Author

Amanda Burbank

465 posts

Amanda J. Burbank is a poet, writer and editor. She's had a number of pieces published in a variety of places, from local papers and magazines to online blogs to literary magazines. She's worked on the other side of the profession as well, from beta reading for multiple aspiring novelists to assisting a literary agent to working as an editor herself. She's also worked as a teacher, homeschooling her three children for three years, learning with them as they were continually, joyously discovering. She graduated from Huntingdon College with a bachelor of arts majoring in English and Psychology. She and her husband and children live in Wetumpka, Alabama.

Australian campaigns against tax on medical wigs

Australian Stefanie Hodgson, 21, completely bald since sixth grade, has suffered from alopecia totalis since age 6. Metro UK shares some of her story and gives her a platform to speak out against her country’s tax on medical wigs. Alopecia totalis is an autoimmune disease which causes complete loss of hair on the scalp. It is an advanced form of alopecia areata, where hair is lost in round patches. The hair loss can be triggered by stress. Hair can grow back, but the hair loss is often recurring. In extreme cases people have complete hair loss on the scalp and ... Read More

Stem cell research good news for those with alopecia

Hair loss affects 50 million men and 30 million women in the United States according to CNBC. There are many causes of hair loss or alopecia. All of them impact individuals’ sense of self. Genetics, stress, immune disease, injury to the scalp, and toxic drugs can all cause hair loss. Some hair loss is temporary, other hair loss is permanent. Hair loss associated with cancer treatment is expected to be temporary, however, chemotherapy drug Taxotere has been linked to the side effect of permanent alopecia. The drug may damage or alter the hair follicle, and the stem cells necessary for ... Read More

Study links PPIs to risk of stroke and heart attack

A study published on Oct. 12, 2017, in Journal of Internal Medicine is linking common acid-reducing drugs to increased risk of strokes and heart attacks. Proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, such as Prevacid, Nexium and Prilosec, are available both by prescription and over-the-counter and are taken by millions of Americans to treat ulcers, heartburn and acid reflux. When the researchers presented their preliminary findings last year at an American Heart Association conference, Dr. Thomas Sehested, the study’s lead author and a researcher at the Danish Heart Foundation, commented according to KFOR that, “PPIs have been associated with unhealthy vascular function, ... Read More

Melanoma breakthroughs, origins and mechanism of tumor development

Cornell University researchers recently published in Cell Stem Cell findings about melanoma development and a potential way to prevent certain melanomas. “Melanoma is one of the deadliest cancers, yet the cells of origin and mechanisms of tumor initiation remain unclear. The majority of melanomas emerge from clear skin without a precursor lesion, but it is unknown whether these melanomas can arise from melanocyte stem cells (MCSCs),” said the study authors. Using mouse models, they established how after melanocyte stem cells surpass a threshold of genetic mutations caused by UV radiation, when stimulated again by UVB, they become melanoma cells of ... Read More

Equine study explores natural alternatives to PPI side effects

Popular acid-reducing drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which include brand names Prevacid, Nexium and Prilosec, are taken by millions of Americans. These drugs have been under fire for being over prescribed and for patients remaining on them much longer than medically necessary. They have also been linked to numerous side effects such as increased risk of chronic kidney disease and kidney failure, stomach infections, heart disease, pneumonia, bone fractures, and dementia, to name just a few. Many doctors and patients are looking for alternate treatments for ulcers, heartburn and acid-reflux symptoms. Interestingly, this isn’t only an issue for ... Read More

NBC features character with alopecia on award-winning drama

NBC’s Emmy-winning series This Is Us recently aired an episode introducing many viewers, perhaps for the first time, to the disease alopecia areata. Often those who suffer from hair loss, like that caused by this autoimmune disease, are tempted to hide what they are going through from others, confused and ashamed by their changed appearance. All forms of hair loss have emotional consequences, whether genetically caused pattern hair loss, or drug-induced hair loss–the short-term baldness during chemotherapy treatment as well as the devastating permanent hair loss that can come as a side effect of some cancer drugs, like Taxotere. Those ... Read More

Melanoma advocate starts line of sun-protective clothing for athletes

One young Florida entrepreneur is making a big difference not only by offering practical products for a group of underserved consumers who needed sun protection, but she’s also creating a network of melanoma advocates, raising awareness about the disease and its prevention. According to the Melanoma International Foundation more than 1 million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year, outnumbering the total number of other cancers combined. Melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, is steadily on the rise. In fact there has been a 2,000 percent increase in incidences since 1930. Early detection and prevention are ... Read More

J&J betrayed trust, talc contains asbestos, jury told

The first talc mesothelioma case against Johnson and Johnson and Imerys is being tried again in Pasadena, California. A retrial began nine days after a mistrial was declared when plaintiff Tina Herford mentioned talc’s alleged link to ovarian cancer in her testimony on day two. Since 2016 there have been six completed trials against Johnson and Johnson and Imerys centering on allegations that talc itself is carcinogenic and responsible for contributing the the development of women’s ovarian cancer. Five of the six juries in those cases found in favor of the plaintiffs with huge multi-million dollar verdicts that got international ... Read More

Call to deprescribe PPIs intensifies after drugs linked to persistent dermatological reaction

Proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, used to treat symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux have been linked to side effects such as kidney disease, stomach infections, heart disease, pneumonia, bone fractures, and dementia, and even higher risk of death when compared to other drugs used to treat similar issues. Available both over-the-counter and by prescription, these popular drugs are taken by millions of Americans. PPIs have a reputation for being over-prescribed and used long-term when it is not medically necessary. Health care reformers have long been making efforts to limit PPI overuse and as more and more researchers raise awareness about ... Read More

Australian doctors get new guidelines for melanoma diagnosis

ABC News warned its Australian audience that Cancer Council Australia has expanded its melanoma diagnosis guidelines for doctors. The well-known ABCD method, checking asymmetry, border, colour and diameter, potentially leaves room for melanomas to be missed. The new guidelines include an EFG assessment, asking doctors to pay attention to elevation, firmness and growth. “Change is the hallmark of cancer, and it’s the hallmark of melanoma,” said Joanne Aitken, the head of research at Cancer Council Queensland. “So things that are changing are things that people should be having checked.” One skin cancer doctor who was interviewed for the story recently ... Read More