From the Chair

Eva Chalas, MD

Eva Chalas, MD, FACOG, FACS

Educate Yourself - For the Sake
of Your Practice

I hope you are enjoying our transition from winter to spring. Speaking of transitions - it has become abundantly clear that the business of ob-gyn is rapidly changing. As a service to our members, the District has organized a conference, bringing together national and regional experts to educate us on emerging trends in the delivery of healthcare. I strongly urge you to take advantage of this opportunity to have your concerns and questions addressed. Join me on April 27 at the Grand Hyatt New York for Practice Redesign Strategies: Meeting Today's Healthcare Delivery System Changes. Click here for more information and to register.

Seven Simple Rules - May Protect Against Cancer

A new study published in Circulation finds that people who follow the American Heart Association's Life's Simple 7 steps to lower their risk for heart disease are also protected against cancer. In 1987, over 13,000 white and black Americans enrolled in a long-running study of atherosclerosis risk. According to researchers, those who followed six or seven of the AHA's tips reduced their risk for cancer by 51%, compared to participants who followed none. When smoking status was not considered, participants who followed five to six of the health steps had a 25% lower cancer risk. The American Heart Association's Life’s Simple 7 are:

  • Get Active
  • Eat Better
  • Lose Weight
  • Stop Smoking
  • Control Cholesterol
  • Manage Blood Pressure
  • Reduce Blood Sugar

Click here for more on the AHA’s Life’s Simple 7.

Biennial Mammogram Study
According to a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, women between the ages of 50 to 74 who get a mammogram every two years may be at no more risk for advanced-stage breast cancer and at a lower risk for false positives, than those who get tested every year. The study compared the benefits and harms of the frequency of screening mammography to age, breast density and postmenopausal use of hormone therapy. The findings follow the 2009 recommendation by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force that advocated for biennial mammography for women in this age group instead of the previous suggestion of getting mammograms every one to two years. It is important to note that ACOG recommends annual mammograms starting at age 40. Click here for Practice Bulletin #122 Breast Cancer Screening.

Ob-Gyns Choosing Wisely
ACOG recently released its list of “Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question” in obstetrics-gynecology. The list is part of the Choosing Wisely® campaign, led by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation. ACOG’s list addresses issues ranging from ovarian cancer to delivery prior to 39 weeks - and includes five evidence-based recommendations that can support you and your patients in making wise choices about their care. Click here to see the list and for more details about the campaign.

Colorectal Cancer Awareness
I spent a lot of time last month speaking with patients and colleagues about Colorectal Cancer (March was Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month). Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States. This year the American Cancer Society estimates there will be:

  • 102,480 new cases of colon cancer
  • 40,340 new cases of rectal cancer

Colorectal cancer is expected to cause 50,830 deaths during 2013. Fortunately, the death rate has been dropping over the last 20 years. Polyps are now being found by screening and removed before they can develop into cancers. Screening also allows more colorectal cancers to be found earlier when the disease is easier to cure. Lastly, treatment for colorectal cancer has improved over the last several years. As a result there are over 1 million survivors of colorectal cancer in the United States. For more information on colorectal cancer, visit the American Cancer Society and the Colorectal Cancer Awareness webpage on the District II website.

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
409 12th Street SW, Washington, DC  20024-2188 | Mailing Address: PO Box 70620, Washington, DC 20024-9998