Planning A Healthy Pregnancy

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital June 10, 2016

A pre-pregnancy exam is one of the most important steps in helping you prepare for a healthy pregnancy .

A pre-pregnancy exam is one of the most important steps in helping you prepare for a healthy pregnancy .

If you are thinking about becoming pregnant, it is never too soon to start taking healthy steps for you and your baby-to-be. There are things you can do today to help reduce health risks for the both of you and increase your likelihood of healthy pregnancy.

The first few weeks of pregnancy are crucial in a child’s development. However, many women do not realize they are pregnant until several weeks after conception. Planning ahead and taking care of yourself before becoming pregnant is the best thing you can do for you and your baby.

One of the most important steps in helping you prepare for a healthy pregnancy is a pre-pregnancy exam (often called preconception care) performed by your health care provider. This exam may include:

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Smoking:  When It Comes to Quitting, One Size Does Not Fit All

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital November 17, 2015

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If you smoke, get ready for all sorts of “quit now” messages, as this year’s annual Great American Smokeout is November 19. That said, if you’re one of the majority of smokers who wants to quit, these messages can seem simplistic and frustrating.

Tobacco/nicotine dependence is what you have, and this addiction is a chronic condition that may require several courses of intervention before you’re cured. And there are numerous approaches to smoking cessation, some of which have a scientific base, and some of which don’t.

In an interview with Dr. Jennifer Haas, an internist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital who has conducted federally-funded research on smoking cessation, Dr. Haas provides an expert view on what works and why it can work for any individual who is motivated to quit (MTQ) or even cut down.

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Great American Smokeout – An Important Challenge

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital November 20, 2014

The  annual Great American Smokeout, is a day in which we encourage smokers to go without smoking for one day and to start making a plan to quit smoking for good.

Quitting is a difficult but worthwhile challenge. This year alone, an estimated 224,000 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S., and 159,000 Americans will die from the disease. Most, but not all, of these cases of lung cancer will be attributable to smoking. Read the following posts to learn more about quitting smoking and lung health.

 

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Smoking: When It Comes to Quitting, One Size Does Not Fit All

Ready to quit? Tobacco or nicotine dependence is what you have, and this addiction is a chronic condition that may require several courses of intervention before you’re cured. There are numerous approaches to smoking cessation, some of which have a scientific base, and some of which don’t. Learn about your options.

 

 

Public Smoking Bans Associated with Health Benefits in Children

Nearly half of the world’s children are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke. Passive smoking is linked to premature births, birth defects, asthma, and lung infections.

 

 

 

Lung Cancer Screening Helps Current and Former Smokers

For current or former long-term smokers, lung cancer screening should be a priority. Research has shown that new screening guidelines for the use of low-dose computed tomography (CT)  should significantly reduce the number of deaths from lung cancer by improving early detection.

 

 
Lung Cancer: Five Things You Need to Know

With November marking Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. Pasi Janne, director of the Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (DF/BWCC), answers some key questions about the disease.

 

 

 

Benefits of Going “Cold Turkey”

Brigham and Women’s Hospital thoracic (chest) radiologist Francine Jacobson, MD, MPH, specializes in lung cancer prevention and screening and serves as a lung health resource for both her patients and their physicians. In this post, Dr. Jacobson offers some advice for quitting smoking.

 

For more advice on how to quit smoking and why you should, read the American Cancer Society’s downloadable Guide to Quitting Smoking.

– Chris P.

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Great American Smokeout – Benefits of Going “Cold Turkey”

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital November 21, 2013

Your health is immediately improved when you quit smoking and these improvements continue for many years.

Today’s post is from Brigham and Women’s Hospital thoracic (chest) radiologist Francine Jacobson, MD, MPH, who specializes in lung cancer prevention and screening. Dr. Jacobson serves as a lung health resource for both her patients and their physicians.

Today marks the 36th annual Great American Smokeout, held annually in the US on the third Thursday in November. Public support for the willpower and the example set by not smoking, even for just one day, is a powerful accomplishment with which to embark on the holiday season – opened by the counting of blessings and overeating on Thanksgiving and closed by resolutions for self-improvement in the New Year.

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Your Health: Ten Things that Really Matter (Part 1)

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital February 25, 2013

Health tip #1: Quit smoking.

To conclude American Heart Month, we’re featuring ten health tips that were presented by Brigham and Women’s Hospital women’s health experts, Dr. JoAnne Foody and Dr. Paula Johnson, at the Boston Go Red for Women Educational Forum. (Go Red for Women, sponsored by the American Heart Association, occurs each February to educate all women about the need to take care of their hearts.)

Men take note, these tips can benefit you, too – heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Check back with us as we publish new tips through the end of February.

1. DON’T SMOKE: IF YOU DO SMOKE, STOP.

Smoking promotes multiple medical problems, including chronic health issues like heart attack, stroke, osteoporosis, and cancer. The same is true for all tobacco-containing products, from cigars to chewing tobacco. Secondhand smoke should also be avoided.  Improvements in health, including lifespan and activity level, begin the day you quit. While quitting should be the goal, even simply decreasing the number of cigarettes you smoke can improve your life. Preventive efforts, like lowering cholesterol, may be especially effective in decreasing risk for smokers and former smokers.

TIP: If you’ve tried quitting, keep trying!  Research shows it takes an average of three to five tries to quit. If you’re struggling, ask your doctor for help.

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An Ancient Art Offers New Hope for Smokers

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital November 29, 2012

Cigarette smoking is a hard habit to break. Many have tried, and many have failed. But those who’ve succeeded will tell you that the end goal was worth the struggle.

If you’re still seeking a solution to your nicotine addiction, perhaps you should consider a painless procedure that was developed about 2,500 years ago – acupuncture.

Acupuncture helps to cure addiction by treating the body and mind. “It helps to calm the nervous system in much the same way that many medications do,” explains Brendan Carney, LAc, a licensed acupuncturist at the Brigham and Women’s Osher Clinical Center for Complementary and Integrative Medical Therapies. “Repeated treatments at strategic body points and discussions with the practitioner help the patient observe their habits lucidly and change their addiction pattern.”

It literally wouldn’t hurt to try. Most patients barely feel the insertion of the extremely fine needles involved in acupuncture, and, after the needles are in place, patients typically feel only a slight, if any, pressure sensation.

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The Great American Smokeout: Make It the Event of a Lifetime

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital November 6, 2012

The American Cancer Society’s (ACS) 37th Great American Smokeout will take place on November 15, 2012, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital is joining the ACS in encouraging smokers to use that date as a launching point for developing a plan to quit – or to plan ahead to go cold turkey on that very day.

The reasons for quitting are numerous, but the benefit to your lungs is the most significant.

Not only is lung cancer the leading cause of cancer death in both U.S. men and women, but it is also one of the most preventable kinds of cancer. At least four out of five cases of lung cancer are associated with cigarette smoking, making tobacco use the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S.

Despite these statistics, more than 45 million Americans continue to smoke cigarettes. However, it is estimated that more than half of these smokers also tried to quit for at least one day in the past year, demonstrating that just as the benefits of quitting are obvious, so are the difficulties of trying to kick the habit for good.

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