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SCCA Cancer News Watch

SCCA's compilation of important cancer news from around the world.

2011  |  2010  |  2009

Study Ties Ovarian Cancer and Hormone Therapy

More bad news about postmenopausal hormone therapy: a new European study reports that women who take the hormones are at significantly increased risk for ovarian cancer, which is rare but often fatal. Read more  

M.R.I.’s Help Fight High Risk of Cancer

For women with a high risk of breast cancer because of genetic mutations or family history, yearly M.R.I. scans in addition to mammograms and breast exams may save lives, a new study finds. Read more  

Screening Trials for Lung Cancer Shows Benefit

Today, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) released results from a large-scale trial that compared the effects of two screening procedures for lung cancer -- low-dose helical computed tomography (CT) and standard chest X-ray -- on lung cancer mortality and found 20 percent fewer lung cancer deaths among trial participants screened with low-dose helical CT. For more information about lung cancer screening at SCCA, visit the Lung Cancer Early Detection and Prevention section of our website  

New DNA Tests Aimed at Reducing Colon Cancer

Two new DNA-based tests hold the promise of detecting early — and sharply reducing — colon cancer, a disease that afflicts 150,000 people a year in the United States and costs an estimated $14 billion to treat. Read more  

Lung Cancer Treatment Shows Promise

A new drug is showing remarkable promise in treating lung cancer patients who have a rare genetic mutation. The drug, crizotinib, stabilized or improved the disease in 90 percent of patients in an early stage clinical trial, according to study results released Wednesday. SCCA has several clinical trials involving crizotinib. Visit our Clinical Trials site for more information  

In Mammogram Debate, Differences Aren't So Big

On the surface, it looks like the experts are sharply divided. The American Cancer Society still urges women in their 40s to get regular mammograms every year — despite the task force's recommendations. But some of those on either side of the debate aren't as far apart as you might think. Read more  

Simplifying the Decision for a Prostate Screening

Screening for early detection of cancer sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s not an easy choice for men considering regular P.S.A. tests... Read more  

How to Widen the Hunt for Targeted Cancer Therapy

Fifty years after the discovery of the first direct genetic link to cancer, scientists are assessing the state of so-called targeted therapy — with nearly 30 treatments on the market and a dozen or so more under study. Read more  

Clue Found in Aggressive Breast Cancer

Researchers may have found a new lead toward treating triple negative breast cancer, a rare and aggressive form of the breast cancer that occurs more often in younger women and African-American or Hispanic women. Read more  

New Drugs Stir Debate on Rules of Clinical Trials

Doctors say that for them, the new wave of cancer drugs is intensifying the conflict between their responsibility to their patients and their commitment to gathering scientific knowledge for generations of the critically ill.  

DIY Mammogram Math: 1 in 20,000 Odds

Remember that flare-up of The Mammogram Wars? Last November, an independent government panel recommended that women should start getting annual mammograms at age 50 instead of 40, incurring backlash from the breast cancer community and others. Read more  

Body Size Matters with Colon Cancer

Carrying excess weight in the waist and hips may increase an older woman's risk of dying from colon cancer, according to a new study in a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. Healthy seniors who maintained a normal weight before getting diagnosed were more likely to survive, the study found.  

Eating Mix of Fruits, Veggies May Cut Lung Cancer Risk

A new study, published this week in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, finds that eating a diverse diet of veggies and fruit can decrease your risk of developing lung cancer, especially if you are a smoker. Read more  

Palliative Care Extends Life

In a study that sheds new light on the effects of end-of-life care, doctors have found that patients with terminal lung cancer who began receiving palliative care immediately upon diagnosis not only were happier, more mobile and in less pain as the end neared — but they also lived nearly three months longer. Read more  

Putting Cancer on the Global Health Agenda

Most people who die from cancer are in the developing world. Yet cancer is seldom included in discussions about global health. SCCA's Dr. Julie Gralow makes the case for putting cancer on the global health agenda. Read more  

DNA Test May Speed Colon Cancer Diagnosis

A new generation of DNA tests for colon cancer seems likely to improve the detection both of cancers and of the precancerous polyps that precede them. The tests, if validated, could reduce the burden of disease substantially by detecting tumors at an early stage, including those not picked up by a colonoscopy. Read more  

Blacks Face Bone Marrow Donor Shortage

Bone marrow transplants are dependent on patients finding donors with a similar genetic makeup. For most the match is found in someone of the same race. But the black community has a particularly tough time attracting donors. Read more  

Gaps Found in Breast Cancer Testing

One-fifth of American women ages 50 to 74 have fallen behind on mammography screenings for breast cancer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are reporting. Read more  

Fish-Oil Supplements May Cut Breast-Cancer Risk

Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have found that fish-oil supplements may lower the risk of breast cancer. Read more  

U.S. Cancer Death Rate Continues to Drop

The number of deaths due to cancer continues to decline in the United States, according to new statistics from the American Cancer Society. Read more  

Colon Cancer Screenings Up, Breast Rate Stalled

More older Americans are getting tested for colon cancer, with nearly two out of three getting recommended screenings. Meanwhile, rates for breast cancer screening remain stuck on a higher plateau, according to a government report released Tuesday. Read more  

The Prostate Cancer Quandary

Scientists may soon be able to answer the agonizing question facing men with prostate cancer: Does their cancer need immediate treatment or can it be left alone? Read more  

Cancer Survivors Urged to Exercise

New guidelines are urging survivors to exercise more, even — hard as it may sound — those who haven't yet finished their treatment.  

Mysterious Link Connects Diabetes And Cancer

Most people wouldn't think diabetes and cancer have anything to do with each other. But a group of experts from the American Cancer Society and the American Diabetes Association thinks they do. Read more  

Overtreating Earliest Cancers — But Which Ones?

It's an unthinkable notion for a generation raised on the message that early cancer detection saves lives, but specialists say more tumors actually are being found too early. Read more  

Cancer Survivors Skipping Medical Care

Cancer survivors are more likely to forgo or delay medical treatment because of health care costs, according to a new study published in the journal Cancer. Read more   

U.S. Cigarettes Contain More Cancer-Causing Chemicals

All cigarettes are not created equal, according to CDC scientists who say those made in the USA are more dangerous than foreign brands... Read more   

Findings May Alter Care for Early Breast Cancer

For many women with early-stage breast cancer, treatment may become considerably less arduous, researchers say. Read more  

People Survive Longer With Throat Cancer Caused By Virus

Patients with throat cancers caused by HPV — the human papillomavirus — have better chances at surviving their illnesses than patients whose cancers don't have a viral culprit. Read more   

Breast Cancer Vaccine Successful in Mice

Scientists at Ohio's Cleveland Clinic are touting a new prototype vaccine to prevent breast cancer as "promising." Read more  

Link Between Tanning Beds, Melanoma Grows Stronger

Strong evidence now links tanning beds to melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer that afflicts nearly 69,000 Americans a year. Read more  

Ovarian-Cancer Screening Shows Promise

Researchers may finally be closing in on a way to screen healthy women for ovarian cancer - a disease that rarely shows symptoms until it's too late to cure. Read more  

People with AIDS More Likely to Develop Cancers

As people live longer with AIDs, they are becoming far more likely than the rest of the population to develop cancers that were not previously associated with the virus... Read more  

Study: Cellphone-Brain Cancer Link Inconclusive

A major international study into the link between cellphone use and two types of brain cancer has proved inconclusive, according to a study... Read more  

Annals of Innovation: The Treatment

Malcolm Gladwell looks at why cancer drugs are so difficult to develop. Read the abstract  

Easing Bone Marrow Transplants to Widen Their Use

Bone marrow transplants are undergoing a quiet revolution: No longer just for cancer, research is under way to ease the risks so they can target more people with diseases from sickle cell to deadly metabolic disorders. Read more  

US Cancer Costs Double in 20 Years

The cost of treating cancer has doubled over the past 20 years, but those costs are in line with overall trends in health spending. Read more  

New Alarm Bells About Chemicals and Cancer

The President’s Cancer Panel is the Mount Everest of the medical mainstream, so it is astonishing to learn that it is poised to join ranks with the organic food movement and declare: chemicals threaten our bodies. Read more  

Prostate Cancer Drug Approved

This week the Federal Food and Drug Administration approved Provenge, a new type of drug for treating prostate cancer. SCCA 's Celestia Higano was one of the lead investigators for the study. Initially Provenge will be available on a very limited basis here at SCCA. Click to learn more about Provenge at SCCA.   

Five-minute Colon Cancer Test Could Save Thousands

A five-minute colon cancer test could reduce the number of deaths from the disease by 40 percent, a new study says. Read more  

Second Life: Moving Beyond Cancer

An inspiring collage of cancer survivors have posted their photos and answered the question, "How is life different after cancer?" Read more  

New PSA Test May Predict Prostate Cancer's Aggressiveness

An updated version of the standard prostate cancer test can help improve predictions about which men might not require immediate treatment, researchers report. Read more  

Seattle Biotech Firm on Verge of a Groundbreaking Cancer Vaccine

SCCA patient Bob Feutz is featured in a front page article that appeared this weekend concerning the pending approval of Provenge, a vaccine for prostate cancer that was trialed here at SCCA. Read more  

Insurance Company Routinely Targets Breast Cancer Patients

That tens of thousands of Americans lost their health insurance shortly after being diagnosed with life-threatening, expensive medical conditions has been well documented by law enforcement agencies... Read more  

Lung Scans Can Lead to Many False Alarms

Screening smokers for cancer with lung scans can lead to a high rate of false alarms, unneeded tests and biopsies, a new study suggests. Read more  

Stem-cell, Marrow Donors Rise

Donating blood stem cells or bone marrow to assist patients fighting blood or immune disorders has never been easier, or more popular. Read more  

Eating Vegetables Doesn’t Stop Cancer

A major study tracking the eating habits of 478,000 Europeans suggests that consuming lots of fruits and vegetables has little if any effect on preventing cancer. Read more  

Test to Warn Smokers of Lung Cancer Danger

Scientists may have found a way to tell which smokers are at highest risk of developing lung cancer: measuring a telltale genetic change inside their windpipes. Read more  

New Type of Ultrasound Might Substitute for Some Biopsies

Every year in the United States, more than 5 million biopsies are performed on suspicious tissue from all parts of the body, primarily to detect cancer. Read more   

One-third of Breast Cancer is Avoidable

Up to a third of breast cancer cases in Western countries could be avoided if women ate less and exercised more... Read more  

Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer Cases Soar

The most common cancer in the United States is nonmelanoma skin cancer, but the exact number of cases is unknown because they are generally not tracked by cancer registries. Now, a new study reports that Americans are developing those cancers at record numbers... Read more  

Balding May Cut Prostate Cancer Risk

Here's potentially good news for balding men, especially young balding men who may be distressed by their lack of locks... Read more  

In Cancer Fight, Teenagers Don’t Fit In

While overall survival rates are as high as 70 to 80 percent.... teenagers have not benefited from the huge advances in survival made by younger children and much older adults in recent decades. Read more  

ACS Says Let Men Decide on Prostate Screening

For the first time since 2001, the American Cancer Society has updated its advice on prostate cancer screening. And the upshot is that now more than ever men need to talk with their doctors about whether having a PSA test makes sense for them. .. Read More  

Oral Cancer's Toll Cruel

It brought a tough, All-Star NBA coach to tears this week. And it stilled the voice of a famous film critic. Head and neck cancers are rare, but known to be severe -- they can strip away a person's voice, distort the face and rob the basic abilities to eat, drink and swallow. The cancer can be so disfiguring, some patients seldom appear in public. Read more  

Aspirin May Help Prevent Return of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer survivors who took aspirin after completing treatment were half as likely to die or have their tumors spread around the body compared with survivors who didn't take aspirin, a long-running study of 4,164 nurses showed. Read more  

Millions Missing Colon Cancer Screening

Nearly half the people who need potentially lifesaving checks for the nation's No. 2 cancer killer - colorectal cancer - miss them, despite years of public efforts to make colon screening as widespread as tests for breast and prostate cancer. Read more  

Results Unproven, Robotic Surgery Wins Converts

Last year, 73,000 American men — 86 percent of the 85,000 who had prostate cancer surgery — had robot-assisted operations... Read more  

Racial Disparities Persist in Cancer Diagnosis

The incidence of advanced breast cancer diagnosis among black women remained 30 percent to 90 percent higher compared to white women between 1992 and 2004, according to new findings by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Read more  

A World of Difference

Today is World Cancer Day. Most of us, however, are affected by cancer every day—by the memories of loved ones we've lost, by the struggle for survival that friends and family members are enduring, or by our own experiences battling the disease. Tragically, far too many people who should beat cancer die from it. In fact, 40 percent of all cancer is preventable and one-third can be cured if detected early and treated effectively. Read more  

Ovarian Cancer Symptoms Speak Out — But What Are They Really Saying?

It used to be accepted that ovarian cancer was a “silent killer.” However, recent data have reproducibly demonstrated that the vast majority of patients with ovarian cancer have symptoms for at least several months before their diagnosis. Read more   

Living With a Formerly Fatal Blood Cancer

Before 2000, fewer than half of CML patients survived seven years; now nearly 90 percent are alive seven years after diagnosis and ... lead relatively normal lives. Read more  

New Breast Screening Limits Face Reversal

Annual mammograms, seemingly on their way out under new federal guidelines last year, may be coming back. The final health-care bill is likely to require coverage for more mammograms than the new guidelines recommend after women's groups, doctors and imaging-equipment makers stepped up pressure on lawmakers -- one of many threads of the bill negotiated behind the scenes. Read more  

2011  |  2010  |  2009