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Lorilei Barsh

Dr. Amanda Nickles Fader is associate professor in the department of gynecology and obstetrics, where she also serves as director of the Kelly Gynecologic Oncology Service and director of the minimally invasive surgery program.

Internationally recognized as a leading expert in high-risk endometrial cancers, Dr. Fader has particular expertise with the surgical and medical management of endometrial, ovarian, cervical and vulvar cancers, as well as treatment of women who are at high risk for a gynecologic malignancy.

With a special interest in caring for patients throughout the entire spectrum of oncologic care: from preventive oncology minimizing key risk factors that can lead to gynecologic cancer survivorship initiatives addressing all aspects of recovery, including emotional well-being and clinical follow-up, her research centers on minimally invasive surgical innovations in gynecologic oncology, clinical trials and innovative targeted biologic therapies, high-risk endometrial cancer, and the role of obesity in carcinogenesis.

She received her medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia and completed a fellowship in gynecologic oncology at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Fader will be speaking at the 2013 A Woman's Journey conference here in Baltimore.

Q: Is cervical cancer preventable (hysterectomies, etc.)?
A: In the last decade, cancer has become the second leading cause of death in the U.S.  The good news is that most cancers diagnosed in women are preventable, including cervical cancer.  

There are several things a woman can do to prevent or decrease her risk of cervical cancer. Since infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most significant risk factor for cervical cancer and cervical dysplasia (pre-cancer), it is important to avoid genital HPV infection. This can include delaying sex, limiting the number of sex partners, and avoiding a sexual partner who has had many other partners. Condoms are important to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, but they do not provide complete protection against HPV since there may be contact of exposed areas which can transmit the virus. Smoking also increases the risk of cervical cancer by up to five-fold in the setting of an HPV infection, as it decreases the function the immune system.

It is also extremely important that women undergo regular Pap smear screening.  The Pap smear is a test used to screen for cervical cancer, and can help detect the presence of HPV infection or pre-cancerous cells before they become cancerous. There are usually no symptoms or noticeable signs of early cervical cancer but it can be detected early with regular check-ups.  It is the single most effective and successful cancer screening test in history, and many other screening tests used in medicine are modeled after it.  Prior to the introduction of the Pap smear test in the 1940s, cervical cancer was one of the leading causes of cancer death for women in the United States. But after cervical cancer screening was initiated with the Pap, cervical cancer incidence was reduced by 75 percent and deaths from cervical cancer by 90 percent.

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In honor of national book month, we’d like to know, what type of reading is your favorite? Maybe you get lost in the words of Steven King or perhaps you prefer reading tales from Nicholas Sparks. You might like to dream about worlds created by Orson Scott Card or envision the romances created by Nora Roberts. Or maybe you like to read nonfiction books in categories such as business, health, or self-help. Take the poll below to share your preferred type of reading, and add a comment below sharing a favorite book or author.

What is your favorite type of book to read?

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Do you have a pet who also happens to be one of your best friends? Perhaps you have a great pet story that you wish to share? You may have noticed the dog jumping through the "D" of the September issue of Dome, and wanted to share your story. Comment below with a photo or tale of your furry, feathered or scaled best friend.

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Do you remember the time when you left home or your college dormitory and moved into your own space, such as your very first house, condo or apartment? What was it like? Maybe you made do with lawn chairs instead of couches, had 70s shag carpet or perhaps you had the perfectly decorated pad. Share your stories (including any roommate stories), and pictures if you have them in the comment section below.

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Leaves changing. Pumpkin everything. Football. Fall is here. We’d like to know, what is your favorite season? Cast your vote in this week’s season poll. Also, post a comment on what makes this season your favorite.

What’s your favorite season?

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Do you have a favorite restaurant? Maybe it's your favorite lunch spot, or a good place to take a date. Share your favorite place to dine on this week’s Hopkins Happenings “Question of the Day.”

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H. Ballentine Carter, M.D.

Prostate cancer is the second-most-common cancer among men, behind skin cancer, with African-American men having the highest prostate cancer incidence in the world. Understanding and treating prostate cancer is a constantly evolving science. Recent information may leave men confused. Here, Johns Hopkins prostate cancer expert H. Ballentine Carter, M.D., tackles questions that are on many minds.

Q: How can I tell that I, or someone that I know, has prostate cancer?

A: Early prostate cancer may be present without any symptoms. It can often be detected with screening tests.

Q: Should I get my PSA levels checked?

A: PSA testing has become a polarizing topic, with experts insisting the risks outweigh the potential benefits. If you’re between the ages of 55 and 69, are African-American or if you have a family history, speak to your doctor about prostate cancer screening. Only you and your doctor can determine the appropriate course of action based on your health and background.

Q: What is the survival rate for someone living with prostate cancer?

A: In the past 25 years, the five-year survival rate for all stages combined has increased from 68 to nearly 100 percent, thanks to better detection and treatment.

Q: Can a baldness drug prevent or reduce the incidence of prostate cancer?

A: Finasteride, a baldness drug, has generated buzz after two studies suggested the drug was capable of reducing the incidence of minor prostate cancers. Dr. Carter, after reviewing the methodology, believes the results are overpromising and that finasteride does not appear to be an effective method of prostate cancer prevention.

Q: Where can I find more information?

A: Visit hopkinsmedicine.org/news/stories/september_prostate_cancer_awareness_month.html for more information. Also, you can join Johns Hopkins radiation oncologists Ted DeWeese, M.D., and Danny Song, M.D., on Wednesday, Sept. 18, from 7 to 8 p.m. for an online webinar as they discuss  advanced options for increasing the effectiveness of the treatment while reducing side effects. Sign up today for the health seminar.

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Did you know that September is National Yoga Month? We want to know: Are you practicing yoga, or is there some other type of fitness routine that you prefer?

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