Breast Cancer and Pandemic Challenges: Mammograms and Vaccines With Lillie Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, HON-ONN-CG

Lillie Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, HON-ONN-CG.

Although the management of breast cancer has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the cancer care team has developed strategies to optimize screening and treatment experiences in spite of these challenges. In this interview, Lillie Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, HON-ONN-CG, Professor of Surgery at Johns Hopkins University and member of the National Breast Cancer Foundation Medical Advisory Council, shares advice advice regarding protocols for undergoing mammograms during the pandemic, including the timing of COVID-19 vaccination.

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Cancer Overscreening in Older Adults: Jennifer L. Moss, PhD

According to a study recently published in JAMA Network Open, a high proportion of older adults with average cancer risk are overscreened for colorectal, cervical, and breast cancers after surpassing specified upper age limits recommended by the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). In this interview, Jennifer L. Moss, PhD, first author of the study, discusses the significance of these findings, explains the risks of overscreening, and shares advice for reducing overscreening among older a...
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Thanks to COVID, New Cancer Diagnoses Fell by Nearly Half

During the COVID-19 pandemic, guidelines from the American Society of Clinical Oncology and other organizations have recommended that cancer screening procedures involving in-person visits, such as mammograms and colonoscopies, be postponed. These delays have contributed to a whopping 46.4% drop in the combined rate of new diagnoses for six cancers. This is the finding of a cross-sectional study, results of which have now been published in a research letter in JAMA Network Open, a...
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Family History-Based Colorectal Cancer Screening: Samir Gupta, MD

Colorectal cancer rates in younger adults are currently rising, and those with a family history of the disease face an even greater risk. Samir Gupta, MD, Chief of the Gastrointestinal (GI) Section of the San Diego Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, recently spoke with i3 Health about his research team's finding, now published in Cancer, that only 25% of patients between the ages of 40 to 49 who were diagnosed with colorectal cancer as a result of screening met the family history-based early sc...
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Family History-Based Screening Improves Colorectal Cancer Detection

In individuals with a family history of colorectal cancer, early screening improves detection, leading to a better prognosis in younger patients with this condition. Colorectal cancer rates in adults under the age of 50 are currently on the rise, and individuals with a family history of the disease face an even higher risk than the general population. Several societies, including the American Cancer Society, the US Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer, and the American College of Radiol...
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Lung Cancer Screening Program Websites: Faulty Advertising?

Although lung cancer screening can help to save lives, it is not without significant risks. Patients need to be given information about both benefits and risks so that they can make an informed decision regarding whether to undergo screening. However, an analysis of screening program websites has now shown that many provide a biased, overly positive perspective of screening rather than a well-balanced portrayal of risks and benefits. The National Lung Screening Trial found that screening with lo...
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Digital Breast Tomosynthesis for Breast Cancer Screening: Diana Miglioretti, PhD

In women undergoing screening for breast cancer, high recall rates—the proportion of patients who need to have their screening examination repeated due to a false-positive initial assessment—are often associated with increased costs and heightened patient anxiety. While the American College of Radiology recommends an upper threshold of 12% for recall rate, only 62.2% of radiologists meet this recommendation. In a recent study, Diana Miglioretti, PhD, Division Chief of Biostatistics at the U...
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Baseline PSA Screening and Long-Term Prostate Cancer Risk

​Baseline levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) at age 55 to 60 are correlated with men's long-term risk of developing clinically significant prostate cancer, according to a secondary analysis of long-term follow-up results from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial. Once broadly accepted as a tool for the early detection of prostate cancer, PSA screening has become controversial in recent years due to issues of overdiagnosis and overtreatment of slow-grow...
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How Should Familial Risk Impact Breast Cancer Screening?

​A new study has utilized data to determine the ages at which women with various degrees of familial history of breast cancer should begin screening.  Breast cancer is a serious public health concern that accounts for 15% of all cancer deaths in women. The earlier it is caught, the more effectively it can be treated. But when should screening begin? Different guidelines offer varying opinions. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the US Preventive Services Task Force (...
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Optimizing Prostate Cancer Detection: Interview With Johannes Czernin, MD

There is a discrepancy in guideline recommendations regarding prostate cancer detection; National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines recommend using 18F-fluciclovine PET-CT for prostate cancer biochemical recurrence localization after radical prostatectomy as opposed to European Association of Urology (EAU) guidelines, which recommend prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) PET-CT. Jeremie Calais, MD, Johannes Czernin, MD, and colleagues compared using 18F-fluciclovine PET-CT versu...
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Colorectal Cancer Diagnoses on the Rise in Younger Patients

Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin have determined that diagnoses of colorectal cancer are increasing in patients under 50 years of age. While new guidelines from the American Cancer Society recommend that average-risk adults begin undergoing regular screening for colorectal cancer at age 45, many physicians do not begin referring patients for screening – either colonoscopy or alternatives such as fecal immunochemical tests or fecal occult blood tests – until age 50. The study pu...
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Metabolomic Biomarkers Predict Lung Cancer Type, Survival

Investigators are utilizing magnetic resonance spectroscopy to identify metabolomic biomarkers that can predict type, stage, and survival in patients with early-stage lung cancer. Due to lack of early screening methods, lung cancer is commonly not diagnosed until the later stages, resulting in a mortality rate of over 70%. Low-dose spiral computed tomography (LDCT) can detect small lung nodules but is not considered an effective screening tool due to its high cost and radiation hazards. The rese...
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Findings Confirmed: CT Screening Reduces Lung Cancer Deaths

​The extended follow-up of the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) confirms the study's previous finding: low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scans reduce mortality from lung cancer to a greater extent than do chest radiographs. The NLST randomly assigned 53,452 high-risk current and former smokers at 33 medical institutions in the United States to receive three annual screenings, done using either LDCT or chest radiographs. Results reported in 2011 after a median of 6.5 years of follow-up demo...
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Increasing Eligibility for Lung Cancer Screening With Ping Yang, MD, PhD

​Screening is essential to reducing deaths from lung cancer, a condition which, due to high rates of late-stage diagnosis, is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. The United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening for individuals aged 55 to 80 who either currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years and have a history of 30 or more pack years, a pack year being the number of packs smoked per day multipl...
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The Need to Expand Lung Cancer Screening Criteria

Since lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide because most patients are diagnosed when they already have advanced disease, effective screening is of the utmost importance. The United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends screening for all individuals aged 55 to 80 with a smoking history of 30 or more pack years—a pack year being the number of packs smoked per day multiplied by the number of years a person has smoked—who either currently smoke or h...
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Raising Awareness of Lung Cancer Screening Through Social Media: An Interview With Aimee Strong, MSN, AGACNP-BC

​Lung cancer screening using low-dose computed tomography (CT) has been endorsed by the United States Preventive Services Task Force and is covered by most insurances, yet this service is still underutilized, and some individuals at high risk for lung cancer may not know that it exists. Aimee Strong, MSN, AGACNP-BC, investigated whether social media could be used to educate high-risk individuals about lung cancer screening and motivate them to discuss screening with their health care providers. ...
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FDA Proposes Modernization of Mammography Services

​The FDA has proposed regulatory amendments to improve the quality of breast cancer screening by expanding the information provided to patients and physicians, modernizing standards for mammograms, and enabling better enforcement of safety and quality regulations. "Breast cancer is one of the most worrisome health concerns facing women. The FDA plays a unique and meaningful role in the delivery of quality mammography to help patients get accurate screening to identify breast health problems...
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Fighting Breast Cancer: Around Half a Million Lives Saved

​From 1975 to 1990, mortality rates for US women with breast cancer increased by 0.4% per year. Since then, breast cancer mortality rates have declined between 1.8% and 3.4% per year, resulting in between 384,000 and 614,500 saved lives, according to a new study published in the journal Cancer. "Recent reviews of mammography screening have focused media attention on some of the risks of mammography screening, such as callbacks for additional imaging and breast biopsies, downplaying the most impo...
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Long-Term Colon Cancer Risk Lower After Normal Colonoscopy

The guidelines regarding colon cancer recommend that average-risk patients undergo a colonoscopy every 10 years, even if their previous colonoscopy results were negative. However, until recently, there has been limited evidence to support this recommendation. To address this lack of evidence, investigators studied 1.25 million individuals aged 50 to 75 who were considered to have average risk for developing colon cancer. Average risk entails an absence of the following: a personal history of col...
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Epigenetic Cervical Cancer Test Yields 100% Detection Rate

Researchers recently developed a cervical screening exam that is able to accurately identify cervical cancer using epigenetics. At a fraction of the cost, this new epigenetic test outperformed Pap smears and human papillomavirus (HPV) exams in detecting cervical cancer by identifying naturally-occurring chemical markers that show up on top of the DNA, comprising its epigenetic profile. "This is an enormous development. We're not only astounded by how well this test detects cervical cancer, but i...
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