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Two Philadelphia doctors say the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is not doing enough to protect women against cancer that can spread during a morcellation hysterectomy, CBS News reported.

Dr. Amy Reed was diagnosed with cancer in 2013 after undergoing a minimally invasive hysterectomy with a laparoscopic power morcellator- a bladed tool that chops the uterus into tiny pieces to be removed through a small laparoscopic incision. However, according to the FDA ,one in 350 women has undetected sarcoma that can spread throughout the body during the procedure and worsen the cancer and the patient’s prognosis.

Reed and her husband, Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, have been fighting to raise awareness about the risks of morcellator hysterectomy and cancer since her diagnosis. Continue Reading

Morcellation results in hundreds of avoidable deaths each year, according to an unpublished paper written by Harvard Medical School and Boston University doctors. Nancy Lincoln Davies, a 59-year-old gliding instructor from New Hampshire, was one of the first victims to die from “upstaged” cancer that was spread by morcellation.

Davies was diagnosed with a uterine fibroid in 2012 after she spoke with her doctor about pelvic pain. The doctor recommended a hysterectomy with a power morcellator, a device that slices the uterus into fragments so they can be removed through a laparoscopic incision. Morcellators are popular with doctors because it decreases recovery time and is easier to perform compared to many alternatives, according to U.S. News.

Davies was informed after surgery that the fibroid was actually cancer that was worsened by morcellation. Nancy Davies lost her battle with cancer less than a year after her procedure.

A jury has begun deliberation in the first trial of more than 130 Topamax lawsuits pending in Philadelphia over claims the drug caused birth defects such as cleft palate and lip.

The plaintiff is a Virginia woman who alleges she wouldn’t have taken Topamax for six months if the company had warned her about the risks to her unborn baby. Her son suffered physical deformities that have required four surgeries since he was born in 2007.

A verdict requires agreement by at least 10 jurors regarding whether Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceutical unit negligently failed to warn of the risks, and that the company’s negligence was a substantial factor in the boy’s injuries, according to Judge Victor J. DiNubile.

DMAA is abbreviated for dimethylamylamine, a speed-like ingredient found in supplements used to lose weight and build muscle.

One Harvard researcher is calling for a DMAA ban because DMAA can narrow blood vessels which in turn can lead to an increase in blood pressure, tightening of thechest, shortening of breath, and consequently, perhaps even cause a heart attack.

Dr. Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor at Harvard says this pharmaceutical chemical (DMAA) has absolutely no place in the supplement world. Cohen thinks there have been six years of inappropriate sales for something that should not have been there in the first place.

Actos is a popular drug to treat Type 2 diabetes. However, it is not without risks. While there is not yet a definitive answer as to why Actos causes bladder cancer, a connection has been made between the drug and the development of this dangerous disease.

Currently, Actos remains on the market in the United States despite adverse FDA reports on Actos drug. In August 2011, the Actos label was changed to recommend that the drug not be used in patients who have active bladder cancer. The label change also recommended that caution be used in patients who have previously had bladder cancer.

What does the label change mean for you if you have already had bladder cancer? Should you take Actos? Is it safe? It is important to talk to your doctor about your concerns and about how best to manage your risk of bladder cancer and your Type 2 diabetes so that you can make informed decisions about your health.

While the United States Army doesn’t make its own laws, it does have the authority to regulate much of what happens on Army bases. Until recently, DMAA containing supplements such as Jack3d were sold at stores on Army bases. However, after two recent deaths of Army soldiers who had DMAA in their systems, the sale of Jack3d and similar supplements has been halted on Army bases and the Army has ordered Jack3d pulled from shelves on base .
The U.S. Army is currently conducting a safety review at the completion of which it plans to announce whether Jack3d, OxyElite Pro and other similar supplements will once again be allowed to be sold on Army bases. For now, the supplements are still available to consumers in the United States at stores located off of Army bases.

For those still wondering is Jack3d illegal for military use the answer is that “illegal” may be the wrong term, but the Army is concerned about the safety of the supplement and is urging soldiers to be wary of DMAA supplements until a full safety review has been completed.

Did you know that heart disease is the number one killer of women? In the United States, one in four women die of heart disease, while one in 30 dies from breast cancer.

This year wear your heart on your sleeve and ask everyone you know to wear a red dress, red tie, or red shirt. The power color red promotes and supports women’s heart health.

Heart disease is forever. Once you have heart disease, it’s not going away. Having heart disease is not an automatic death sentence as there are risk factors and there are some things you can do right now to minimize those risk factors.

Some of the risk factors are:

• High blood pressure
• High blood cholesterol
• Diabetes
• Smoking
• Being overweight
• Being physically inactive
• Having a family history of early heart disease
• Age (55 or older for women)

You cannot change your family history nor can you change your age but you can quit smoking, begin an exercise program, lose weight, take medication or meditation to lower your blood pressure and ask your doctor how to lower your blood cholesterol.
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As the 2012 legislative session begins all eyes are on the road ahead or should be.

The National Highway Safety Board is making recommendations to enact laws impacting distracted driving, now considered a greater social problem, more dangerous than drunk driving.

The Automobile Association of America (AAA) is also prioritizing its legislative efforts in 2012 to focus on distracted driver and teen driver safety.

The AAA’s legislative agenda for 2012 includes advocating laws in every state banning texting while driving, full wireless bans for new teen drivers, and stiffer penalties and fines for drivers committing violations or who crash or cause crashes while driving distracted.

In 2009, AAA launched a national campaign to urge all states to ban texting while driving. In 2011, five states enacted such bans, which raised the total number of states with texting bans to 35. We can do better than that.
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