Thursday, October 27, 2011

COPD detection adds more bang to CT screening for lung cancer

Adding a short, low-dose sequence to a CT scan for lung cancer proved useful in identifying current and former heavy smokers with asymptomatic chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a new Dutch study shows. Whether adding the ability to diagnose COPD while screening for lung cancer will make the use of CT scans for this purpose cost effective remains unclear.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Study shows saw palmetto extract has no effect on prostate

A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) shows that a popular over-the-counter supplement sold as a treatment for enlarged prostate and as a way to reduce cancer risk, has not effect whatsoever on the prostate. Even at triple the normal dose, there was no effect. At the same time there were few side effects, other than the waste of time and money for a medicine with no benefit.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

False-Positives Par for Course With Yearly Mammograms

Most women who start getting annual mammograms at age 40 can expect to need re-imaging because of a false-positive result at least once by age 50, a national, cohort study determined.

Over 10 years of annual screening starting at age 40, the cumulative probability was 61.3% for a false-positive recall and 7% for a false-positive biopsy, Rebecca A. Hubbard, PhD, of the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, and colleagues found. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Study indicates ginger may be root of lower colon cancer rates in Asian diets

People who took ginger supplements showed reduced signs of inflammation in the colon compared to people who didn't take the supplements, researchers say.

The small study of 30 healthy adults was designed to see if studies in mice and rats that have shown ginger may prevent tumor development might also have similar cancer prevention properties in humans. The study was published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, and was reported on by WebMD.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Federal panel discourages PSA test for prostate cancer

A federal advisory panel wanted to figure out whether widespread PSA testing saves enough lives to justify the considerable medical fallout of the test. The panel said no, for several reasons. Here are some facts about the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force's draft report, released Friday, that recommended against routine use of the PSA test. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Who are these people?

October 07, 2011 – By Melissa Healy/Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots blog

If the world of primary-care physicians had a supreme wizarding council that only weighed in on screening tests and pills promising to head off disease, it would be called the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

Breast cancer unawareness month

October 7, 2011 – Perhaps no other disease gets the attention that breast cancer does during October, National Breast Cancer Awareness month. There are countless walks, runs, and relays for breast cancer, NFL players wear pink shoes, politicians appear in public without a pink ribbon at their own peril. Amid all the hoopla about beating this dreaded disease, there are all those breast cancer survivors who are not so lucky. Instead of marching triumphantly having beaten the disease, they survive with hour glass with the sand running out on their survival. These are women and yes men who live with metastatic breast cancer, and there is no cure for this advance stage disease. This report on MedPage Today brings that perspective to Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Takeda withdraws FDA application for expanding use of Velcade

Takeda Oncology Company has withdrawn its application for expanding the use of the drug Velcade to treat relapsed follicular lymphoma in combination with rituximab. The decision was made after disappointing results of the LYM-3001 trial published last July in Lancet Oncology. The study showed that combining Velcade with rituximab  slowed the progression of relapsed follicular lymphoma by an median of 1.8 months or about 54 days. Velcade remains on the market for the treatment of mantle cell lymphoma.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Annual mammograms after breast cancer needed for survivors

Oct. 2, 2011 – Women who have had breast cancer should have annual mammograms for at least 10 years to cut their chances of dying of the disease, a review of past studies suggests.

The findings support current guidelines in both the United States and the United Kingdom, but a separate survey conducted by the researchers led by Clare Robertson of the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, found that 74 percent of surgeons and radiologists stopped following women with annual mammograms before 10 years post treatment. The study and the survey were published online in Health Technology Assessment ahead of the Oct. issue.