Cancer news articles round up: January 2011

Each week we scan the news headlines on Twitter too see how cancer is being discussed in the media and to stay on top of new research developments. Below is an overview of the cancer news articles that caught out eye over the last month. Any big stories we missed? Let us know in comments.

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Cancer News Articles

  • Early breast cancers may need less lymph node surgery. The Journal of the American Medical Association published the results from an NCI study suggesting women with early breast cancer can opt for less surgeries, specifically the removal of lymph nodes. This story was picked up widely across all media, here’s the story as reported by USA Today.
  • More candor urged in care of dying cancer patients. The American Society of Clinical Oncology says too often, patients aren’t told about options like comfort care or even that their chemo has become futile until the bitter end. To help families broach the topic, the group developed an easy-to-read booklet about those choices, from standard care to symptom relief, and advice about what to ask to maximize remaining time. Read more at the Washington Examiner.
  • Experts say simple life changes could prevent 35% of cancer. Eat healthier, drink less, exercise more. Estimates from the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) suggest that making simple lifestyle changes could prevent some 40 percent of breast cancers alone in Britain and the United States, as well as tens of thousands of colon, stomach and prostate cancers. Read more at Reuters.
  • Your allergies might protect you against brain cancer. The results of a new study showed that individuals who reported the greatest number of allergies were less likely to develop gliomas, the most common type of brain tumor. Read more at MSNBC Health.
  • Cancer drug Avastin linked to 50% increased risk of death during treatment compared to chemo alone. The review, which will be published in the Feb. 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, pools the results of 16 studies of 5,589 patients who were taking Avastin for solid tumors of the colon, lung, breast, prostate, kidney, or pancreas. Read more at WebMd.
  • Drug shortages forcing some risky alternatives. Unprecedented shortages of injectable drugs have forced doctors to resort to medications that are less safe or postpone or cancel procedures, often at the last minute, according to the Food and Drug Administration and health care groups. Anesthesiology and oncology have been hit particularly hard. Read more at USA Today.
  • Dogs sniff out colon cancer. When smelling breath samples, Labrador retrievers were atleast 95% as accurate as identifying cancer as a colonoscopy and 98% correct for sniffing stool samples, the study found. Read more at USA Today.
  • Starting hormone replacement therapy early raises breast cancer risk. The study of more than 1 million British women showed that those who waited five years or more to take HRT had little or no increased risk of breast cancer. But those who started it as they entered menopause had a 43 percent higher risk. Read more at MSNBC.

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