Having Cancer, Having Sex

February 15th, 2013 No comments

Cancer is a frightening diagnosis for patients. Invaded by disease and poisoned by medications, they may allow their life to be defined by prognosis, dosage and illness. They put that life into the hands of healthcare professionals who will try to save the life and the quality of it.  An issue that needs to be addressed in the quality of life of cancer is a patient’s sexual health. How will their treatment affect their sexuality and sexual function? In particular, survivors of prostate and breast cancer need directed focus on their sexual health. Will prostate cancer inhibit a patient’s ability to have an erection? Will a survivor of breast cancer feel sexually attractive after her mastectomy? These, and many more questions, will be addressed in a talk by Drs. Michael Herman and Shari Goldfarb.

Dr. Michael Herman completed his BA at Harvard, his MD at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and his residency at Weill Cornell Medical College, where he went on to become an Instructor in the Department of Urology. During his residency, Dr. Herman won Physician of the Year, New York-Presbyterian Hospital (2008), First place for AUA/Gyrus Prize Essay Contest (2009), and the Distinguished Housestaff Award, New York-Presbyterian Hospital (2010). He is part of the Center for Prostate Cancer at Weill Cornell Medical College, where they focus on treating all aspects of prostate cancer, including diagnosis, active surveillance, surgery, and post-op recovery, including sexual rehabilitation. Dr. Herman continues to publish research and at this time has co-authored 16 peer-reviewed journal articles, three book chapters, and multiple abstracts. His current research interests include comparative effectiveness research within prostate cancer and his research is highly collaborative, working with multiple institutions on population-based research. In addition to his current research activities, Dr. Herman is pursuing a Master’s degree in Clinical Investigation.

Dr. Shari Goldfarb is a medical oncologist at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Her clinical work focuses on women with breast cancer. Her research focuses on characterizing and improving the negative effects of cancer therapy on sexual health and fertility in cancer survivors. She is currently developing methods to better identify and understand symptoms affecting cancer patients and their overall quality of life. Her research involves the assessment of biomarkers of ovarian reserve, development of novel therapeutic interventions, and development of instruments to better measure sexual health. She has presented her work at national and international conferences including the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology Breast Cancer Symposium. Her research is funded by a grant from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

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Adults can play with toys, too.

February 15th, 2013 No comments

Toys make everything better. Sex with your lover. Sex with your lover on the side. Sex with your husband or wife. Sex with yourself. But we’re in the business of healthcare, so we need to make sure those toys are safe, we need to know how to use them and we need to be comfortable speaking with our patients about them.

Patients are people. People have sex. Ergo, patients have sex. That’s really the whole point of Sex In  Medicine Week. As practitioners, we need to know about how our patients are having sex. Whether they’re having sex with men, women, both or themselves, it’s part of our responsibility to make sure that they are being pleasured safely. Learn about proper care and cleaning of toys and find out about what kinds of toys are used in heterosexual and homosexual couples and for masturbation. We’ll discuss what STDs patients are at risk for and whether toys affect that risk.

Our speakers hail from Babeland and Callen-Lorde Community Health Center. Attend this final event of SIMW and end your week with a bang.

Juancy Rodríguez is a Family Nurse Practitioner and graduate of Columbia University. Juancy has been working at Callen-Lorde Community Health Center since 2009 holding weekly Sexual Health Clinic sessions with adults, and seeing adolescents as primary care patients in the Health Outreach to Teens program. Prior to working at Callen-Lorde, Juancy was a health and sex educator with the Hetrick Martin Institute, an organization offering services to LGBT youth, since 2005.

Carolanne Marcantonio is a Sex Educator and events coordinator at Babeland. She has taught at numerous colleges such as Cornell, NYU and Columbia University. She has spent the past five years teaching about sexual health, sex and sexuality in a sex positive, non-biased framework. She earned her BA from The New School in Manhattan.

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I’d like to not have a baby.

February 12th, 2013 No comments

“I heard

an IUD will make me sterile…..

birth control pills will make me gain weight….

the Depo-shot is bad for my bones….”

Will you know how to address these concerns in your patients? How do you explain the differences between the different birth control options? Do you know what contraceptive options exist? Here’s you chance to get in the know, with our session on Contraceptive Myths.

Dr. Jennifer Amico is a Family Planning Fellow in the Department of Family and Social Medicine at Montefiore/Albert Einstein College of Medicine and will be receiving her MPH from Columbia. Previously, she was a family medicine resident at UMDNJ and completed a reproductive health track under the directorship of Dr. Justine Wu.

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Do I need to use the stirrups?

February 11th, 2013 No comments

A woman lies back on a hospital bed, her legs spread wide. She might have an epidural or she might scream through the pain. The doctor tells her to push. Her fetus-soon-to-be-baby is being monitored by beeping machines. The room is clean and sterile, or was before blood, urine, feces and amniotic fluid started spewing out of her. She’s and everyone around her are covered in gowns. Maybe to block them from the mess. Maybe to protect her sterile insides. Either way, it’s all very blue and white.

Does it have to be that way? At our session on Birthing Options, find out about a woman’s alternatives. Although giving birth in the hospital setting is tradition in the US, there are other options. Choices in Childbirth gives woman the power and information to determine the  details of their birthing experience. The organization’s co-founder will speak about options that exist and how we can empower our patients to control their maternity.

Elan McAllister, Executive Director, is the co-founder of Choices in Childbirth (CiC), a consumer advocacy organization whose mission is to improve maternity care by providing women and families with the information necessary to make fully informed decisions relating to how, where, and with whom they will give birth. She serves as editor of The Guide to a Healthy Birth, annual publications which inform the public about women’s rights and options in childbirth.  The guides provide information about current obstetrical trends as well as providing listings of Mother-friendly maternity care practitioners, services and resources. Elan is also Co-leader of the Grassroots Advocates Committee of The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services and is on the committee which has created The Birth Survey.  In addition, Elan is a DONA-Trained Labor Doula who has been attending home births as well as births in hospitals and birth centers since 2000. As a Broadway Producer, Elan’s credits include Cry-Baby, Coram Boy, Spamalot (Tony Award), Hairspray (Tony Award), Metamorphoses, The Crucible, and The Iceman Cometh. Her London producing credits include Spamalot, Rent and Michael Moore Live!

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Surviving Sexual Assault

February 9th, 2013 No comments

Assessment of a victim of sexual assault requires a specialized team familiar with the time limits for evidence collection, systematic examination of the patient and assessment of emotional needs. Doctors, nurses and counselors must work together to provide the patient with care that not only addresses her or his physical and psychological needs, but the needs of the legal system who will prosecute the perpetrator.

In our session on ‘Impact of Sexual Abuse’, we will explore the role of the Sexual Assault Response Team in the emergency department and the appropriate care of acute patients of sexual assault. Participants will have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the evidence collection kit used on these patients and the services available to victims after their assault.

Alice Blair, RN, MSN has been employed by Kings County Hospital since 1989. She began her career as a registered nurse in the Adult Emergency Department. Ms. Blair received her Masters of Science as a Family Nurse Practitioner at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. After completing her Master’s degree, she began working as a Nurse Practitioner in the Adult Emergency Department, until she took on her current role as a Senior Management Consultant- which involves coordinating the Brooklyn Sexual Assault Response Team for the Health and Hospital Corporation. Ms. Blair has worked as a Faculty member with Rutgers College of Nursing Center on the professional Development course Assessment and Evaluation of Adult Sexual Assault Survivors. In addition, she worked on the behalf of kings County Hospital and Co-Sponsored with the Urban Resource Institute to organize their Annual Domestic Violence Conference two years in a row. She has been invited to do annual training for the New York Prosecutors Training Institute in Albany New York (NYPTI). Ms. Blair also serves as an Expert witness for the Brooklyn District’s Attorney’s office.

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Religious Guide to Reproduction

February 7th, 2013 No comments

There are a number of organizations that are on the cutting edge of fertility technology because the Jewish community believes that it is a religious imperative to be fruitful and multiply. How does the perceived religious imperative for bearing children affect decision making regarding these new technologies? When IVF is done, and there are many more fertilized eggs than can possibly be implanted and brought to term, what is the status of those eggs that are not going to be implanted?

The implantation of several embryos resulting in multiple pregnancies is dangerous to women. Are you fruitful even if it might be detrimental to the mother’s health? Are you required, permitted, or forbidden from using technology that can harm the mother? These and other questions will be addressed by a panel experienced in handling these difficult questions that arise when religion and reproductive technologies collide.

Presenting, our panel:

Dr. Steven Brenner, SUNY Downstate Class of 1978, is a board certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist with sub-specialty board certification in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. He is a co-director of Long Island Fertility and Endocrinology IVF Associates, an active private infertility practice which is responsible for over 700 IVF cycles/year. Dr. Brenner is Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hofstra School of Medicine and served as Chief of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Long Island Jewish Medical Center from 1991 – 2008. Residency at Beth Israel Medical Center, New York ; Fellowship at NYU Medical Center.

Reverend Thomas F. Brosnan is a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn. Born Thomas Jones in 1953, Tom was adopted by John and Gertrude Brosnan through the Catholic Home Bureau of New York. In 1981, with dispensation from the impediment of illegitimacy, he was ordained a Roman Catholic priest. In 1985 Father Brosnan searched and found his birthparents and six half-siblings. Father Brosnan holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Brooklyn College, a Master of Divinity from Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington, NY and a Master of Fine Arts from New School University. Although not a moral theologian, Father Brosnan has spoken often on the ethical issues involved with infertility, reproductive technologies and adoption. Father Brosnan served fifteen years with the Korean Catholic community of Brooklyn and Queens and is currently pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Bayside, Queens.

Phyllis Lowinger, LCSW is a psychotherapist in private practice with 30 years’ experience. In addition to working with individuals and couples dealing with relationships, career, issues she has a specialty in infertility, adoption and third party reproduction. She has been a support group leader for RESOLVE Northeast region (30 years) & has led groups: women over 40, Individuals & Couples Moving from Infertility to Alternative Family Building Options & Male Factor Infertility. She did workshops at the 92nd St. Y, Adoption Resource Center at Provincetown, MA, RESOLVE, St. John’s Adoption Adolescent Conference, and American Adoption Congress. She has presented a paper at Harvard’s adoption conference on the “Impact of Infertility on Adoptive Parenting”. She is a featured therapist in the documentary “Adoption: We Can Do Better”. She is presently working on a paper “Lessons learned?: What the history of adoptions has to offer Third Party Reproduction”.

Bracha Rutner is the Yoetzet Halacha at the Riverdale Jewish Center and the Young Israel of North Riverdale. She has given numerous lectures on the interface of halacha and various women’s issues such as gynecology, infertility, women’s health, family dynamics and sexuality, and other halachic issues throughout the New York area and as scholar in residence in communities across North America. She is the Talmud and Jewish Law department head at Yeshiva University High School for Girls. She completed her Yoetzet Halacha training in Nishmat’s Keren Ariel Women’s Halachik Institute in Jerusalem. Ms. Rutner is a graduate of the Bruria Scholars Program in Midreshet Lindenbaum. She was also a fellow of the ATID Fellowship Program in Jerusalem and the Lookstein Educational Leadership Advancement Initiative. She has done graduate work in Talmud from the Hebrew University and has an MA in education administration from St. John’s University. She currently lives in West Hempstead with her husband and four children.

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