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Category: Oncology | Monthly Briefing

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April 2010 Briefing - Hematology & Oncology

Last Updated: May 03, 2010.

 

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Hematology & Oncology for April 2010. 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.

Lung Cancer Mortality Higher in England Than Norway, Sweden

FRIDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Despite similar national health care expenditures, the mortality rate among lung cancer patients in England is higher than in Norway or Sweden, with most of the difference in excess risk occurring shortly after diagnosis, according to a study in the May issue of Thorax.

Abstract
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Chemo, Radiation Protocol Aimed at Reducing Dysphagia Effective

FRIDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Chemoradiotherapy with intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) aimed at reducing dysphagia can provide high locoregional control in patients with oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) while sparing non-involved swallowing structures, according to a study published online April 26 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Cancer Risks Similar With Different Immunosuppressants

FRIDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- The long-term risk of cancer after a kidney transplant does not vary among three different immunosuppressive regimens, according to a study published online April 29 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Abstract
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C-Reactive Protein Linked to Increased Lung Cancer Risk

FRIDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Elevated levels of circulating high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP) are associated with an increased risk of lung cancer, suggesting that chronic inflammation may play a role in lung carcinogenesis, according to a study published online April 26 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Surveillance Feasible for Small Testicular Masses

THURSDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- In men with incidental testicular masses less than 1 cm in size, ultrasound surveillance may be a safe alternative to immediate surgical removal, according to a study published in the April issue of The Journal of Urology.

Abstract
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Provenge Approved for Advanced Prostate Cancer

THURSDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Provenge (sipuleucel-T), a therapy designed to boost the immune system's ability to combat prostate cancer, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

National Cancer Institute

Hyperthermia Plus Chemo Improves Survival in Sarcoma

THURSDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Treating high-risk soft tissue sarcoma (STS) by applying heat to the tumor area during conventional chemotherapy may prevent local progression and improve patient survival better than chemotherapy alone, according to a study published online April 29 in The Lancet Oncology.

Abstract
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Statin Use May Lower Risk of Prostate Cancer Recurrence

THURSDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- In men treated with radiotherapy for prostate cancer, statin use is associated with significant improvements in clinical outcomes, including a higher likelihood of relapse-free survival, according to research published online April 26 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Editorial

Four-Kallikrein Panel Could Reduce Prostate Biopsies

WEDNESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- As has been reported previously, in men with elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a panel of four kallikrein forms in serum -- total, free and intact PSA, and kallikrein-related peptidase 2 (hK2) -- may predict the result of biopsy and help reduce unnecessary biopsy rates, according to a replication study published online April 26 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Editorial

In Children With CKD, Race Linked to Hemoglobin Levels

WEDNESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- African-American children with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have lower hemoglobin levels than white children with the disease, regardless of the disease's underlying cause, according to a study published online April 26 in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases.

Abstract
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Risk Factors for Physician Misconduct Identified

WEDNESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors who are male, are from lower socioeconomic groups or had academic difficulties in medical school may be at increased risk of professional misconduct, according to a study published online April 27 in BMJ.

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HPV Testing With Triage Beats Conventional Cytology

WEDNESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Screening women with a human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA test first, with cytology triage if the result is positive, is more sensitive for the detection of cervical cancer and pre-cancerous lesions than conventional cytology, according to a study published online April 27 in BMJ.

Abstract
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Single Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Screening Found Beneficial

WEDNESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- The use of a single flexible sigmoidoscopy examination in individuals between the ages of 55 and 64 provides long-term benefits, according to research published online April 28 in The Lancet.

Abstract
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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Selenium May Help Reset Cells' Biological Clock

WEDNESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Dietary selenium can help re-establish circadian rhythms critical to the growth and behavior of cells that have been disrupted by carcinogenic agents, according to an animal study published online April 27 in Cancer Prevention Research.

Abstract
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Rates, Costs of Imaging in Medicare Patients Have Risen

TUESDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- The use of diagnostic imaging in Medicare patients with cancer has increased, as have imaging costs, which are outpacing the rate of the increase in total costs among Medicare recipients who have cancer, according to research published in the April 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Abstract
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FDA Changes Medical Device Advisory Committee Process

TUESDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- Because of the increasing number of medical device advisory panel meetings in recent years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is changing the way expert panels review and discuss information during public hearings on devices that are being reviewed for premarket approval.

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Interruptions Increase Medication Errors by Nurses

TUESDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- Nurses who are interrupted in the process of preparing and administering medications are more likely to make an error, with error severity increasing with the number of interruptions, according to a study in the April 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Financial Ties Negatively Affect Perceptions of Research Quality

TUESDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- Disclosure of financial ties to industry influences patients', physicians', and research participants' beliefs about the quality of research evidence, according to a review published in the April 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Abstract
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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Most Doctors Not Knowledgeable About Herbals

MONDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- Most physicians are not knowledgeable about herbal medicines and believe the general public is poorly informed as well, according to the results of a survey published in the April issue of the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin.

DTB Survey on Herbal Medicines

Cancer Risk Factors Differ for Hispanics, Non-Hispanic Whites

MONDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- Breast cancer risk factors that have been established in non-Hispanic white (NHW) women have less influence on the risk of breast cancer in Hispanic women, according to a study published online April 26 in Cancer.

Abstract
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More Lung Cancers Detected With Full Field of View

FRIDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of lung cancer detected at cardiac computed tomography (CT) is 0.31 percent, with most of the malignancies at resectable stages; however, when a limited field of view (FOV) is used at cardiac scanning, a large majority of lung cancers detected at full thoracic scanning are missed, according to research published in the May issue of Radiology.

Abstract
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Performance Cut Points for Mammogram Interpreters ID'd

FRIDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have identified minimally acceptable performance levels for physicians who interpret screening mammography studies, and they recommend that those who don't meet the standards be considered for additional training, according to a study in the May issue of Radiology.

Abstract
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Stress Hormones May Promote Ovarian Cancer Metastasis

FRIDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with ovarian cancer, focal adhesion kinase (FAK) modulation by stress hormones -- especially norepinephrine and epinephrine -- may contribute to tumor progression, according to research published online April 12 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Abstract
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Socioeconomic Status Affects Prostate Cancer Treatment

FRIDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- In men with prostate cancer, lower socioeconomic status is associated with a significantly lower likelihood of undergoing radical prostatectomy or radiotherapy, according to a study published April 22 in BMJ.

Abstract
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Editorial

Urologist Presence Linked to Less Urologic Cancer Mortality

THURSDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- The presence of a urologist in a county is linked to lower mortality for prostate, bladder and kidney cancer, though increasing urologist density beyond two urologists per 100,000 people does not result in further improvements, according to research published online April 20 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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BRCA Risk Often Missed in Ovarian Cancer Patients

THURSDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- Although there has been improvement over time, interpretation of risk for BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations in ovarian cancer patients, and subsequent referral for genetic counseling, remains poor, with half of substantial-risk patients being missed in 2007, according to research published in the May issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Abstract
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Acupuncture Shows Benefit After Cancer Neck Dissection

THURSDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- Acupuncture could play a role in treating problems such as pain, dysfunction and xerostomia following neck dissection for cancer, according to research published online April 20 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Scientists Decode Genome in Highly Lethal Breast Cancer

WEDNESDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- By looking at structural variation patterns and differential mutation frequencies between primary tumor cells, metastatic tumor cells, and xenograft tumor cells from a highly lethal form of breast cancer, scientists have found evidence that some metastatic tumors may originate from only a small number of cells within the primary tumor, according to a study in the April 15 issue of Nature.

Abstract
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Some Cancer Cells' Resistance to Chemo Reversible

WEDNESDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- The development of chemotherapy resistance in some cancers results from the emergence of small transient populations of drug-resistant cells, which can resolve or be actively inhibited to restore drug sensitivity, according to a study in the April 2 issue of Cell.

Abstract
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Non-Teaching Hospitals Found Superior for Colon Resection

WEDNESDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- For colon resections across the spectrum of disease -- including benign disease -- the volume-outcome relationship favors non-teaching hospitals over teaching hospitals, according to research published in the April issue of the Archives of Surgery.

Abstract
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Childhood Cancer Rates Up, But Mortality Down, Since 1975

WEDNESDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Despite increasing incidence rates, childhood cancer mortality rates have declined since 1975, and further success in reducing these rates will require new treatment paradigms that build on an increased understanding of molecular processes, according to research published online April 19 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Low-Dose CT Linked to High False-Positive Rates

TUESDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- The risks for false-positive results on lung cancer screening tests are substantial after two yearly examinations, especially with low-dose computed tomography (CT), according to a study in the April 20 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Abstract
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ASCO, CAP Release Guideline for Breast Cancer Testing

TUESDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- A guideline from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the College of American Pathologists (CAP) has been issued with the intention of improving the accuracy of immunohistochemical testing for estrogen and progesterone receptors in breast cancer. The guideline was published online April 19 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology and the Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine.

Abstract - Journal of Clinical Oncology
Full Text - Journal of Clinical Oncology
Abridged Version - Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine

Indoor Tanning Addiction Observed in College Students

TUESDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Many college students meet the criteria for addiction to indoor tanning, which is also associated with an increased likelihood of anxiety and substance use, according to a study published in the April issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

Abstract
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Drug Ups Liver Cancer Patients' Survival After Transplant

MONDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), sirolimus-based immunosuppression protocols are associated with significantly improved survival rates after liver transplantation, according to research published in the April issue of Hepatology.

Abstract
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CYP2D6 Inhibitors Not Linked to Breast Cancer Recurrence

FRIDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- Despite a strong biologic rationale, there may be no association between concomitant usage of cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6) inhibitors such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and breast cancer recurrence in patients with early-stage disease who are treated with adjuvant tamoxifen, though there is an association between poor tamoxifen adherence and increased risk of breast cancer events, according to a study published online April 12 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Report Urges Fixes for Cancer Clinical Trials System

THURSDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. cancer clinical trials system is in great need of an overhaul so that it can continue to support large-scale, multi-institutional clinical trials that result in gains in cancer treatment, according to a new report commissioned by the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) and conducted by the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

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Many Physicians Using Inappropriate FOBT Methods

THURSDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- Many physicians who use the fecal occult blood test (FOBT) for colorectal cancer screening administer the test in-office rather than using home-based tests, which are recommended by national guidelines, according to research published online April 10 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Abstract
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Autoantibodies of Little Prognostic Value in Melanoma

THURSDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- In melanoma patients who are treated with adjuvant pegylated interferon alfa-2b, the appearance of autoimmune antibodies is not a prognostic or predictive factor for improved outcome, according to research published online April 12 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Drug Beneficial in Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

THURSDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- In men with progressive, metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer, the new treatment MDV3100 -- an androgen-receptor antagonist -- has shown promising antitumor activity, according to a study published online April 15 in The Lancet.

Abstract
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Deficiencies in Colorectal Cancer Screening Addressed

WEDNESDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Colorectal cancer screening rates fall short of desirable levels, according to two early-release articles published online April 13 in the Annals of Internal Medicine. One article urges targeted initiatives to improve screening rates and reduce disparities in underscreened communities and population subgroups. The other article confirms that important problems exist regarding the underuse, overuse and misuse of screening, and also urges system- and policy-level interventions.

Abstract - Steinwachs
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Abstract - Holden
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Accelerated Radiotherapy Has Potential for Poor Countries

WEDNESDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Accelerated fractionation of radiotherapy is an effective alternative to conventional fractionation for squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck (HNSCC) in developing countries, according to research published online April 9 in The Lancet Oncology.

Abstract
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Prostate Cancer Linked to Thromboembolism

WEDNESDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Prostate cancer patients -- especially those receiving endocrine therapy -- have an increased risk of thromboembolism, according to a study published online April 14 in The Lancet Oncology.

Abstract
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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Report Addresses Lung Cancer Rate in African-Americans

TUESDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- African-Americans are more likely to develop lung cancer -- and to die from it -- than any other population group in the United States, and a new report by the American Lung Association provides information to help stakeholders understand and address the issue.

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Pancreaze Approved for Pancreatic Enzyme Deficiency

TUESDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- Pancreaze delayed release capsules have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the estimated 200,000 or more people in the United States whose bodies do not produce enough pancreatic enzymes, the agency said in a news release.

FDA

Cotrimoxazole Tied to Bleeding in Older Patients on Warfarin

TUESDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- In older patients treated with warfarin, the use of cotrimoxazole is associated with a higher risk of upper gastrointestinal tract hemorrhage than other common antibiotics, according to research published in the April 12 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Abstract
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Hispanics Have Limited Access to Colorectal Cancer Screening

MONDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- Hispanics are more likely than African-Americans or whites to live in areas where there is more limited availability of endoscopy, which may explain disparities in colorectal cancer (CRC) screening rates and stage at diagnosis, according to research published online April 12 in Cancer.

Abstract
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Palliative Radiotherapy Is Often Not Beneficial

MONDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- Many patients with end-stage cancer receiving palliative radiation therapy do not benefit from it, even though they spend most of their remaining life undergoing treatments, according to research published online April 12 in Cancer.

Abstract
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14 States, D.C. Increased Cigarette Excise Taxes in 2009

FRIDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- Several states and the District of Columbia increased their cigarette excise taxes in 2009, and half of states now have minimum price laws for cigarettes, though new revenue is not being dedicated to tobacco control, according to two reports published in the April 9 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Regional Variations Seen in Radical Prostatectomy Cost

THURSDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Even after adjustment for medical case mix, local wages and other factors, there are wide variations from state to state in the total cost of radical prostatectomy, suggesting that inefficiencies exist in the health care market, according to research published in the April issue of The Journal of Urology.

Abstract
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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Pathway Can Identify Smokers Most at Risk for Lung Cancer

THURSDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Biochemical signals in the lungs of current and former smokers may help identify those most likely to develop lung cancer, and this sequence of chemical reactions can be reversed before cancer starts by a potential lung cancer drug, according to a study in the April 7 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

Abstract
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Study Highlights Need for Risk Model Calibration

THURSDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- The Gail model, used to assess risk of invasive breast cancer, may need to be recalibrated to reflect changes in the incidence of breast cancer, according to research published online April 5 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Fewer Disseminated Tumor Cells in Bone Marrow With Drug

THURSDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Women with locally advanced breast cancer may reduce the chance of cancer spreading to other parts of the body by taking zoledronic acid, a bone strengthening-drug, along with chemotherapy, because it results in fewer disseminated tumor cells (DTCs) in bone marrow, according to research published online April 1 in The Lancet Oncology.

Abstract
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Drug Combination Shows Benefit in Biliary Tract Cancer

THURSDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with advanced biliary tract cancer, cisplatin plus gemcitabine is linked to a survival advantage compared to gemcitabine alone, with no additional substantial toxicity, according to research published in the April 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Abstract
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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Vorinostat Safe for Use With Pelvic Palliative Radiotherapy

WEDNESDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- The histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor vorinostat is safe to use in combination with short-term palliative radiotherapy for patients with gastrointestinal cancer, according to a study published online April 7 in The Lancet Oncology.

Abstract
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Chest Radiation in Youth Found to Up Breast Cancer Risk

TUESDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- Women who are treated for cancer at a young age with chest radiation therapy have an increased risk of developing breast cancer at a young age, according to a systematic literature review published in the April 6 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Abstract
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Screening Tool for Ovarian Cancer Identified

TUESDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- A panel of four biomarkers that may be useful as part of a screening strategy for ovarian cancer has been identified, according to research published online April 5 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Editorial

Testis Cancer Survivors Likely to Have Poor Health Habits

TUESDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- Testis cancer survivors may be likely to engage in harmful health behaviors such as binge drinking and skimping on fruits and vegetables, according to a study published online April 5 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Adult Mortality Considerable in Survivors of Childhood Cancer

TUESDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- Survivors of childhood cancer face considerable mortality as adults, according to research published in the April 6 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Abstract
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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Genetic Mutation Ups Risk for Contralateral Breast Cancer

TUESDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- Women who carry a BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic mutation and develop breast cancer are at a substantially increased risk for contralateral breast cancer later on, according to research published online April 5 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Recurrence Unlikely for Many Biopsied Melanocytic Nevi

MONDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- In patients who undergo biopsy of benign to moderately dysplastic melanocytic nevi, there is a low rate of clinical recurrence, so re-excision may not be necessary, according to a study in the April issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Abstract
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Early Chemical Exposure May Raise Later Breast Cancer Risk

FRIDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- Women who have occupational exposure to acrylic and nylon fibers or to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, particularly those exposed at a younger age, may be at increased risk of postmenopausal breast cancer, according to a study in the April 1 issue of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Abstract
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Decision Aids Not Used by Most Doctors With Cancer Patients

THURSDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the benefits of decision aids in helping cancer patients make informed treatment decisions that often improve outcomes, many physicians are unaware of them and most are not currently using them, according to a study published online March 30 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Radiotherapy Receipt After Breast-Conserving Surgery High

THURSDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- In breast cancer patients, adjuvant radiotherapy receipt is consistently high after breast-conserving surgery but lower after mastectomy, even in patients for whom the treatment is strongly indicated, and surgeon involvement is a major influence on radiotherapy receipt, according to a study published online March 29 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Dedicated Form After Breast Exam May Boost Exam Quality

THURSDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- The use of a dedicated form after clinical breast examination to focus clinician attention on examination results doubles the percent of breast examinations leading to further evaluation, and results in anticipated cancers being found, according to a study in the April issue of the American Journal of Medicine.

Abstract
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Parkinson's Drug May Increase Prostate Cancer Risk

THURSDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who take the Parkinson's disease medication Stalevo (entacapone/carbidopa/levodopa) may be at increased risk for developing prostate cancer, according to a safety announcement released March 31 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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