Hepatitis C Patient Education Series: What Should I Tell My Family?

A hepatitis C diagnosis often comes as a surprise to patients, considering that up to three out of four people with this virus don’t know they have it. It’s not that patients are ignoring their disease status, rather the issue is that 70-80% of people with hepatitis C do not have any symptoms until the…

Dupixent Offers Skin Relief

A new specialty pharmacy medication for atopic dermatitis gained approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week. This injection medication, called Dupixent® (dupilumab), was developed in concert by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi. It’s the first and only biologic medicine for treating the more difficult cases of atopic dermatitis, which is more commonly known…

Cancer Dangers from Excess Weight

Carrying around extra pounds presents clear health risks. In addition to the well-known connections between obesity and hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes, excessive weight also increases the risk of at least 11 types of cancer. Cancer is currently a leading cause of death worldwide, yet worryingly the amount of people who are obese has more…

Blocking Hair Loss in Chemotherapy

Breast cancer remains the most common cancer in women worldwide, which means that many women will undergo treatment for this disease in their life. The commonly used chemotherapy for treating breast cancer is well-known for the side effect of hair loss. Research shows that cooling the scalp can help reduce the hair loss induced by…

Promising Outcome in Lung Cancer

For those with certain types of lung cancer, the oral medication Tagrisso® (osimertinib) shows promise. Tagrisso is a third-generation epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor drug developed by AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. This medication has been approved for non–small-cell lung cancer, specifically for cancers that have an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation called T790M. Lung…

The 2017 Hepatitis C Treatment Landscape

Last year, 2016, brought a whirlwind of changes and progress to the hepatitis C field, particularly when it comes to direct-acting antiviral medications. This included various drug approvals and access improvements for hepatitis C medications, including Daklinza, Epclusa, Sovaldi/velpatasvir, Viekira, and Zepatier. As we make our way deeper into 2017, this breakneck speed of new…

Understanding the Hepatitis C Testing Process

Many of your patients will likely need to be screened for hepatitis C, which means that they will have many questions during the testing process. This blog geared to patient education can help your patients understand each step of what can be a stressful time in their lives. Q: Do I really need to be…

Potential New Medication for Lymphoma

The medication Imbruvica® (ibrutinib) from AbbVie first gained FDA approval in 2013 for treating mantle cell lymphoma, then in 2014 the approval was expanded to include chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The next year, 2015, Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia was added to the FDA approvals for this medication. Now, in 2017, Imbruvica has been granted an accelerated approval as…

Get Moving for GI Cancers

Finding an activity that one can do regularly – whether that’s walking, playing basketball, cycling, or anything else that raises heart rates and moves big muscle groups – brings health benefits in a variety of ways. Lowering the risk of cancer is one such benefit, particularly when it comes to breast and colon cancers (as…

HCV: Relapse or Reinfection?

Today’s hepatitis C medications offer extremely high cure rates. In fact, the few cases of a previously treated patient later testing positive for hepatitis C has some patients wondering “did I relapse or could I have been reinfected?” There are six different genotypes of the hepatitis C virus (as well as sub-genotypes). A first step…

Facing Down Crohn’s and Related Diseases

Inflammatory bowel disease – which includes both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis – affects 1.6 million Americans, a number that continues to rise. Each year, the U.S. sees 70,000 new cases diagnosed. Although a cure remains elusive, these chronic and life-long diseases can be treated with a variety of treatment options. Researchers continue to refine…

Psoriasis and Skin Cancer

The autoimmune skin disease called psoriasis tends to be associated with other health concerns, including diabetes, heart disease, and depression. Unfortunately, yet another disease is being added to this list: melanoma. Early research investigating the potential link between psoriasis and skin cancer were unclear as to whether the psoriasis or the treatment for psoriasis affected…

Advances in Advanced Liver Disease

As 2016 comes to a close and we ring in 2017, it’s clear that liver health continues to be better understood than ever before. Consider the following two developments that were reported at the end of last year: first, a new way to assess liver disease progression and second, new drug combinations that work for…

Moving Forward with Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma, a form of cancer affecting the bone marrow, is diagnosed in approximately 30,000 Americans each year. In this disease, malignant plasma cells (which are a type of white blood cell) start growing out of control and can create multiple tumors in the bones. The cancerous plasma cells can also crowd out other cells…

Yo-Yo Weight Changes

The initial infection with hepatitis C, the time of acute infection when some people experience flu-like symptoms, can result in weight loss due to poor appetite. For the most part, however, those infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) experience no symptoms. This lack of symptoms is why hepatitis C is known as the silent…

Let’s Screen Everyone

Too many people infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) simply don’t know their disease status. As many as one in four cases of HCV infection are undiagnosed, as I pointed out in a blog earlier this year (Finding the Missing Cases), even when current federal guidelines for hepatitis C screening are closely followed. This…

Coffee: Pour Another Cup, Guilt-Free

Coffee is not only a welcome way that 54% of Americans start their day, it also offers liver benefits to coffee fans. I have shared good news about coffee and liver health in several past blogs, including last year’s The Buzz of Caffeine in which coffee’s ability to protect against liver cancer was discussed. Now…

PSA: The Prostate Cancer Screening Test

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men, following skin cancer. One in every seven men will be diagnosed with this form of cancer in his lifetime; with the average age of diagnosis being age 66. In terms of fatalities, only lung cancer comes with a higher mortality rate. Prostate cancer is…