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Pancreatic cancer expected to become second leading cause of cancer related deaths

Pancreatic cancer will likely be the second most common cause of cancer deaths in the United States by 2030, overtaking breast and colon cancer deaths, according to a new report by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PCAN). Currently, the top three causes of cancer-related death in the United States are lung, colorectal and breast cancers followed by pancreatic, prostate and liver cancers. Lung is expected to remain the top cancer killer in 2013, but pancreatic cancer is expected to move into second place. The reason, the group explains, is partly due to changes in demographics, such as an increase in ... Read More

Testosterone replacement products may be overprescribed

Many older men use testosterone replacement products but do not meet the clinical guidelines for treatment, putting them at risk for potentially serious side effects, a new study shows. Testosterone is the male hormone that is credited for improving sex drive, sperm production and bone health. Levels of testosterone generally fall as men age. In some cases, low testosterone can cause men to lose interest in sex and gain weight. In some cases, testosterone therapy can treat these symptoms. Testosterone use among older men has skyrocketed in the past decade, thanks in large part to heavy marketing campaigns in the ... Read More

Study links insulin therapy to bladder cancer deaths in diabetics

Type 2 diabetics on insulin therapy are more likely to die from bladder cancer than those using other treatments, a new study suggests. Researchers with the Department of Internal Medicine at the National Taiwan University College of Medicine in Taipei, followed more than 86,000 patients with type 2 diabetes aged 25 or older from 1995 through 2006 for bladder cancer deaths. They concluded that patients who used insulin to keep their blood sugar levels in check were nearly twice as likely to die from bladder cancer compared to those who did not use insulin. Patients who used insulin and who ... Read More

Testosterone therapy linked to increased risk of heart attack, stroke, death

More and more men are using hormone treatments to up their low testosterone levels and enjoy more energy and a stronger libido as they enter midlife; however, the treatment may give them more than they bargained for. A new study of more than 8,700 older men has found that men who use a testosterone supplement were 30 percent more likely to have a stroke, heart attack or die. “Our findings raise some uncertainty regarding the potential safety of testosterone use in men,” authors of the study concluded. “It is important to inform patients that long-term risks are unknown and there ... Read More

Antibiotic use in farm animals linked to deaths from drug-resistant infections

Routine use of antibiotics in livestock is contributing to an increasing resistance to bacteria, which kills at least 23,000 people a year, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “We will soon be in a post-antibiotic era if we’re not careful,” warned CDC Director Tom Frieden, who urged that antibiotic use in livestock be scaled back and its use monitored. When penicillin was discovered in 1928, it was a medical miracle, curing patients of a variety of bacterial infections. However, bacteria rapidly evolve to resist antibiotics and with each use, the bacteria become ... Read More

Attorneys seek to freeze assets of owners of compounding pharmacy blamed for meningitis outbreak

The compounding pharmacy blamed for mixing and distributing contaminated steroid shots that have killed dozens of people and sickened hundreds more paid out more than $70 million to company insiders since 2006, attorneys for creditors of the pharmacy said. The disclosure was made at a U.S. Bankruptcy Court hearing during which the creditors’ attorneys argued that creditors should be allowed to seek to freeze the assets of the pharmacy’s owners. New England Compounding Center (NECC) paid its four owners or companies they owned $70.5 million during the past six years. The motion was granted and a hearing is currently underway ... Read More

Hepatitis C therapy linked to potentially deadly skin reactions

Serious skin reactions, some of which have been fatal, have been reported in patients taking the hepatitis C drug Incivek (telaprevir) in combination with the drugs peginteferon alpha and ribavirin (known together as Incivek combination treatment), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned. Some patients have died when they continued to receive the Incivek combination treatment after developing a worsening or progressive rash and other symptoms affecting the rest of the body. The FDA is ordering that the drug label for Incivek include a black box warning stating that Incivek combination treatment must be immediately stopped in patients who develop ... Read More

Singer Andy Williams dies from bladder cancer

Singer Andy Williams passed away last week after a brief battle with bladder cancer. He was 84. Williams’ career began at the young age of 8, when he debuted professionally with his brothers as the Williams Brothers Quartet. The group was a regular on local radio stations, which is where they were soon discovered by Bing Crosby, who helped them make their first professional recording, Swinging on a Star. After the quartet separated in 1951, Williams moved to New York and became a regular on the Tonight Show with Steve Allen. He landed his own show a decade later. The ... Read More

Ortho Evra birth control patch now warns of death, permanent disability from blood clots

Stronger warnings have been placed on packages of the Ortho Evra birth control patch, informing users that studies suggest women who use the patch are at greater risk of developing potentially life-threatening blood clots than women who use some oral contraceptives. Birth control pills with the combined hormones estrogen and progestin carry a risk for blood clots. Ortho Evra is a combined hormone contraceptive, containing the progestin norelgestromin and the estrogen ethinyl estradiol. The patch is a thin, matrix-type transdermal patch that is applied to the skin and gradually releases the active ingredients to stop ovulation in order to prevent ... Read More

Texas is epicenter of West Nile virus outbreak

Dallas County, Texas, is launching an attack on its mosquito population in an effort to stem what is shaping up to be one of the worst outbreaks of West Nile virus in our nation’s history. The disease has killed 26 people and sickened nearly 700 others across the country, but a quarter of the cases were reported in Texas, and nearly half of those are in Dallas County. The mayor and Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins have declared a state of emergency and voiced their support of sending up two twin-engine planes to spray pesticide over 49,000 acres in the ... Read More