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Category: Oncology | Monthly Briefing

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November 2009 Briefing - Oncology

Last Updated: December 01, 2009.

 

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Oncology for November 2009. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Mechanism Explains How Pregnancy Inhibits Cancer

MONDAY, Nov. 30 (HealthDay News) -- During pregnancy, production of the cancer-inhibiting agent α-fetoprotein (AFP) from the liver may explain why parity is associated with reduced lifetime risk of breast cancer, according to a study published online Nov. 24 in Cancer Prevention Research.

Abstract
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Radiologist Training Can Affect Mammography Results

MONDAY, Nov. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Radiologists with fellowship training spot breast cancers in mammography screening more than those without fellowship training, but also record more false positives, according to a study in the December issue of Radiology.

Abstract
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Study Finds Surgeon Burnout Associated With Medical Errors

FRIDAY, Nov. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Among surgeons, degree of burnout was strongly associated with major medical errors, according to research published online Nov. 19 in the Annals of Surgery.

Abstract
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Insomnia Prevalence High for Chemotherapy Patients

FRIDAY, Nov. 27 (HealthDay News) -- In cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, insomnia is about three times as prevalent as it is among the general population, according to a study published online Nov. 23 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Caseworker May Improve Health of Cancer Patients

THURSDAY, Nov. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Providing feedback on mental and physical health to a telephone caseworker, and receiving management strategies, may improve supportive care outcomes in cancer patients, according to a study published online Nov. 16 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Novel Antibody Identified in Autoimmune Pancreatitis

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Although most patients with autoimmune pancreatitis have a novel antibody, so do some patients with pancreatic cancer, so testing for the antibody cannot differentiate between the two conditions, according to a study in the Nov. 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Abstract
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Study Reveals Cancer Patients' Views on Advanced Directives

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Seriously ill cancer patients may harbor attitudes toward advanced directives -- particularly with whom they wish to discuss them -- that appear paradoxical, according to research published online Nov. 23 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Study Sheds Light on Chemo Effects in Lung Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 25 (HealthDay News) -- The effect of adjuvant cisplatin-based chemotherapy on survival in non-small-cell lung cancer may fade over time, according to research published online Nov. 23 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Editorial

Chemoembolization, Survival in Liver Cancer Studied

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who underwent transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) in conjunction with a permanent embolic agent survived longer than patients who underwent TACE with a nonpermanent embolic agent, according to a study in the December issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Abstract
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Cancer Patients' Adverse Event Reports Useful Measure

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Asking cancer patients to self-report adverse events as a result of treatment yields information that is different and complementary to that provided by clinicians in their adverse event reports, according to a study published online Nov. 17 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Most Medical Journals Have Conflict of Interest Policies

TUESDAY, Nov. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Most high impact factor journals have publicly available conflict of interest statement policies, but there is a great deal of variation among journals, which could be confusing for authors, according to a study in the Nov. 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Abstract
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Home Care Nursing Program for Cancer Patients Evaluated

TUESDAY, Nov. 24 (HealthDay News) -- A home care nursing program for cancer patients receiving oral chemotherapy improves symptoms and reduces the use of medical services, according to a study published online Nov. 16 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Melanoma Staging and Classification System Revised

TUESDAY, Nov. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Revisions have been made to the American Joint Committee on Cancer Melanoma Staging Database based on improved understanding of the disease, according to a study published online Nov. 16 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Study Assesses Incomplete Skin Cancer Excisions

TUESDAY, Nov. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Incomplete excision of skin cancers by non-specialists in Australia may occur at a reasonable rate, but with wide variation between individual clinicians, according to research published in the November issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

Abstract
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Racial Disparities in Colon Cancer Mortality Unexplained

TUESDAY, Nov. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Differences in comorbidities and weight do not explain the higher risk of death in African-Americans with colon cancer compared with Caucasians, according to a study published online Nov. 24 in Cancer.

Abstract
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Text Messages Shown to Help Improve Sunscreen Use

MONDAY, Nov. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Mobile phone text messages may be used to help people remember to apply sunscreen, and to narrow the gap between patients' understanding of the importance of using sunscreen and actual daily practice, according to a study in the November issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

Abstract
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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Drugs Deemed Safe, Effective for Biliary Tract Cancers

MONDAY, Nov. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Combination treatment with bevacizumab, gemcitabine, and oxaliplatin is safe and effective in treating advanced biliary-tract cancers (BTCs), with positron emission tomography (PET) scanning predicting treatment response and outcomes, according to a study published online Nov. 23 in The Lancet Oncology.

Abstract
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Patients With Limited English Present Practice Challenges

FRIDAY, Nov. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Important practice setting differences exist in the use and availability of trained medical interpreters and telephone interpretation services for communicating with limited English proficient (LEP) patients, according to a study published online Oct. 29 in Health Services Research.

Abstract
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Cervical Cancer Screening Guidelines Updated

FRIDAY, Nov. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Women should not start getting routine cervical cancer tests until age 21, and then they should repeat them every two years instead of annually though age 30, according to new guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) published in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Variables Potentially Involved in Prostate Growth Assessed

THURSDAY, Nov. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Parathyroid hormone (PTH) and calcium levels may be linked to prostate-specific antigen (PSA), which could have implications for PSA screening for prostate cancer, according to research published in the November issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Abstract
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Watchful Waiting Safe for Some Prostate Cancer Patients

THURSDAY, Nov. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Active surveillance of localized prostate cancer, with treatment introduced if the cancer progresses, is feasible and safe, according to a study published online Nov. 16 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Imaging Can Predict Early Response to Cancer Treatment

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Imaging by combined positron emission tomography and computed tomography (PET-CT) can accurately assess early treatment response to chemoradiotherapy of head and neck cancer, according to a study in the November issue of Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

Abstract
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New Guidelines Developed for Lung Cancer Therapy

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) updated guidelines for chemotherapy and biologic therapy for stage IV non-small cell lung cancer were published online Nov. 16 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Study Investigates Syndrome Akin to Neurofibromatosis

TUESDAY, Nov. 17 (HealthDay News) -- A condition recently named Legius syndrome -- associated with SPRED1 mutations -- may be difficult to differentiate from neurofibromatosis type 1 based on dermatologic findings, according to research published in the Nov. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Abstract
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Study Links Folic Acid and Vitamin B12 to Cancer

TUESDAY, Nov. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The use of folic acid and vitamin B12 supplementation is associated with increased cancer incidence and cancer mortality, according to research published in the Nov. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Abstract
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National Mammography Recommendations Revised

TUESDAY, Nov. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Routine mammography screening for breast cancer is recommended for women between the ages of 50 and 74, and should be repeated every two years, according to revised recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) published in the Nov. 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Abstract - U.S. Preventive Services Task Force
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Abstract - Mandelblatt
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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Capecitabine Linked to Benefit in Breast Cancer Patients

MONDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- A chemotherapy regimen including capecitabine is associated with a lower risk of breast cancer recurrence compared to a combination of standard drugs, according to research published online Nov. 10 in The Lancet.

Abstract
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No Adverse Effects Seen After Testis Biopsy in Boys

MONDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The biopsy of testicular tissue from prepubescent boys with cancer for cryopreservation did not cause serious adverse after-effects and may someday offer a way to preserve fertility, according to a study published online Oct. 27 in Human Reproduction.

Abstract
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Drugs to Lower Anemia Risk Linked to Pulmonary Embolism

MONDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The use of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents to reduce anemia risk has rapidly increased since their approval to nearly half of advanced cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, but they are associated with a higher risk of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism while having no effect on the rate of blood transfusion, according to a study published online Nov. 10 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Abstract
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Optical Techniques Accurately Identify Precancerous Polyps

MONDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- During routine colonoscopy, optical diagnosis may be as reliable and more cost-effective for correctly diagnosing small colorectal polyps than conventional histopathology, according to a study published online Nov. 11 in The Lancet Oncology.

Abstract
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Nervous System Cancer Linked to Cognitive Impairment

MONDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Survivors of childhood central nervous system (CNS) cancers are more likely to report reduced neurocognitive function resulting in lower education, employment and income in adulthood than survivors of other cancers, according to a study in the November issue of Neuropsychology.

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Study Examines Outcome of Upper Urinary Tract Cancers

FRIDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with upper urinary tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC), the location of the tumor in the renal pelvis compared to the ureter doesn't predict cancer-specific mortality, according to research published in the November issue of The Journal of Urology.

Abstract
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Exercise Linked to Less Risk of High-Grade Prostate Cancer

FRIDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Exercise was associated with lower risk of prostate cancer upon biopsy, as well as lower risk of high-grade disease in those with cancer, and African-American men with increased low-density lipoprotein (LDL) showed a higher likelihood of prostate cancer diagnosis, according to two studies in the November issue of The Journal of Urology.

Abstract - Antonelli
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Abstract - Moses
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Smoking Rate Increases Slightly in United States

FRIDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The number of Americans who smoke increased slightly from 2007 to 2008, and the figure has hardly changed at all in the past five years, according to a report in the Nov. 13 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Pregabalin Can Reduce Hot Flash Frequency and Severity

THURSDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Pregabalin (Lyrica) is as effective as other drugs in reducing the frequency and severity of hot flashes, according to a study published online Nov. 9 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Early Treatment Needed for Drug-Induced Hypertension

THURSDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Early management of cediranib-induced hypertension is effective in patients with advanced cancers, according to a study published online Nov. 9 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Morning Colonoscopies Found to Yield More Polyps

THURSDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- The number of polyps detected by colonoscopy declines as the day progresses, indicating that those conducting endoscopies may be at their most adept at the start of the day, according to a study in the November issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Abstract
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Drug May Improve Survival in Head and Neck Cancer

THURSDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Adding cetuximab to radiation treatment improves long-term five-year survival in patients with head and neck cancer, according to a study published online Nov. 7 in The Lancet Oncology.

Abstract
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Increased Cancer Recurrence Linked to High Breast Density

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Women with invasive breast cancer and high-density breast tissue who undergo breast-conserving surgery without radiotherapy are likely at an increased risk of recurrence, according to a study published online Nov. 9 in Cancer.

Abstract
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Study Finds Costs of Quality Programs Burden Practices

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 11 (HealthDay News) -- The cost of providing data and support for health system quality-improvement programs can put a significant burden on primary care practices, and changes in the outcomes of trials are often made without being disclosed, according to two studies in the November/December Annals of Family Medicine.

Abstract - Halladay
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Abstract - Ewart
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Report Highlights Year's Major Cancer Advances

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 11 (HealthDay News) -- The year's most important clinical cancer research studies, including 15 major advances, are highlighted in a new report, "Clinical Cancer Advances 2009: Major Research Advances in Cancer Treatment, Prevention and Screening," published online Nov. 9 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Medical Errors Disclosure Can Help Physicians and Patients

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians are willing to share their experiences of making diagnostic errors, and analyzing them systematically helps point the way to improve future diagnoses, according to a study in the Nov. 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, while a second study in the same issue found that patients give higher quality ratings when adverse events are disclosed.

Abstract - Schiff
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Abstract - Lopez
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Chronic Pain Can Be a Problem Years After Breast Surgery

TUESDAY, Nov. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Despite breast-conserving surgery and other advances, post-breast surgery pain and sensory disturbances remained problems for many women in a Danish survey reported in the Nov. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Abstract
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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Earlier Prostate Specific Antigen Testing Suggested

TUESDAY, Nov. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The optimal use of prostate specific antigen (PSA) for early detection of prostate cancer, risk stratification, and post-treatment management is the focus of an article published in the November issue of The Journal of Urology.

Abstract
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Biopsy Recommended During Percutaneous Vertebroplasty

TUESDAY, Nov. 10 (HealthDay News) -- During treatment of presumed osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures, obtaining bone biopsies may lead to the discovery of unsuspected malignancies, according to a study published in the Oct. 15 issue of Spine.

Abstract
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Istodax Approved for Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma

TUESDAY, Nov. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The Gloucester Pharmaceuticals drug Istodax (romidepsin) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) in people who have tried at least one prior systemic therapy, the drug's manufacturer said in a news release.

FDA

Arthritis Drugs Unlikely to Increase Cancer Risk

MONDAY, Nov. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients who start taking anti-tumor necrosis factor α (anti-TNFα) drugs are not likely to have a higher risk of developing cancer than other groups of RA patients, according to a Swedish study in the November issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Abstract
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Hormone Therapy and Breast Cancer Precursor Link Studied

MONDAY, Nov. 9 (HealthDay News) -- A decline in the use of postmenopausal hormone treatment (HT) in the past decade may be a factor in the decreased incidence of atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH), a suspected precursor of some breast cancers, according to a study in the November issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Abstract
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Shorter Working Hours May Compromise Surgeon Training

FRIDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Although restricting trainee surgeons' working hours may improve the trainees' quality of life, it may also compromise their education and undermine patient safety, according to an article published Nov. 5 in BMJ.

Abstract
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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Program Found to Improve Cancer-Related Insomnia

THURSDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer-related insomnia can be improved by behavioral therapy but not epoetin alfa, according to two studies published online Nov. 2 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract - Berger
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Abstract - Hoskin
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Editorial

Findings Hint at Green Tea Use in Oral Precancerous Lesions

THURSDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Green tea extract (GTE) may be useful in treating oral premalignant lesions, according to research published in the November issue of Cancer Prevention Research.

Abstract
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Perspective (subscription or payment may be required)

Switching to 'Light' Cigarettes May Lower Chances of Quitting

THURSDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Smokers who switch to so-called low-tar or 'lighter' brands of cigarettes often do so with the intention to quit, but switching actually reduces the likelihood that they will subsequently quit smoking, according to a study published online Nov. 4 in Tobacco Control.

Abstract
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Low Cholesterol May Decrease Cancer Risk

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Two studies published online Nov. 3 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention may dissolve the long standing concern that low cholesterol levels may lead to a higher risk of cancer.

Abstract - Ahn
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Abstract - Platz
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Mammography Detection of Breast Cancer Affects Mortality

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Detection of advanced breast cancers by mammography reduces mortality, and adding MRI to mammography can detect hidden breast cancers in high-risk women, according to two studies published online Nov. 2 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Abstract
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Markers Can Predict Risk of Melanoma Recurrence

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Levels of five markers can identify patients at high risk of recurrent melanoma who could benefit from additional treatment, according to a study published online Nov. 2 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Stats Helps Paint Picture of H1N1 Hospitalizations

TUESDAY, Nov. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The age of people hospitalized with H1N1 influenza infection in California during the summer of 2009 was typically younger than the age commonly seen with seasonal influenza, and infants had the highest rates of hospitalization and those aged 50 and older had the highest mortality, according to research published in the Nov. 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Abstract
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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Gene Abnormalities Linked to Survival in Colon Cancer

TUESDAY, Nov. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Abnormalities in four genes can predict survival and possibly response to treatment in patients with advanced colon cancer, according to two studies published online Nov. 2 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract - Laurent-Puig
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Abstract - Richman
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Editorial

Primary Care Physician Use of Pap Testing Examined

TUESDAY, Nov. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Primary care physicians' recommendations for Papanicolaou (Pap) testing are less likely to be in line with cervical cancer screening guidelines, according to a cross-sectional survey published in the Nov. 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Abstract
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Background Disease Rates Important in H1N1 Pandemic

MONDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) -- During mass immunization with pandemic H1N1 influenza vaccines, awareness of background rates of disease is essential for assessing vaccine safety, and may help allay vaccine-associated fears among the general public, according to an article published online Oct. 31 in The Lancet.

Abstract
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Medicaid Enrollment Common Among Overdose Deaths

MONDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly half of patients who overdosed on prescription opioid painkillers in Washington state in the past few years were Medicaid recipients, according to a report in the Oct. 30 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Pediatric H1N1 Influenza Deaths Reach at Least 114

MONDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) -- As of Friday, 19 children had died of H1N1 influenza in the past week, bringing the total number of pediatric deaths from the disease to at least 114, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced at an Oct. 30 news conference.

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