Author

Jennifer Walker-Journey

4002 posts

Jennifer Walker-Journey is a professional writer whose 20-year career spans from newspapers and magazines to Ezines and business blogs. Her primary focus is corporate and business writing, though she relishes any opportunity to write features. In her limited free time, Jennifer strives to finish the novel she is writing. She lives in Birmingham with her husband, Rick, and their insatiably curious son, Truman.

Melanoma drug proves superior in clinical trials

melanoma

Merck & Co.’s cancer drug Keytruda (pembrolizumab) was superior in treating patients of advanced melanoma in phase III clinical trials compared to Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.’s Yervoy (ipilimumab). Keytruda is in a class of cancer drugs known as PD-1 inhibitors. It is currently approved for the treatment of unresectable or metastatic melanoma, and in patients whose disease has progressed after the use of the standard treatment, Yervoy. The positive results of the latest trial of Keytruda is good news for the large number of patients worldwide with skin cancer. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer because it can be ... Read More

FDA advises consumers to confirm MQSA certification of mammography centers

Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon

A recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Safety Communication is reminding all patients to confirm that the medical facility where they are receiving mammograms are MQSA-certified in order to better assure the quality of their assessment. This notice follows on the heels of an effort to advise patients who were treated by Richard D. Adelman, M.D., Family Medicine Practice in Raleigh, N.C., anytime after Aug. 24, 2012, that there were possible problems with the quality of the mammograms performed by the practice, and that follow-up testing by a certified facility may be necessary. The American College of Radiology (ACR) reviewed mammograms performed by the ... Read More

FDA warns that deaths may be associated with schizophrenia drug

fda-logo

The injectable schizophrenia drug Zyprexa Relprevv may be associated with two patient deaths; however, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it does not find the evidence compelling enough to make any changes to the current prescribing or use of the injection at this time. The recommendation comes after an FDA review of a study undertaken to determine the cause of elevated levels of the medication in two patients who died after receiving injections of the medication. The agency said it was unable to exclude the possibility that the deaths were caused by rapid, but delayed, entry of the drug into ... Read More

Olympus issues new cleaning instructions for duodenoscopes

duodenoscope

Olympus, makers of the specialized endoscopes called duodenoscopes targeted by lawsuits tied to the superbug outbreak at UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center, has issued new manual reprocessing instructions for medical facilities charged with cleaning and disinfecting the duodenoscopes in an effort to curb the number of patient-to-patient infections caused by the devices. The new, validated manual reprocessing instructions are specifically for the TJF-Q180V duodenoscope and are designed to replace those provided in the original labeling. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reviewed the new reprocessing instructions and validated data as part of its ongoing review of the device. Any facilities using ... Read More

Statin drugs can increase blood sugar, lower testosterone

lipitor

Statin drugs, such as the widely prescribed Lipitor, has been shown to effectively lower cholesterol levels and protect against cardiovascular events, but the drugs may also drive down the amount of testosterone in men’s blood, leaving them with symptoms such as low libido. Statins are among the most commonly prescribed drugs in the world, but statin side effects have been called into question. As mentioned earlier, studies show statins can reduce testosterone levels, which may lead some men to seek testosterone treatment. However, testosterone drugs can increase cardiovascular risk – the very problem statins aim to fix. Statins can also ... Read More

Children, adolescents should be screened before starting antipsychotics

risperdal

Children and adolescents beginning treatment with second-generation antipsychotics rarely undergo metabolic screening despite the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommending it as early as 2004, according to a new study. Second-generation antipsychotics, such as the widely prescribed Risperdal, can increase blood sugar levels and put users at risk for type 2 diabetes. This is a particular concern with children and adolescents because diabetes is a chronic condition that requires lifelong management. The ADA issued the guidelines along with the American Psychiatric Association, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, and the North American Association for the Study of Obesity. They recommended that ... Read More

Lawsuit claims arsenic in wines is dangerously high

wine - arsenic

A class action lawsuit filed in behalf of California consumers claims that California wineries are producing wine contaminated with dangerously high levels of arsenic and failing to warn consumers about the potential risks of arsenic exposure. The lawsuit targets 28 wineries including Franzia, Sutter Home, Wine Cube, Cupcake, Beringer and Vendage, and involve mostly inexpensive white or blush varieties such as moscato, pinot grigio, and sauvignon blanc. Plaintiffs attorneys say 1,306 different types of wine were tested by BeverageGrades of Denver, and 83 showed dangerously elevated levels of inorganic arsenic in wines. The results were confirmed by two other labs. ... Read More

New studies show risks, benefits of ED drug Viagra

viagra

The mechanism that allows the drug Viagra to improve erectile dysfunction may also provide other benefits as well as risks, a new study has found. Viagra, which contains the active ingredient sildenafil, was found in animal studies to relieve nerve damage caused by diabetes. The condition, known as diabetic peripheral neuropathy, is a common but life threatening health complication in diabetic patients, and in some cases leads to amputation. A new study published online in the Public Library of Science journal PLOS ONE supports earlier studies that show Viagra may ease nerve pain by improving blood supply to the sciatic nerve. ... Read More

UnitedHealth to require permission before covering power morcellation

morcellator

UnitedHealth insurance announced it soon will require doctors to get permission before performing hysterectomies with a controversial surgical procedure known as power morcellation. The news comes after a wave of reports that power morcellation for hysterectomies and myomectomies – the removal of uterine fibroids – can increase the risk of spreading undetected cancer and worsen a woman’s odds of survival. Power morcellators are surgical tools fitted with a blade that minces uterine fibroids or entire uteruses within the uterine cavity and removes the tissue through a small incision in the abdomen. The procedures have been favored by doctors over more traditional ... Read More

Angelina Jolie has surgery to prevent ovarian cancer

Angelina Jolie

Nearly two years after Angelina Jolie revealed she had undergone a double mastectomy to reduce her chances of developing breast cancer, the actress announced she underwent surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes to reduce her risk of ovarian cancer. “It is not easy to make these decisions,” Jolie wrote in an op-ed. The decision to have this surgery as well as the one in 2013 was preventative. Jolie has the BRCA1 gene mutation that puts her at an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Three women, including her mother, have died from cancer. Jolie opted to have ... Read More