Propecia and Proscar are formulations of the drug finasteride. These medications are used to treat male pattern baldness and prostatic hypertrophy. Prior studies have found side effects including sexual changes (loss in libido and function) and now new studies are finding increased incidence of male breast cancer in some of the patients taking the drugs.
Health Canada has issued a warning:
Although the apparent risks are low, Health Canada issued a warning Thursday telling consumers the drug, finasteride, could be potentially dangerous. The drug, which comes in one-milligram and five-milligram formats, is used in the lower dose to treat baldness and the higher dose to treat non-cancerous enlarged prostate. Previous studies have raised flags about the five-milligram format, sold in Canada under the brand name Proscar, including an increased risk of prostate cancer.
As these drugs inhibit Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Truth in Cosmetic Surgery*
Having a high-quality doctor’s visit takes effort on your doctor’s and yours. Here are 10 tips to get the most out of your next visit with a dermatologist:
1. Write down all the questions you have and things you want to discuss with me. Be sure to list any spots you’d like me to check or any moles that have changed. Have a loved one lightly mark spots on your skin they are concerned about.
2. Know your family history: Has anyone in your family had skin cancer? What type? Patients often have no idea if their parents have had melanoma. It matters. If possible, ask before seeing me.
3. Know your history well: Have you had skin cancer? What type? If you have had melanoma, then bring the detailed information about your cancer. Your prognosis depends on how serious the melanoma was, that is its stage, 1-4. You need to know how it was treated, if it had spread, and how deep it was. The answers to these questions determines the risk of your melanoma returning. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at The Dermatology Blog*
The New York Times has a series called “Patient Voices” which gives insights from the patients with the disease, physical and emotional changes in their lives, and accommodations made. The most recent series is on patients with alopecia (hair loss).
“The Voices of Alopecia” by Tara Parker-Pope (July 6, 2010):
This week, Patient Voices explores alopecia, an autoimmune disease that leads to a few bald patches to the loss of every hair on a person’s body.
To hear what it’s like to live with alopecia, listen to the Patient Voices audio slideshow that features adults, children and their parents who are coping with the condition.
Listen to these seven people tell what it’s like to live with alopecia:
– Matt Kelly, 43, lost his hair at age 38 over a 6 week time span.
– Jennifer DeFreece, 29, developed alopecia totalis as a child.
– Margaret Staib, 42, an artist with three daughters.
– Rafi Wasselman, 16, says his best medicine is his collection of caps.
– Maureen McGettigan, 47, began losing her hair at age 16.
– Annie Kazmi, 33, tells her daughter Noori’s story. Then Noori tells her own. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*
A reader sent me this really sad story that got me thinking about hair restoration for women:
Happy, I wanted to share with you this picture of a woman who’s lost all hope. I saw her a few years back during my psychiatry rotation. As you can see, it looks like she’s going bald, but in fact, during her fits of rage and depression she’s actually pulling out her own hair. How sad is that? Just another example of what we docs take care of on a daily basis.
Man, that’s unbelievable. I don’t know much about classic female pattern baldness. From what I’ve read it’s usually a diffuse loss of hair everywhere or a central expansion of hair loss but rarely does it encompass the entire scalp. It’s usually caused by hormones, aging and genes. In advanced age, I’ve seen more than my fair share of elderly women who have more hair on their chin then they do on their head. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at The Happy Hospitalist*