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In the News

Breast Cancer

Older Breast Cancer Survivors May Consider Discontinuing Screening Mammography in the Setting of Limited Life Expectancy

Charlotte Bath  /  March 25, 2021

Newly issued mammography screening guidelines for breast cancer survivors aged 75 and older recommend discontinuing routine mammography for those with a life expectancy of less than 5 years and considering discontinuation of routine screening for those with a life expectancy between 5 and 10 years. ...

Survivorship
Issues in Oncology

Ongoing Surveillance and Efforts to Reduce Smoking and Obesity Needed to Lower Cancer Survivors’ Risks of New Cancers

Charlotte Bath  /  February 25, 2021

The risk of developing or dying of a new primary cancer, particularly those cancers associated with smoking and obesity, was greater among survivors of adult-onset cancers than the expected risk in the general population, according to an analysis of data from more than 1.5 million cancer survivors.1...

Survivorship
Issues in Oncology

When to Start a Conversation With Patients About Subsequent Primary Cancers

Charlotte Bath  /  February 25, 2021

Among patients who survive a primary cancer, concern about recurrence, especially metastatic disease, is extremely common; however, information about future risk for subsequent primary cancers is seldom communicated to these patients, leading to missed opportunities to prevent or detect subsequent p...

Breast Cancer

Significant Survival Benefit From Chemotherapy for Older Women With Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Charlotte Bath  /  January 25, 2021

Women older than age 70 diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer had significantly improved overall survival if they received adjuvant and/or neoadjuvant chemotherapy, according to an analysis of data from more than 16,000 women enrolled in the National Cancer Database. The estimated 5-year over...

Gynecologic Cancers

Study Shows Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy to Be 'Viable Option' for Surgical Staging of Endometrial Cancer

Charlotte Bath  /  December 25, 2020

Sentinel lymph node biopsy “had similar diagnostic accuracy and prognostic ability as lymphadenectomy in patients with high-grade endometrial cancer at greatest risk for nodal metastases,” according to the SENTOR trial, a prospective cohort study of 156 patients with clinical stage I disease. Using ...

Skin Cancer

Mohs Surgery vs Wide Local Excision for Trunk and Extremity Melanomas: Comparable Overall Survival Rates

Charlotte Bath  /  November 25, 2020

A cohort study of 188,862 cases of all-stage melanomas of the trunk and extremities found no differences in overall survival between patients treated with Mohs micrographic surgery or with wide local excision.1 “These findings add to the existing body of evidence demonstrating that wide local excisi...

Skin Cancer

Expect Questions About Mohs Micrographic Surgery

Charlotte Bath  /  November 25, 2020

A recent study finding similar overall survival rates for patients with melanomas of the trunk and extremities treated with Mohs micrographic surgery or wide local excision1 raises questions about why and when physicians might recommend, and patients opt for, one or the other procedure. “The most i...

Breast Cancer

Focus on Preventing Invasive Recurrence in Women With DCIS Does Not Sufficiently Address Breast Cancer Mortality

Charlotte Bath  /  October 25, 2020

A study published recently by Giannakeas et al looked at the risk of death from breast cancer for women diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS).1 The investigators anticipated that treatment would eliminate the risk of invasive ipsilateral recurrence and prevent subsequent mortality from brea...

Breast Cancer

Expect Questions About Increased Cancer Mortality Risk Among Patients Diagnosed With DCIS

Charlotte Bath  /  October 25, 2020

A large cohort study1 finding that the risk of dying of breast cancer was increased threefold after a DCIS diagnosis may cause patients diagnosed with DCIS to ask what they can do to reduce that risk. Currently, there is little that most patients can do. “The lifetime risk of death following DCIS is...

Pancreatic Cancer

Study Finds Recent-Onset Diabetes With Unintentional Weight Loss Linked to Increased Risk of Pancreatic Cancer

Charlotte Bath  /  September 25, 2020

A large cohort study with close to 160,000 men and women reported that “recent-onset diabetes accompanied by weight loss was associated with a substantial increase in risk for pancreatic cancer and may represent a high-risk group in the general population for whom early detection strategies would be...

Pancreatic Cancer

Recognizing the Coexistence of Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer

Charlotte Bath  /  September 25, 2020

Incidence rates for pancreatic cancer were 6-fold to 10-fold higher among participants in a study who had recent-onset diabetes and weight loss.1 This led the study authors to write: “The coexistence of these symptoms should be recognized by clinicians given that both the relative and absolute risks...

Breast Cancer

One in Six Premenopausal Women With Invasive Breast Cancer Is Nonadherent to Tamoxifen Therapy

Charlotte Bath  /  August 25, 2020

Measuring serum levels of tamoxifen among premenopausal women being treated for invasive breast cancer identified a “worryingly high proportion of patients, one in six, who were nonadherent to therapy at only 1 year after treatment prescription,” researchers reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncol...

Gynecologic Cancers

Higher Risk of Disease Recurrence and Death With Minimally Invasive vs Open Surgery for Early-Stage Cervical Cancer

Charlotte Bath  /  July 10, 2020

Women with early-stage cervical cancer treated with minimally invasive radical hysterectomy had a 71% increased risk of recurrence and a 56% increased risk of death compared with those treated with open radical hysterectomy, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis of 15 studies involving ...

Issues in Oncology

Extended-Fraction Radiation Therapy for Bone Metastases Represents Low-Value Care but Continues to Be Widely Practiced

Charlotte Bath  /  June 25, 2020

An analysis of radiation therapy patterns among more than 12,000 Medicare patients treated for bone metastases found that 23.4% received extended-fraction radiation therapy, “wasting both health-care dollars and precious patient time,” according to the investigators.1 One-third of the treating physi...

Issues in Oncology

Initiate Conversations About Radiation Therapy for Bone Metastases

Charlotte Bath  /  June 25, 2020

Although the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has recommended extended-fraction radiation therapy (more than 10 fractions) not be routinely used for palliation of bone metastases,1 a recently published retrospective cohort study using Medicare data for more than 12,000 patients found ...

Breast Cancer

Cognitive Impairment in Women Treated for Early Breast Cancer: Chemoendocrine Adjuvant Therapy vs Endocrine Therapy Alone

Charlotte Bath  /  June 10, 2020

Women with early-stage breast cancer who received adjuvant chemoendocrine therapy reported greater cognitive impairment at 3 and 6 months than women receiving adjuvant endocrine therapy alone, according to the results from a subgroup of women participating in the TAILORx trial.1 By 12 months, the de...

Prostate Cancer

Statins With or Without Metformin Are Associated With Increased Survival in Patients With High‑Risk Prostate Cancer

Charlotte Bath  /  April 25, 2020

A population-based retrospective cohort study involving 12,700 patients found that men with high-risk prostate cancer who took a statin alone or in combination with metformin had reduced all-cause and prostate cancer–specific mortality. The associations between the medications and reduce...

EXPECT INTEREST AND QUESTIONS ABOUT STATINS AND METFORMIN

The ASCO Post  /  April 25, 2020

A study showing that statins used alone or in combination with metformin was associated with reduced prostate cancer mortality and all-cause mortality among men with high-risk prostate cancer may raise more questions about these already commonly used drugs.1 “Metformin is the first-line therapy for...

COVID-19

Mitigating the Spread of COVID-19 and Its Impact on Cancer

Jo Cavallo  /  April 10, 2020

On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) took the step it had been avoiding for weeks and declared that the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and the virus that causes it, now identified as SARS-CoV-2, had reached global pandemic levels, the first pandemic sparked by a coron...

Bladder Cancer
Immunotherapy

Early Data Show Activity for Enfortumab Vedotin Plus Pembrolizumab in Advanced Bladder Cancer

Alice Goodman  /  March 25, 2020

It may be possible to use a platinum-free combination as first-line treatment for advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma in cisplatin-ineligible patients, if results of the phase Ib/II EV-103 trial hold up. The combination of the newly approved antibody-drug conjugate (enfortumab vedotin) and a...

Breast Cancer
Issues in Oncology

Addressing the Needs of Transgender Patients for Breast Cancer Screening in Comfortable and Inclusive Environments

Charlotte Bath  /  March 25, 2020

An analysis of breast imaging center websites and a literature search for research articles on transgender breast health found that “issues related to transgender breast imaging are not well addressed in the radiology literature or in the radiology community, even though more transgender patients ar...

Breast Cancer
Issues in Oncology

Don’t Expect Transgender Patients to ‘Out’ Themselves

Charlotte Bath  /  March 25, 2020

Although more transgender patients are presenting to breast centers for imaging, many “report significant social stigma when seeking care,” according to a study in the Journal of Breast Imaging.1 Reported verbal abuse and other forms of harassment “can lead to transgender patients concealing their g...

Breast Cancer

Using Antioxidants and Other Supplements With Chemotherapy May Increase Risk of Breast Cancer Recurrence and Mortality

Charlotte Bath  /  February 25, 2020

Using antioxidants and other dietary supplements before and during adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer may increase the risk of recurrence and “to a lesser extent, death,” according to an analysis of dietary and nutritional data from a phase III trial, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncolo...

Solid Tumors

Incidence of Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Anus Has ‘Increased Dramatically’ in Older Women and Young Black Men

Charlotte Bath  /  December 25, 2019

“Squamous cell carcinoma of the anus incidence has increased dramatically in elderly women and young black men,” according to a study of recent trends in incidence and mortality. “Advanced-stage [anal squamous cell carcinoma] incidence tripled with a prominent rise in … mortality,” researchers repor...

Issues in Oncology

A Call to Action for Oncology Clinicians to Help Patients ‘Move Through Cancer’

Charlotte Bath  /  November 25, 2019

“There is clear evidence that patients are more likely to exercise if their oncologist tells them to do so,” reported representatives from 17 organizations participating in the Second Roundtable on Exercise and Cancer Prevention and Control. In an article published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinic...

Issues in Oncology

Oncology Clinicians Play A Role in Telling Patients About the Importance of Exercise

Charlotte Bath  /  November 25, 2019

New exercise guidelines for patients with cancer can “improve physical and psychological outcomes from cancer diagnosis and for the balance of life,” concluded representatives from 17 organizations participating in the Second Roundtable on Exercise and Cancer Prevention and Control.1 Attention focus...

Colorectal Cancer

Physical Activity Delays Disease Progression and Lowers Risk of Adverse Events in Patients With Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

Charlotte Bath  /  October 25, 2019

Patients who were being treated with chemotherapy for metastatic colorectal cancer and who reported engaging in physical activity had a significantly longer progression-free survival and reduced risk for treatment-related adverse events than did those reporting less physical activity, according to a...

Prostate Cancer

Active Surveillance for Early-Stage Prostate Cancer Requires Active Participation by Patient and Clinician

Charlotte Bath  /  July 25, 2019

Active surveillance of patients with early-stage prostate cancer “is tackling the problem of overtreatment” and, with rigorous monitoring, “is safe and allows us to treat only patients who need treatment when their cancer progresses,” Ronald C. Chen, MD, MPH, affirmed in an interview with The ASCO P...

Supportive Care

Are Your Patients Using Complementary and Alternative Therapies? You Might Not Know If You Don’t Ask

Charlotte Bath  /  June 25, 2019

Nearly one-third of patients with cancer who reported that they used complementary and alternative therapies in a nationwide survey did not tell their physicians about the use of those therapies, and the most frequently cited reason for not telling their physicians was that their physicians did no...

Pancreatic Cancer

Lifestyle Modifications and Screening of Patients at High Risk Can Reduce Deaths From Pancreatic Cancer

Charlotte Bath  /  May 25, 2019

After disclosing that he had been diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer, Alex Trebek, longtime host of the popular television game show Jeopardy!, vowed that he would beat the disease despite the low associated survival rate. His statement has brought pancreatic cancer back into the public spotl...

Pancreatic Cancer

Expect Questions About Screening for Pancreatic Cancer

Charlotte Bath  /  May 25, 2019

Although the detection of pancreatic cancer at early stages would offer an improved chance for successful treatment and survival, symptoms of pancreatic cancer are usually vague or absent, and screening to detect pancreatic cancer earlier is not recommended for average-risk asymptomatic patients. Th...

Issues in Oncology

Rising Rates of Six Obesity-Related Cancers Among Younger Adults

Charlotte Bath  /  April 25, 2019

PHYSICIANS SHOULD routinely assess the body mass index (BMI) of their patients and offer counseling and/or referrals to a nutritionist or dietician to patients with a BMI of > 30 kg/m2, Ahmedin Jemal, DVM, PhD, told The ASCO Post. Those actions plus community-level policies designed to increase o...

Issues in Oncology

Assess and Address Weight Issues to Curtail Rise in Obesity-Related Cancers

Charlotte Bath  /  April 25, 2019

THE RISK FOR developing several obesity-related cancers is rising more rapidly in people aged 25 to 49 than in those older than 50, with the magnitude of the rise steepest in the youngest age group, according to a study published in Lancet Public Health.1 In an interview with The ASCO Post, the stud...

Issues in Oncology

Knowing Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation of Patients Is a Vital Aspect of Medical Care

Charlotte Bath  /  March 25, 2019

A survey of oncologists from National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers found that 95.3% of oncologists who responded are comfortable with treating lesbian, gay, and bisexual patients with cancer, and 82.5% are comfortable treating transgender patients with cancer.1 Just...

Breast Cancer

Increased Risk of Bone Loss Extends to Younger Women Treated for Breast Cancer

Charlotte Bath  /  February 25, 2019

Younger women who have been treated for breast cancer have a higher risk for osteopenia and osteoporosis than do their cancer-free peers, and that risk seems to rise when treatment involves chemotherapy plus hormone therapy or aromatase inhibitors alone. Researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Scho...

Gynecologic Cancers

Comparing Survival Outcomes With Minimally Invasive and Open Surgical Approaches to Early-Stage Cervical Cancer

Charlotte Bath  /  December 25, 2018

MINIMALLY INVASIVE radical hysterectomy for women with early-stage cervical cancer has been associated with reduced rates of disease-free and overall survival in the phase III LACC randomized noninferiority trial comparing minimally invasive and open abdominal radical hysterectomy. The results w...

Gynecologic Cancers

Welcome Questions About Cervical Cancer Treatment Options

Charlotte Bath  /  December 25, 2018

TWO STUDIES reported in The New England Journal of Medicine1,2 showed that patients with early-stage cervical cancer had reduced disease-free and overall survival when treated with minimally invasive radical hysterectomy vs open or radical hysterectomy. The findings of these studies have been widely...

Issues in Oncology
Breast Cancer
Genomics/Genetics

Obligation to Evaluate Racial/Ethnic Features That May Affect Outcomes for Patients With Breast Cancer

Charlotte Bath  /  November 25, 2018

"WE ABSOLUTELY have an obligation to evaluate all of the features describing our patients with cancer when we are trying to figure out why some patients do better than others,” Lisa A. Newman, MD, MPH, reminded the nearly 700 participants at the 2018 Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Symposium, hosted by th...

Issues in Oncology
Genomics/Genetics
Breast Cancer

ADVISE PATIENTS ABOUT THE IMPLICATIONS OF RACIAL DISPARITIES FOR BREAST CANCER SCREENING

Charlotte Bath  /  November 25, 2018

“BLACK WOMEN are more likely to develop breast cancer at a younger age, compared with white American women, and at all ages, younger and older individuals are more likely to develop triple-negative breast cancers,” Lisa A. Newman, MD, MPH, told The ASCO Post. “So, I think it is very clear that if al...

Many Patients With Early-Stage Follicular Lymphoma May Not Receive Guideline-Recommended Radiation Therapy

Charlotte Bath  /  October 25, 2018

Radiation therapy for early-stage follicular lymphoma “is underused,” Joanna C. Yang, MD, MPH, and Joachim Yahalom, MD, declared in a recent editorial in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.1 This underuse of radiation therapy can result in overtreatment with systemic therapies or overconfidence in...

Breast Cancer
Genomics/Genetics

Mutations in Five Genes Linked to Higher Lifetime Risks for Aggressive Breast Cancer

Charlotte Bath  /  September 25, 2018

USING MULTIGENE hereditary cancer panels to test for mutations in five genes can identify women at high risk for triple-negative breast cancer who may then benefit from more frequent screening, risk management, and potentially targeted therapies as well. A study that looked at multigene panel testin...

Breast Cancer
Genomics/Genetics

Expect Questions About Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer

Charlotte Bath  /  September 25, 2018

A STUDY finding that pathogenic variants in 5 genes are associated with a high risk of triple-negative breast cancer and a 20% lifetime risk for overall breast cancer1 may increase interest in genetic testing. “This is the first study to establish which genes are associated with high lifetime risks ...

Breast Cancer

Breast Reconstruction: ‘A Process Not a Procedure’ With Potential Short- and Long-Term Complications

Charlotte Bath  /  August 25, 2018

The complication rate among women who underwent postmastectomy breast reconstruction was 32.9% at 2 years postoperatively, and women undergoing autologous reconstruction “had significantly higher odds of developing any complication compared with those undergoing expander-implant reconstruction,” a...

Breast Cancer
Integrative Oncology

ASCO Endorses Guidelines for Integrative Therapies During and After Breast Cancer Treatment

Charlotte Bath  /  July 25, 2018

RECOMMENDATIONS IN the Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO) clinical practice guidelines for integrative therapies during and after breast cancer treatment “are clear, thorough, and based on the most relevant scientific evidence,” concluded an ASCO expert panel that reviewed the guidelines.1,2 ASC...

Integrative Oncology
Breast Cancer

Be Prepared to Answer—and Ask—Questions About Integrative Therapy

Charlotte Bath  /  July 25, 2018

ASCO HAS ENDORSED the recommendations in the Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO) clinical practice guidelines for integrative therapies during and after breast cancer.1,2 The guidelines “are clear, thorough, and based on the most relevant scientific evidence,” wrote the ASCO expert panel that rev...

Solid Tumors
Colorectal Cancer

Following Guidelines for Healthy Eating and Physical Activity May Improve Survival in Patients Treated for Colon Cancer

Charlotte Bath  /  June 10, 2018

Following guidelines for proper nutrition, maintaining a healthy weight, and staying physically active may improve survival among patients treated for colon cancer, according to the results of a study with nearly 1,000 patients followed for a median of 7 years.1 “The study suggests that if patie...

Solid Tumors
Breast Cancer

Dispel Fears About Breast Cancer Radiotherapy With ‘Real Truth’ About Modern Techniques and Side Effects

Charlotte Bath  /  May 10, 2018

Nearly 85% of patients surveyed 6 or more months after completing radiotherapy as part of their treatment for breast cancer reported the side effects were not as bad as they had feared or expected. Approximately 92% of the 269 patients treated with breast conservation and 81% of the 58 patients ...

Solid Tumors
Supportive Care
Immunotherapy

Physician-Patient Partnership Is Key to Recognizing and Managing Side Effects of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

Charlotte Bath  /  April 10, 2018

“Immunotherapy has a completely different side-effect profile than chemotherapy, and that has caught physicians off guard,” noted Drew Pardoll, MD, PhD, in an article published earlier this year in The Washington Post.1 Since then, efforts have moved forward on several fronts to bring physicians, as...

Solid Tumors
Breast Cancer

Steep Decline in Chemotherapy Use for Early-Stage Breast Cancer

Charlotte Bath  /  February 10, 2018

The use of chemotherapy to treat women with early-stage breast cancer “declined markedly over time,” according to analysis of data from 2,926 women between the ages of 20 and 79. The trends documented “are remarkable for their steepness of decline, independent of clinical factors and despite no majo...

Oncologists Urged to Be Proactive in Advising Patients to Reduce Risk of Alcohol-Related Cancers

Charlotte Bath  /  December 25, 2017

A recently released ASCO statement summarizing extensive evidence linking alcohol use to an increased risk of several leading cancers, including breast, colon, and head and neck, called on oncologists “as front-line providers for cancer patients” to help patients reduce excessive alcohol use.1 “Desp...

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