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…

HCV Research Round-up

Hepatitis C treatment options continue to be a vibrant field full of exciting research, including the following: Genotype 3 of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) has remained harder-to-treat among the six main genotypes. New research presented at the 2016 AASLD conference now offers promising news for treating genotype 3. According to results from the C-ISLE…

A Hidden Disability

Cognitive changes are a common and disheartening experience for those with multiple sclerosis (MS). Approximately half of MS sufferers report difficulty learning and remembering information, problem solving, focusing, and other high-level cognitive functions. These problems develop because the loss of myelin around nerve fibers interferes with the conveyance of memories to and from storage areas….

Priced Out of the Post-Cancer Care Market

After successful breast cancer treatment, many women are prescribed hormone therapy to reduce the risk of a cancer recurrence. This long-term medication cost can be an adherence barrier for some women and this “cost problem” appears to affect more women than previously thought. New research – based on 8,700 women with a history of breast…

Standing Up to Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer has proven to be a formidable foe. This form of cancer remains difficult to detect, particularly in the early stages, which means that women are generally diagnosed at later (and harder to treat) stages. In fact, more than four out of five women are not diagnosed until this cancer has advanced. For this…

Diving Deeper with Oral MS Medications

Over the past few years, new oral medications for multiple sclerosis have gained Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, giving patients treatment options beyond injectable forms of medication. With multiple sclerosis (MS) medications, one of the primary goals is to extend the time between relapses, which is why these medications are known as disease-modifying therapies….

Fungus in the Gut

Crohn’s disease – a type of inflammatory bowel disease – affects three-quarters of a million Americans. The causes underlying Crohn’s have been murky, but new research is adding some clarity to this disease. An international research team led by the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine recently announced that fungus in the GI tract…