12 June 2018
TUESDAY, June 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Acne isn’t reserved for teens, and breakouts can persist into adulthood. But there’s another common skin condition — rosacea — that causes a different type of blemish, strikes in the adult years, and won’t respond to typical acne products. The first telltale sign of rosacea is the tendency to blush or flush easily. You might notice redness across your nose and cheeks. The discoloration may extend to your forehead, chin and ears, as well as chest and back. Other signs are acne-like breakouts, thick and bumpy skin and, for some, red, irritated eyes. Here are some rosacea warning signs: Passing or permanent redness on the cheeks, nose and beyond. Small visible blood vessels on the surface of the face. Bumps or pimples on the face. Watery or irritated eyes and swollen eyelids. Although the exact cause is unknown, rosacea tends to run in families and can be set off by triggers ranging from the sun and stress to wine and spicy foods. Many of the 16 million Americans living with rosacea are between 30 and 50 years old and have fair skin, blonde hair and blue eyes. Unlike teen acne, which often clears up eventually, untreated rosacea can continue to worsen indefinitely. It also leads to varying degrees of distress and lifestyle restrictions from skipping certain foods to skipping social engagements out of embarrassment. But there’s help available, so don’t ignore warning signs or put off seeing a dermatologist and getting treatment. Options include topical treatments, antibiotics and laser therapy to zap visible blood vessels. Also, work with your doctor to pinpoint your unique triggers so you can avoid them and limit flares. More information The National Rosacea Society offers detailed information on the condition, including when to see a doctor, advances in treatment, and other self-care steps.
11 June 2018
MONDAY, June 11, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Long-term antiviral treatment cuts the risk of cancer in HIV patients as they age, a new study says. People with HIV are at increased risk for both AIDS-related cancers (Kaposi sarcoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma or invasive cervical cancer) and non-AIDS-related cancers (lung and larynx cancer, melanoma and leukemia). Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is a major part of HIV treatment, and previous research has shown a link between long-term viral suppression and reduced risk for certain types of cancer. However, no studies have specifically examined the effect of long-term viral suppression on overall cancer risk. In this study, Stanford University researchers compared cancer rates between 1999 and 2015 among more than 42,000 HIV-positive veterans and more than 104,000 uninfected veterans. Cancer risk was highest among HIV patients with no viral suppression, lower among those with early suppression, lower still among those with long-term suppression, and lowest in uninfected patients. The findings are useful for infectious disease and internal medicine doctors caring for aging HIV patients, according to the researchers. The study was led by Lesley Park, an instructor in medicine, and published June 11 in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. More information The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more on HIV infection and cancer risk.
08 June 2018
FRIDAY, June 8, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Children with autism are more likely to also have a food, respiratory or skin allergy, new research suggests. What’s not clear from the new study, however, is whether there’s a common cause behind these conditions. “More research is needed to determine whether there is a causal relation between allergies and autism, or something else causes both conditions,” said senior study author Dr. Wei Bao, an assistant professor at the University of Iowa. Thomas Frazier, chief science officer for the advocacy group Autism Speaks, said, “Parents and clinical providers should be aware of the increased prevalence and ensure that individuals receive appropriate evaluation for allergies with subsequent treatment. This is particularly true for very young children and nonverbal or minimally verbal children who may not be able to express to parents or providers the effects of allergies.” Frazier, who was not involved with the study, added that the findings suggest that allergies might be a contributing factor to challenging behaviors, such as irritability and mood shifts, in people with autism. Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are neurodevelopmental disorders that have been increasing steadily over the past few decades. They currently affect about about 1 in 59 American children, according to federal estimates. People with ASDs typically have difficulty with social interactions, language and communication, and may engage in repetitive behaviors. The new study included a nationally representative group of almost 200,000 U.S. children between the ages of 3 and 17. It used data collected in a survey from 1997 to 2016. The autism and allergy information was based on answers from a parent or guardian. The researchers found that compared to those without ASD, children with autism were more likely to have a: Food allergy — 11 percent versus 4 percent, Respiratory allergy (sneezing, itchy, watery eyes) — 19 percent versus 12 percent, Skin allergy (rashes, eczema) — 17 percent versus 10 percent. After the researchers controlled the data to account for other factors that might link these conditions, such as education, income and location, the odds that someone with an ASD would have a food allergy were more than twice that of someone without an ASD. For respiratory allergies, the odds were 28 percent higher, and for skin allergies, they were about 50 percent higher. The study was only designed to find an association between these conditions, not a cause-and-effect relationship. But Bao suggested that a problem in the immune system might underlie these conditions. Dr. Punita Ponda, associate division chief of allergy and immunology at Northwell Health in Great Neck, N.Y., said she’s definitely seen allergies and autism occur together. But, she added, there are only theories so far on why that would be. One theory is that the gut microbiome — the natural bacteria found in your digestive system — might be altered somehow, and may trigger inflammation that plays a role in these conditions. Another, as Bao noted, is a possible common problem somewhere in the immune system, said Ponda, who wasn’t involved with the study. Frazier added, “The honest answer is we just don’t know yet, and it is possible to have several different mechanisms that link autism and allergies.” And, treatment — especially for food allergies — can be tough. “If a child with autism has had a piece of pizza every day and now they can’t have it like they did before, they may not understand the reason why the food has been removed. Some children may refuse to eat when favorite foods are taken away,” Ponda explained. No matter what the cause, autism spectrum disorders can complicate the diagnosis and treatment of allergies, according to Ponda. Children with autism may not be able to effectively communicate how they’re feeling and what symptoms they’re experiencing. Physical exams may be harder to do, and allergy testing can be a challenge when communication skills are limited, she said. The study was published June 8 in JAMA Network Open. In an editorial in the same issue of the journal, Dr. Christopher McDougle, from the Lurie Center for Autism at Massachusetts General Hospital, said doctors should check for food allergies before initiating treatments designed to reduce behavior problems. More information Learn more about what’s known about the causes of autism from Autism Speaks.
07 June 2018
WIN BASEBALL TICKETS! Share a skincare post from any of our social media pages to be entered for a chance to win a family four-pack of tickets to the upcoming Charlotte Knights Dermatology Day baseball game at BB&T Ballpark on June 24, 2018! Proceeds from the game help support The Children’s Skin Disease Foundation and Camp Wonder. Winners will be announced Thursday morning, June 21, 2018.* Join Galderma and Cetaphil Brand, as well as Mooresville Dermatology Center, in support of The Children’s Skin Disease Foundation and Camp Wonder on June 24th at 2:05 pm to cheer on the Charlotte Knights. The Knights will donate $4 of every $14 ticket purchased to Camp Wonder. Come on out to the ballpark and say hello to our med team – and don’t forget your sunscreen! More information about the game and ticket information is available here. Must be able to pick up tickets at Mooresville Dermatology Center’s office before noon on Friday, June 22, 2018.
06 June 2018
miraDry is the only noninvasive, FDA-cleared treatment that will free you from the bothersome problems of underarm sweat. Save $450 on miraDry with Event-Only Pricing! Please call to RSVP and confirm your attendance. Call (704) 235-1827 to RSVP Now!
06 June 2018
WEDNESDAY, June 6, 2018 (American Heart Association) — The night before leaving on a cruise, Alisa Mari was trying to free up room on her DVR to record programs she would miss while on vacation. One of the space-eaters was a talk show demonstrating how to perform CPR that she’d been saving for her husband, Andy. Just watch this so I can delete it! she said, and he did. A week later, their cruise ended in Miami, where Andy’s mom lived in a senior community. Alisa greeted her mother-in-law, then excused herself to visit the restroom. The next thing Andy heard was a loud thud. He rushed to the bathroom and found Alisa on the floor, foaming at the mouth. His mom’s apartment was equipped with an emergency alert cord; she rushed to pull it. Meanwhile, Andy checked for a pulse and found none, so he began chest compressions — using the technique he’d learned on the program Alisa prodded him to watch the week before. “It was just automatic,” he said. “It’s the kind of thing where once you learn, you know what to do.” Alisa suffered a cardiac arrest, which essentially means the power went out in her heart. This is different from a heart attack, which is caused by blood flow to the heart being blocked. More than 350,000 people in the United States suffer a cardiac arrest outside a hospital each year. If CPR is performed immediately, it can double or even triple the chance of survival. Alisa was among those fortunate to have a potential lifesaver nearby — and fortunate that Andy was willing to act. Hands-only CPR requires pressing hard and fast in the center of the chest, preferably at a rate of about 100 to 120 compressions per minute — about the rhythm of the classic disco song, “Stayin’ Alive.” Andy spent about 15 minutes giving Alisa compressions. This kept blood flowing to her organs until help arrived. Paramedics took over CPR, then tried to restart Alisa’s heart by deploying an electric shock using an automatic external defibrillator. It wasn’t until they reached the hospital that doctors were finally able to stabilize her. A few days later, doctors placed an implantable cardioverter defibrillator under Alisa’s skin to shock her heart if it goes into a fatal rhythm again. Doctors also discovered a significant blockage in one of her heart’s arteries, so they inserted a stent to prop it open. Alisa was 44 at the time of her cardiac arrest in 2010, but was at risk for heart problems. She’d long been treated for high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and was a former smoker. She also has a family history of heart disease, including some relatives who died in their 40s from heart-related conditions. Alisa and Andy lived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at the time, and became advocates for wider CPR training. They also began participating in their local Heart Walk. They now live in Ramsey Springs, Mississippi, about 25 miles north of Biloxi, and own a convenience store. They keep a bucket on the counter collecting money to help fund CPR training classes for school bus drivers in the rural area. “It could take 30 minutes for an ambulance to reach some areas out here,” Alisa said. “If my husband didn’t know CPR, I wouldn’t be here.”
05 June 2018
TUESDAY, June 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Judy Perkins was 49 and battling breast cancer that had spread, but chemotherapy and hormone treatments had failed to rein in her disease. So, her doctors tried a highly sophisticated, but experimental, immunotherapy. It worked beyond their wildest expectations: Her body was cleared of all signs of cancer. And the research team that tried the cutting edge treatment hope the case will herald a major breakthrough in cancer treatment. The immunotherapy was tailored to the particular genetic mutations of Perkins’ tumor. In the end, the medical team identified 197 mutations. Of those, 196 were characterized as “unique” to Perkins. The researchers then deployed a relatively novel intervention called adoptive cell transfer (ACT). ACT is a type of immunotherapy that essentially enlists and enhances a patient’s own immune system, activating an army of T-cells to launch a highly specific attack on those cancerous mutations. The result: Perkins remains cancer-free more than two years after her treatment ended. When Perkins, a retired engineer from Port St. Lucie, Fla., was first diagnosed and treated for breast cancer in 2003, she thought she’d beaten it, according to NPR. “I thought I was done with it,” she told the radio network. But she felt a new lump almost 10 years later, and her physicians discovered the cancer had spread throughout her chest. “I became a metastatic cancer patient,” Perkins said. “That was hard.” And although the treatment was grueling, Perkins is grateful. “”I’m one of the lucky ones,” Perkins said. “We got the right T-cells in the right place at the right time. And they went in and ate up all my cancer. And I’m cured. It’s freaking unreal.” Her doctors are just as thrilled. “The message in this paper is twofold,” explained study author Dr. Steven Rosenberg, chief of the surgery branch at the U.S. National Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Research. “One, that it is now clear that for multiple cancer types that are [resistant] to all known chemotherapies and immunotherapies, attacking the unique mutations in a patient’s cancer can result in dramatic durable cancer regressions,” he noted. The second message, he added, is that “we need a new paradigm for cancer therapy.” By that, Rosenberg said he means that “highly personalized treatments are likely to be necessary if we are to make progress in treating common cancers.” The researchers emphasized that while Perkins’ case revolved around breast cancer, the basis for treatment centered on mutation identification, rather than on cancer type. And that likely means there’s every reason to believe that her case can serve as a template for tackling a wide array of other cancers that have also proven impervious to standard treatments. Rosenberg goes so far as to suggest that “the development of this approach holds the best opportunities for finding effective immunotherapies for patients with the solid cancers that last year caused over 500,000 deaths in this country.” The research team noted that ACT has actually already been used to treat melanoma. However, while melanoma typically gives rise to a lot of cell abnormalities, that’s not the case with the sort of cancers that first take root in the lining of organs. Such so-called “epithelial cancers” include stomach, esophageal and ovarian cancer, as well as breast cancer, all of which are solid cancers with relatively low levels of mutations. In this latest case, published June 4 in the journal Nature Medicine, Perkins’ team was able to sift through her immune system to find those T-cells best equipped to wage war on her disease. Those T-cells were then extracted, multiplied exponentially in a lab setting, and put back into Perkins to supercharge the desired immune response. Besides demonstrating an ability to eliminate breast cancer, Rosenberg and his team already have additional preliminary results suggesting that the technique is similarly effective against both liver cancer and colon cancer. “The complexity of the treatment scares away many oncologists who think that this is not practical,” acknowledged Rosenberg. But he suggested the ACT approach is exactly the “drastic change [that] is needed if we are to make substantial progress in curing patients with cancer.” More information There’s more on immunotherapy at U.S. National Cancer Institute.
03 June 2018
SUNDAY, June 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) — A cancer drug that boosts the immune system outperforms chemotherapy in fighting advanced lung cancer, a new trial shows. Keytruda (pembrolizumab) extended life four to eight months longer than chemotherapy in lung cancer patients whose immune systems had been duped by their cancer cells. “This trial shows that pembrolizumab used alone improves survival as opposed to chemotherapy,” said lead researcher Dr. Gilberto Lopes, a medical oncologist with the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Health System. But while Keytruda works better than chemotherapy, the combination of the two is likely to be the best first choice for treatment of lung cancer, Lopes added. “We do believe based on a study presented about a month ago that the combination of chemotherapy plus pembrolizumab probably is better than pembrolizumab alone,” Lopes said. “What we likely will see as the new standard of care is for us to combine both drugs.” Keytruda fights cancer by “taking the brakes away from the immune system so our own defense cells can recognize cancer cells and kill them,” Lopes explained. The drug has also worked well against other cancers. When former President Jimmy Carter was diagnosed with melanoma that had spread to his brain several years ago, it was Keytruda that threw the cancer into remission by curtailing the action of a protein known as PD-L1. PD-L1 is found on cancer cells, and it essentially shoos away the immune system, fooling it into thinking that cancerous tissue is normal and healthy. Keytruda blocks that interference, allowing killer immune cells to find and destroy the cancer. Usually, tumors with larger amounts of PD-L1 respond better to treatment with pembrolizumab. But some studies have shown that similar immunotherapies also have been effective against tumors with little or no detectable PD-L1, the researchers said in background notes. To see just how effective pembrolizumab can be across the board, Lopes and his colleagues randomly assigned 1,274 patients with advanced lung cancer to receive either pembrolizumab or chemotherapy. Average follow-up time was almost 13 months. The researchers found that anyone who received pembrolizumab had longer average survival than those who underwent chemotherapy, about 16.7 months versus 12 months. But the benefits of pembrolizumab increased with the amount of PD-L1 expression in lung tumors: Patients with PD-L1 in half of their tumors experienced 20 months average survival on pembrolizumab, compared to 12 months with chemotherapy. Those with PD-L1 in 20 percent of tumors had 17.7 months average survival with pembrolizumab, compared with 13 months for chemotherapy. “For all the three groups we studied, pembrolizumab led to longer survival and higher overall survival rates than chemotherapy alone,” Lopes said. The immunotherapy also proved to be a milder treatment than chemo. Only 18 percent of patients reported severe side effects with pembrolizumab, compared with 41 percent of patients on chemotherapy. This would make pembrolizumab a strong option for older and sicker lung cancer patients who can’t safely handle the strain caused by chemo, said ASCO President Dr. Bruce Johnson, chief clinical research officer at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. “You can give these therapies to people who are not feeling particularly well, because for most of the people it doesn’t have the kind of side effects that come with chemotherapy,” Johnson said. Future studies will need to focus on how to best decide the right treatment for each patient, Lopes said. “The big question now is who are the patients who might benefit from this alone, and those persons who might need pembrolizumab and chemotherapy to have the best response,” Lopes said. Keytruda costs about $10,000 a month, Lopes said, in line with other newer cancer drugs but more pricey than older chemotherapy drugs. The study, funded by Keytruda manufacturer Merck, was scheduled for presentation Sunday at ASCO’s annual meeting, in Chicago. Because they have yet to be published in a peer-reviewed medical journal, the findings should be considered preliminary. More information The American Cancer Society has more about immunotherapy drugs to treat cancer.
01 June 2018
FRIDAY, June 1, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Before you take a dip in the pool this summer, be sure there’s not too much chlorine in the water. Over the past 10 years, more than 500 people in California have been exposed and sickened by too much chlorine while swimming, according to the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR). More than half of those affected were at public pools, and about 66 percent of the incidents weren’t caused by faulty equipment. “Whether you are a homeowner with a pool or you run a public water park or community pool, you must follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions and not exceed the amount of chlorine specified,” said Brian Leahy, director of the DPR. “The directions for use on the label are both state and federally approved to ensure safety. The ‘label is the law’ when it comes to disinfectants, and its directions for use must be followed,” he said in a department news release. Chlorine, either solid or liquid, is a pesticide used in pools to destroy germs, including those from feces, urine, saliva and other substances. But excessive exposure to chlorine can cause sickness and injuries, including rashes, coughing, nose or throat pain, eye irritation and bouts of asthma, health experts warn. Instructions for safely chlorinating a pool usually call for a maximum of four parts per million when people are in the pool. This level is more than enough to disinfect pools, according to the news release. Using higher concentrations may sicken swimmers. In addition, those running public pools should ensure that automatic chlorination equipment is well maintained and operating according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Employees should be trained to operate the equipment and be prepared to deal with malfunctions. Moreover, safe handling of chemicals is as important as avoiding excess chlorination. Keys to handling chemicals safely include: Disposing of pool chemicals and their packaging according to label directions. Storing chemicals according to label instructions. Keeping all chemicals out of the reach of children. Showering before and after getting into a pool to prevent skin reactions from chlorine. More information For more on healthy swimming, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.