Texting For Meds

Could better medication adherence be just a “text away”? According to a new analysis taking a closer look at several previous studies about adherence, when patients receive text reminders about their medication, adherence rates go up. Way up. Looking at medication adherence data from approximately 2,700 patients with chronic diseases, it was found that an…

Benefits of Tight Control

Psoriasis, a type of autoimmune disease, afflicts more than 7.5 million Americans, causing itchy or sore patches of thick, reddened skin covered with silvery scales. While this disease is most likely to develop in people 15-25 years old, after about a decade of having psoriasis, some people also develop psoriatic arthritis. Currently there are about…

The Next Wave of Hepatitis C

Despite a few years of good news with hepatitis C – with several new medications bringing cure rates up to 99% – there is also some bad news that must be acknowledged. Hepatitis C infection rates are actually rising in certain populations. The most at-risk population experiencing this hepatitis C spread is that of young,…

Understanding Immuno-Oncology

The field of immuno-oncology combines an understanding of how the body’s own defenses (e.g., the immune system) can be harnessed in the fight against cancer. Cancer cells, although different than the body’s healthy cells, find ways to disguise themselves so that the immune system doesn’t recognize them as non-self and target them for destruction. Immuno-oncology…

Coping With ‘Financial Toxicity’

Multiple myeloma, a type of cancer affecting the bone marrow, will be diagnosed in an estimated 27,000 Americans this year. Advances in research are expanding treatment options and improving outcomes in multiple myeloma patients, but these new medications often come with a higher price point. The expensive treatments for this disease have triggered alarming developments:…

New Promising Tool for Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis, being slightly less common than rheumatoid arthritis, garners less research than rheumatoid arthritis. However, more than 2 million Americans struggle with the devastating effects of this disease, which causes chronic, painful inflammation of the joints and connective tissue. It’s common for psoriatic arthritis to develop about a decade after psoriasis. Cosentyx® (secukinumab) is…

MS Changes With the Seasons

Multiple sclerosis (MS), for most people, has an unpredictable way it changes over time. While MS is generally progressive, meaning it gets worse with time, there are periods of remission and periods of relapse. Naturally, things that make a relapse more likely are worth avoiding and anything that keeps disease progression at bay is worth…

Timely Treatment

When one analyzes the medical records of 1.6 American adults, it turns out there’s a lot to be learned there. Researchers with the Chronic Hepatitis Cohort Study (CHeCS) did just that starting back in 2006 and tracked the ongoing health of those with hepatitis for the next numerous years. As the CHeCS researchers uncovered connections…

World Hepatitis Day

One of the key messages of today July 28th, World Hepatitis Day, is simply this: hepatitis C is a preventable and treatable disease. The World Health Organization created World Hepatitis Day to raise awareness about the massive number of people already infected with one of several hepatitis viruses, including the hepatitis C, and how anyone…

Lung Cancer: Immunotherapy Treatment Option

Thanks to anti-smoking campaigns and plummeting smoking rates over the past 20 years, the number of people diagnosed with lung cancer has declined significantly in that same time period. Even so, lung cancer stubbornly remains the second most common cancer in both men and women and accounts for nearly one in every eight new cancers,…

Compliance in the Long Haul

Treating cancer is not always about a cure, sometimes it is more realistic to aim for controlling it long term as a chronic condition, which is a topic I explored earlier this year in Cancer Cure Vs. Control. It can be appropriate in some cases to control cancer with the goal of keeping it from…

What If A Pill Doesn’t Make It Easier?

At first glance, it would seem like a slam-dunk idea: improve patient medication adherence by switching from an injectable medication to an oral one. An easy-to-swallow pill must be better than an uncomfortable needle stick, one would assume. Yet this is not necessarily the case. For example, with multiple sclerosis, many patients actually stick to…

The Buzz of Caffeine

Coffee brings a variety of health benefits. For the sake of your liver, it’s not just coffee but any form of caffeine that provides a “perk,” so to speak. Readers might recall several of my past blogs touching on the benefits of coffee for those with hepatitis C. Past research shows that coffee slows disease…

Going Against the Grain

Walk the aisles of nearly any major grocery store and sooner or later you’ll cross paths with a “gluten-free” section. Some nutrition experts now suggest that gluten is not only harmful to those with celiac disease, but could also cause trouble for people fighting hepatitis C. Gluten is a protein found in wheat (and similar…

Cancer Gone…But Challenges Can Remain

Even years after cancer enters remission or is cured, the story is not necessarily over. There is evidence from multiple sources showing that side effects and related issues can linger, causing ongoing problems for cancer survivors. Bringing this little-known problem into the light of day can help cancer survivors deal with the issues head-on for…

Multiple Sclerosis: Multiple Nutrients Eyed

Multiple sclerosis is a disease involving chronic inflammation. Could it be that anti-inflammatory nutrients – or a lack thereof – play a role in who develops this disease? Surely, the cure to this disease is not as simplistic as consuming abundant amounts of certain vitamins and minerals, but there are interesting developments in some small…

Making Assumptions

Many physicians would likely be surprised to learn that their patients are not as faithful at taking important medications as they think. Medication adherence continues to be a drain on optimal treatment outcomes for serious diseases. HealthPrize Technologies, an industry-leading medication adherence and digital patient engagement company, recently surveyed physicians about adherence. The physicians surveyed…

Stick With It

A cure for multiple sclerosis (MS) remains elusive, although there are numerous disease modifying treatments available which aim to calm inflammation and lengthen the time between relapses. Not surprisingly, patients with the most faithful use of their prescriptions have the fewest relapses, says a new study of MS adherence published in the journal Multiple Sclerosis…