been shown to decrease prostate cancer in men at high risk.


The Good News is there are many things we can do to prevent cancer and they are all also good for our overall health.  Some of these, like weight loss, can be difficult. But remember, you don’t need to change everything at once.  Always be conscious of your health habits and constantly make improvements.  Get regular checks ups with your doctor.  We, at Women Physicians Ob/Gyn Medical Group, are here to help you stay healthy.





Your Family Health Tree – New Online Tool Available

Now that we’re approaching the time of year when families gather – for graduations, weddings, reunions and the like – this may be a terrific opportunity to construct an accurate family health history.

Our genes certainly aren’t destiny when it comes to our health, but our genetic make up can certainly play a significant part.

Everyone should have an idea of what diseases or conditions run in the family.  This information is helpful for you to help motivate you to do all you can to have a healthy lifestyle.  In addition, when you share this data with your doctor, she will take the history into account when recommending when and what type of screening tests may be appropriate.

Now there is an online family health history tool from the U. S. Surgeon General that has recently been improved and updated.  It is quite convenient to use.  It even allows you to construct a diagram as well as a text version of your family’s health history.  This makes it easier to share the assembled information with your doctor and with other family members.

Because the tool is downloaded to your computer, the data you enter is private and remains on your computer.  This data is not stored by the government or anyone else and remains in your control at all times.

You can check it out at:  www.familyhistory.hhs.gov.




Come Hear Dr. Sutherland, the Sex-pert

H2H, a woman’s philanthropic organization, is hosting a Ladies Night Out, covering sex and relationships on Monday, April 27, 2009, at Rosewood Sand Hill, 2825 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM.  Dr. David Burns will be speaking, as well as signing his new book, Feeling Good Together, which focuses on the causes of, and cures for, relationship problems.  Dr. Sutherland will be speaking on sexual function and dysfunction.  There will be a wine and appetizer Reception.  The cost is $60.00 for H2H members and $75.00 for non-members.  Funds raised are used to provide expanded health care services at El Camino Hospital.   Please RSVP no later than April 17 to the El Camino Hospital Foundation at 650-988-7767.                                                         

All of the physicians at WPMG would be happy to see you for concerns regarding sexual function.     



Have a Great Spring! 




El Camino Women's Medical Group provides comprehensive Obstetric & Gynecologic care for patients throughout the Bay Area. Minimally invasive surgery, infertility, women's mental health, and the MonaLisa Touch are just a few of the specialized services we offer.
The MonaLisa Touch treatment is available at El Camino Women's Medical Group. Call the office (650-396-8110) or email Shar (Shar@ElCaminoWomen.com) for more information.
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