Posts Tagged ‘Breast Cancer’
Those of you who have had to deal with menopause or peri-menopause probably have had the experience known as hot flashes , or "your own personal sauna" as some women refer to it. What can you do about hot flashes other than suffer through them?
First, let’s talk about what causes hot flashes. We actually don’t know what causes them for sure, some people feel that it is due to low levels of estrogen. But since they tend to happen more during peri-menopause which is a time of extreme hormonal fluctuation, we could also assume that they are somehow caused by the hormonal ups and downs, specifically estrogen.
So one of the first choices for treating hot flashes are just some simple lifestyle changes you can adapt to help you get through the period of symptoms. Try to identify your triggers that may be connected to your hot flashes, like drinking a hot beverage or being in situations that stress you out. Some women find that staying away from coffee or other beverages that contain caffeine can help lessen the occurrence of hot flashes. Avoiding alcohol and spicy foods can
Our hormones maintain the chemical balance in the body. The menstrual cycle in girls triggers the production of some necessary hormones like estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. When the ovaries stop functioning, whether because of age (menopause) or due to surgical removal, there’s a cessation in the assembly of those vital hormones. Accompanying physiological changes include osteoporosis, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, insomnia, irregular periods, loss of libido, and probably cancer. In ladies who have had their ovaries removed surgically, these changes are drastic and they expertise a sudden drop in sex hormone levels. This will cause severe health issues, especially in younger women. The aging process is not straightforward on men either. They start to lose energy, vigor, and stamina.
This can be where Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) comes in. Through this treatment, the body is equipped enough hormones to create up for the lack of natural hormones. But, synthetic hormones are animal-derived hormone products. They come in a very ‘one-size-for-all’ dose.
Synthetic Hormone Replacement Therapy is associated with a number of potential facet effects and risks, which embody:
-Increased risk of endometrial cancer
-Increased risk of breast cancer
-Increased risk of ovarian cancer
-Increased risk of Gallbladder disease
-Nausea and fluid retention
What is NHRT?
Due to the higher than-mentioned risks, artificial HRT is now being replaced by Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy (NHRT) or ‘bio-identical therapy.’ The term ‘bio-identical’ suggests that the hormone used is structurally and chemically similar to the hormone produced by the human body. That’s why it’s referred to as ‘natural,’ as opposed to the artificial hormone, which includes a structure similar however not clone of the hormone produced by the body. Bio-identical hormones are made from molecules of yam or soy, and endure a series of chemical processes to form them similar to human hormones. Therefore the facet effects and risks are greatly reduced whereas using NHRT.
In women, replacing the lost hormones will shield their cardiovascular health, prevent mental decline, and relieve menopausal symptoms. It helps to forestall loss of bone mass and incidence of colon cancer, and might even delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Men expertise an increase in mood, vigor, sexual perform and muscle mass. Hormone replacement is powerful and should be monitored by an experienced practitioner.
Some of these natural hormones are out there in brand named products. However, it is easier to acquire these hormones from compounding pharmacies. Pharmacies will supply the bio-identical hormones alone or combine them into a single dose. They’ll also offer these in the required kind whether or not it’s a pill, cream, or oil cap. In this method, you’ll individualize these hormones to suit your unique needs. Many times a physician who isn’t inclined to prescribing NHRTs could not be open to suggesting them to you. In that case, these pharmacists conjointly have doctor referral information.
Nothing will replace what our bodies have been making naturally for many years. However NHRT comes as close to the real factor as possible. It is not a miracle cure. And often you’ve got to travel through some quantity of trial and error like dosage adjustments before you regain the hormonal balance. More often than not, it will take between three-half dozen months to determine the results of therapy. Since the facet effects are nearly negligible and the advantages are huge, NHRTs are becoming a popular alternative among men and girls today.
Is Prempro, the hormone drug known to increase the risk of breast cancer, a public hazard?
If a judge in Pinellas County determines that it is, hundreds of thousands of documents now under seal in lawsuits against the drug’s manufacturer nationwide could be released for the public to inspect.
A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Monday, though attorneys were negotiating a possible resolution late Thursday.
More than 9,000 women have sued Pfizer’s Wyeth unit, the maker of Prempro and Premarin, claiming its bestselling hormone drugs caused breast cancer and stroke. The vast majority of those lawsuits have been consolidated in federal courts in Arkansas, Pennsylvania and Nevada.
Pfizer yesterday questioned the verdicts.
"The company believes that neither the awards of punitive damages nor the liability verdicts were supported by the evidence or the law," spokesman Chris Loder said. The company plans to challenge both decisions.
"The company stands by its belief that its subsidiaries acted responsibly," Loder said.
Plaintiffs’ lawyers say the verdicts are further proof that their cases are strong.
The verdicts show that "when jurors hear how Wyeth put huge profits over the safety of patients, they will react with a strong message of outrage," Esther Berezofsky, one of Barton’s lawyers, said in a statement.
Tom Kline, cocounsel for plaintiffs in about 40 other Prempro cases, said the punitive awards "showed that juries clearly believed that Wyeth hid the risks of breast cancer from doctors and patients, making the defense of these claims harder down the road."
There have been larger verdicts in pharmaceutical cases involving individual plaintiffs – a Texas jury awarded one plaintiff $253 million, later reduced to $26 million by an appeals court, in litigation against Merck & Co. Inc. over the arthritis drug Vioxx. But yesterday’s jury award in Philadelphia nonetheless was significant, another Center City plaintiffs’ lawyer said.
Pfizer Inc. has been hit with more than $100 million in two punitive-damage awards – one decided and the other unsealed yesterday – from Philadelphia juries.
Both cases involve Prempro, a hormone-replacement drug made by Wyeth, which recently was acquired by Pfizer. Plaintiffs said the drug was linked to their breast cancer.
The total includes $28 million awarded yesterday to Donna Kendall of Decatur, Ill.
In the second case, Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Sandra Moss yesterday unsealed a verdict reached earlier this year that awarded $75 million in punitive damages to another Illinois resident, Connie Barton, over her Prempro-linked breast cancer.
"Those are large punitive verdicts, make no mistake about it," said Howard M. Erichson, a Fordham University law professor who has studied pharmaceutical litigation.
About 1,500 of 10,000 similar cases are pending in Philadelphia, a common jurisdiction for large liability cases, attorneys say.
The juries are sending a message that they are angry about the corporate conduct in the cases, Erichson said. The $75 million likely will be reduced because it far exceeds the $3.5 million Barton received in compensatory damages, he added.
"This is a pretty good-sized punitive-damage award," said Sol Weiss, whose firm, Anapol Schwartz, tries pharmaceutical lawsuits in jurisdictions around the country. "The jury believed that the [drugmakers] were not straight with what they knew about the cancer risks."
New York-based Pfizer and lawyers for the plaintiffs even disagreed over how to count wins and losses in hormone-replacement therapy cases to date.
While plaintiffs’ lawyers point to recent verdicts in their favor, Pfizer argues that judges have set aside some decisions and plaintiffs have dropped some cases, turning the legal tide in the company’s favor.
More than six million women have taken hormone-replacement medicines to treat menopause symptoms including hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings. Until 1995, many patients combined Premarin, Wyeth’s estrogen-based drug, with progestin-laden Provera, made by Pharmacia & Upjohn, a company also acquired by Pfizer.
Wyeth, which had not reserved funds to cover losses in the litigation, combined the two hormones in Prempro. The drugs are still on the market. Pfizer, the world’s biggest drugmaker, completed the $68 billion purchase of Wyeth on Oct. 15. Pfizer reported net income of $8.1 billion last year on sales of $48.3 billion.
Pfizer shares closed yesterday up 17 cents, or a bit less than 1 percent, at $18.53.
Annual sales of Wyeth’s hormone-replacement drugs topped $2 billion before the 2002 Women’s Health Initiative study, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, suggested that women using the medicines had a higher breast-cancer risk.
Wyeth faced its first punitive award over Prempro in January 2007, when a Philadelphia jury granted damages to Mary Daniel, an Arkansas woman who said the drug had caused her breast cancer. A judge threw out the award seven months later. The case is on appeal, and the amount of punitive damages remains under seal.
In October 2007, jurors in state court in Reno, Nev., awarded a total of $99 million in punitive damages to three women who blamed the drug for their breast cancers. That figure later was reduced to $35 million and is being appealed.
A federal jury in Arkansas awarded Donna Scroggin $27 million in bad-conduct damages against Wyeth and Upjohn over her Prempro claims. An appeals court threw out the award this year and ordered a new trial on the punitive-damage issue.
Menopause – it’s an unavoidable part of aging as a woman, and brings with it a host of uncomfortable symptoms that negatively impact quality of life. Hot flashes, poor sleep, mood swings, weight gain, night sweats and lethargy are just some of the life-altering symptoms of menopause and perimenopause. What’s worse, menopause signs and symptoms can show up a full ten years before actual menopause occurs (perimenopause), and can last for another five years during menopause before a woman finds relief from the prison of hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings. Unfortunately, even after menopause symptoms subside many women find themselves still feeling lethargic and prone to weight gain.
Though much attention has been given to hormone replacement therapy as a solution to menopause symptoms, a number of studies have shown that adding hormones to the body can cause other health problems and risks. For women who want to find fast, natural relief for their menopause symptoms, the Anti-Aging Institute of California has an answer: Don’t Pause. Don’t Pause is a completely natural menopause treatment that helps women get rid of their worst menopause and perimenopause symptoms including night sweats, hot flashes and mood swings. In addition to natural ingredients that eliminate the worst menopause symptoms, Don’t Pause contains other natural supplements that increase energy, vitality and promote weight loss to combat other common issues that women experience as they age.
The secret to combating menopause signs is the high concentration of pomegranate extract in the Don’t Pause supplement. Pomegranate extract has been clinically proven to reduce the occurrence and severity of menopause and perimenopause symptoms. Pomegranate extract has also been shown to inhibit the development of a type of naturally occurring estrogen that increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer. Other key ingredients in the Don’t Pause natural menopause treatment include black cohosh, which safely and effectively reduces hot flashes and night sweats, and green tea extract, which is full of important cancer-fighting and metabolism-boosting catechins as well as the super antioxidant EGCG. Selenium, Phytoestrogens and Chromium Picolinate round out the list of active natural ingredients in Don’t Pause, all of which fight menopause symptoms, reduce cancer risk, and fight other age-related illnesses such as osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease decrease muscle mass and elevated glucose levels. Don’t Pause is an investment in health that gives a woman back her life and vitality.
Concerns have been raised over Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) safety when used long-term. This and other factors have some women experiencing symptoms moving to alternative therapies in the fight against symptoms of menopause. These women prefer to fight “naturally,” rather than suffer through it.
While there has been limited research on Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) related to menopause treatment, and results have been inconclusive for a number of reasons, some women swear by one or more of these (taken from a MayoClinic.com page on Menopause and Alternative medicine, and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine’s web page on Menopausal Symptoms and CAM):
Just what is FDA, Well if you work for a drug company chances are you will work there at some time in your life as well. FDA is the Food And Drug Administration. They regulate the Food and the Drugs that are allowed to be marketed into the United States. So, they are the ones that say if you can or cannot sale a product to the consumers. The objective is to keep drugs safe.. But they actually are very good at keeping the market free of competition. Not enough room here for that discussion so. Here is the post.
Miserable in menopause, Elizabeth Alsgaard pondered an awful choice: Drenching hot flashes or hormone therapies that might raise the risk of cancer. What former actress Suzanne Somers raved about held much more appeal — custom-mixed "bioidentical" hormones, just like ones the body makes.
"Anything I can put into my body that’s natural has to be better," said Alsgaard, a California audiologist who admitted having "no knowledge base to go on other than fear" when she took Somers’ advice.
Women who take the hormone replacement therapy (HRT) drug Prempro not only increase their risk of breast cancer, but their risk of death from lung cancer as well, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Medical Center at the University of California-Los Angeles and presented at a meeting of the American Society of Oncology.
“This is a new finding that tells us women who smoke shouldn’t take estrogen and progestin for menopause symptoms,” said study author Rowan Chlebowski.
Prempro, manufactured by Wyeth, was a best-selling treatment for the symptoms of menopause until 2002, when the Women’s Health Initiative study revealed that HRT significantly increased women’s risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease. Sales of the product plunged, although it still generated $1.1 billion for the company in 2008.
Menopause can lead to unpleasant symptoms such as hot flashes, fatigue, dizziness, headaches, muscle weakness, nausea and rapid heart beat.
The current study was based on an analysis of 16,608 participants in the original Women’s Health Initiative study. The researchers found that current and former smokers who took Prempro were significantly more likely to die from lung cancer than women who received a placebo pill instead. This pattern held for non-smokers as well, although there were significantly fewer deaths than among smokers.
Nearly 80 percent of lung cancer cases in women are caused by tobacco use.
There were also more cases of lung cancer diagnosed in women taking HRT than those taking a placebo, but this difference did not achieve statistical significance.
The type of cancer in the study is known as non-small cell lung cancer, and accounts for 85 to 90 percent of all lung tumors. Both worldwide and in the United States, lung cancer kills more people than any other form of cancer. Roughly 200,000 new cases are diagnosed and approximately 160,000 people die from the disease in the United States each year.
Sources for this story include: www.bloomberg.com.