​The Year In Review: 2018 Is A Wrap!

By: Holly L. Thacker, MD Posted on December 28, 2018

​The Year In Review: 2018 Is A Wrap!

As we are rapidly approaching the end of the year and looking forward to 2019, it is time for our annual wrap up and exciting look to the future.

Medical Advances in 2018

The year 2018 saw many advances, including:

  1. New medication approvals
  2. Recalls
  3. New screening guidelines
  4. Breaking research on potential new medicines
  5. Research on old therapies like aspirin
  6. Increasing concerns about costs of medications and middlemen

Medical Concerns in 2018

2018 saw concerns about various research and testing, including:

  1. Direct to consumer genetic testing.
  2. Mental effects of anxiety and the loss of estrogen on accelerating aging.
  3. While new research changes our approach, some reinforces our approach, such as there are economic considerations to not treating hot flashes.

Women's Health Updated Guidelines in 2018

  1. Colon cancer screening now begins at age 45 not 50
  2. New vaccine for shingles (shingrix) for age 50 and older
  3. Gardisil HPV for women now up from age 26 years to age 45
  4. The North American Menopause Society's treatment guidelines on Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (GSM) in breast cancer survivors. 
  5. And our Center for Specialized Women's Health physicians take on the treatments available for GSM in breast cancer survivors.  

New Medication Approvals

  1. Imvexxy™ (estradiol vaginal inserts) - Vaginal estrogen approved at the lowest effect level for vaginal atrophy/thinning.
  2. Xofluza™(Balaxavir Marboxil) - Single dose flu medication approved .
  3. Orilissa™ (elagolix) - For endometriosis pain.
  4. Aimovig™ (eremeumab-aooe) - New migraine headache medicine. 
  5. Qbrexza™ - First medication to reduce excessive sweating.
  6. Lynparza® (olaparib) - Extended approval for treatment of metastatic breast cancer in women with BRCA gene.

New Test Approvals

New Concerns and Warnings

New Women’s  Health products to look for in 2019

  1. Bijuva™ - a new oral bioidentical of estradiol 1mg and 100mg natural progesterone.
  2. Annovera™ (segesterone acetate/ethinyl estradiol vaginal system) - for year long birth control
  3. Novel oral therapy for hot flashes
  4. Bremalanotide - future medication to boost sex drive
  5. Future pelvic stimulation device - an improvement on ApexM to treat urinary and fecal incontinence

New at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Specialized Women's Health

  1. We introduced new virtual visits.
  2. We added to our free treatment guide books.
  3. We offered walk in mammograms without a physician.  

Speaking of Women's Health Achievements in 2018

We at Speaking of Women’s Health renovated our website look this year and were happy to be once again named as a top women’s health blog

We remain eternally thankful to our generous donors who allow us to –

Be Strong. Be Healthy. Be in Charge!  

-Holly L. Thacker MD

Holly L. Thacker, MD, FACP is nationally known for her leadership in women’s health. She is the founder of the Cleveland Clinic Specialized Women’s Health Fellowship and is currently the Professor and Director of the Center for Specialized Women’s Health at Cleveland Clinic and Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Thacker is also the Executive Director of Speaking of Women’s Health and the author of The Cleveland Clinic Guide to Menopause. Her special interests and areas of research including menopause and related medical problems including osteoporosis, hormone therapy, breast cancer risk assessment, menstrual disorders, female sexual dysfunction and interdisciplinary women’s health.


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