December 2014 Briefing - Hematology & Oncology

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Hematology & Oncology for December 2014. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Risks, Management of Atypical Hyperplasia of Breast Discussed

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Atypical hyperplasia is associated with increased breast cancer risk, and consequently, women should be educated regarding their risk of developing breast cancer and the potential risk reduction associated with chemoprevention, according to a special report published in the Jan. 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Ebola, ACA, VA Scandal Top U.S. Health News for 2014

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- It started as a deadly but little-known outbreak in West Africa, but the lethal and unchecked spread of the Ebola virus dominated U.S. headlines for much of 2014, making it one of the year's top health news features.

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AMA Identifies Top 10 Issues That Affected Docs in 2014

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The top 10 issues that affected physicians in 2014 include many regulatory issues relating to Medicare and data release, as well as health issues such as overprescribing of antibiotics and the Ebola crisis, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Dashboards, Pay Incentives Improve VTE Prophylaxis Rates

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Provider-level dashboard and pay-for-performance programs may increase compliance with venous thromboembolism (VTE) prevention measures, according to research published online Dec. 26 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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Surgeon General Still Has Important Role to Play

TUESDAY, Dec. 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The Surgeon General has an important role in educating and mobilizing the public and shaping policy on public health issues, according to an ideas and opinions piece published online Dec. 30 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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H. pylori May Not Be Risk Factor for Head and Neck Cancer

TUESDAY, Dec. 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Helicobacter pylori may not be a risk factor for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, according to a study published online Dec. 18 in Head & Neck.

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Risk of Leukemia Tied to Breast Cancer Rx Higher Than Thought

MONDAY, Dec. 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Among early-stage breast cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment, the risk for developing treatment-related leukemia, though low, is still double what experts had previously thought, a new analysis reveals. Reporting online Dec. 22 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the researchers said the findings should give pause to doctors and breast cancer patients who are considering post-surgical treatment options.

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High Yield With Radiologist Recommendation for Chest CT

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Chest computed tomography (CT) examinations recommended by a radiologist to assess abnormal chest radiographic findings have a high yield of clinically relevant findings, according to research published online Dec. 22 in Radiology.

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2015 Medicare Fee Schedule Offers Payment for Chronic Care

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The 2015 Medicare Fee Schedule includes a Current Procedural Terminology Code that pays for clinical staff time for developing and implementing a care plan for patients with two or more chronic conditions, according to an article published Dec. 18 in Medical Economics.

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No Increased Risk of Second Cancers With Radiotx in Pelvic CA

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with pelvic cancers, the risk of developing a second cancer is not increased with radiotherapy (RT), according to a study published online Dec. 22 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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FDA Addresses Blood Donations by Men Who Have Sex With Men

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday its intention to release a new draft guidance in early 2015 that would ultimately open the door to blood donations from men who have sex with men (MSM).

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FDA Approves Opdivo for Advanced Melanoma

MONDAY, Dec. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Opdivo (nivolumab) has received accelerated approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat unresectable or metastatic melanoma that no longer responds to other drugs, the agency said Monday.

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Goal in Stage Ia1 Cervical Cancer Is Complete Excision

MONDAY, Dec. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Clear excision margins are important in the management of stage Ia1 squamous cervical cancer, according to research published in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Certain Bisphosphonates Tied to Lower Risk of Endometrial CA

MONDAY, Dec. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Bisphosphonates may lower the risk of endometrial cancer, new research suggests. The study appears online Dec. 22 in Cancer.

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FDA Approves Lynparza for Advanced Ovarian Cancer

FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Lynparza (olaparib) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat advanced ovarian cancer associated with defective BRCA genes, the agency said Friday in a news release.

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FDA OKs Pathogen Reduction System to Treat Platelets

FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A new system designed to remove viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens from donated blood platelets was approved Friday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Earlier in the week, the agency approved a similar system to remove pathogens from donated blood plasma.

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Cancer Treatment Costs Creating 'Financial Toxicity' for Patients

FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The cost of cancer treatment can cause financial stress that threatens patients' well-being, according to a new study published online Dec. 16 in the Journal of Oncology Practice.

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Tips Offered to Docs, Spouses for Maintaining Happy Marriage

FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Simple tips can help physicians and their spouses maintain marital happiness, according to an article published in the American Medical Association (AMA) Alliance magazine Physician Family.

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SLNB Doesn't Up Survival in Melanoma Arising in Head, Neck

FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with melanoma arising in head and neck subsites (HNM), there is no association between sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) and disease-specific survival (DSS), according to research published in the December issue of JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

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Good Long-Term Outcomes for Laparoscopic Radical Cystectomy

FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with bladder cancer, laparoscopic radical cystectomy (LRC) is associated with good long-term outcomes, according to research published online Dec. 18 in BJU International.

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Medical Marijuana Helpful for Cancer-Linked Symptoms

THURSDAY, Dec. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Cannabis and cannabinoid pharmaceuticals can be helpful for nausea and vomiting, pain, and weight loss associated with cancer, according to research published online Dec. 10 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

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FDA: New System Targets Pathogens in Donated Blood Plasma

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A new system designed to reduce pathogens in donated blood plasma and reduce the risk of transfusion-transmitted infections has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Low Risk of Malignancy for Small Complex Adnexal Masses

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For older women with small complex adnexal masses, the overall risk of malignancy is low, according to a study published in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Digital Self-Scheduling Set to Increase Considerably by 2019

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Digital self-scheduling is set to increase considerably in the next five years, according to a report published by Accenture.

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Hospital Staff Say 'Crisis Mode' Obstructs Communication

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Staff members who perceive a work climate of crisis mode in their hospital units say that it leads to problems in exchanging patient information, according to research published online Dec. 10 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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Challenges ID'd in Development of the Physician Compare Website

TUESDAY, Dec. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), information must be made available to allow the public to compare physicians, although there are considerable challenges surrounding the development of the physician performance website, Physician Compare. These challenges are addressed in a health policy brief published online Dec. 11 in Health Affairs.

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Entecavir Cuts Hep B Reactivation in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma

TUESDAY, Dec. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Entecavir is more efficacious than lamivudine for preventing hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation among patients who are seropositive for the hepatitis B surface antigen with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma receiving rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (R-CHOP) chemotherapy treatment. These findings have been published in the Dec. 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Direct Oral Anticoagulants Have Distinct Bleeding Profiles

TUESDAY, Dec. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) have distinct bleeding profiles and require individualized management approaches, according to a state-of-the-art review published in the December issue of JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions.

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Physicians Reminded of Ethical Obligations Regarding Torture

TUESDAY, Dec. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- With the issuing of the new U.S. Senate report on interrogations, the American Medical Association (AMA) is reminding physicians of their ethical obligations relating to torture and interrogation.

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Support for Electronic Health Information Varies With Use

TUESDAY, Dec. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Consent and purpose are important for public support of secondary uses of electronic health information, according to a study published in the Dec. 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Physicians Should Scrutinize Job Offers Before Accepting

MONDAY, Dec. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians should scrutinize job offers and pay attention to specific issues before accepting a job, according to an article published Dec. 3 in Medical Economics.

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Webcast Scheduled to Discuss Maintenance of Certification

MONDAY, Dec. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- New data relating to Maintenance of Certification (MOC) will be discussed in a free webcast to be held Dec. 17 by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

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No Higher Risk of Breast Cancer for Women With Migraines

MONDAY, Dec. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Migraine headaches do not raise the risk for breast cancer, according to research published online Dec. 12 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Screening Performance Differs With Distinct Fecal Test Brands

MONDAY, Dec. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Different brands of fecal immunochemical tests (FITs) with the same cutoff hemoglobin concentration perform differently in detection of colorectal cancer (CRC), according to a study published in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

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FDA: Cyramza Approval Now Includes Non-Small-Cell Lung CA

FRIDAY, Dec. 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of the anti-cancer drug Cyramza (ramucirumab) has been expanded to include aggressive non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the agency said Friday.

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Tips Offered for Docs to Manage Their Online Reputation

FRIDAY, Dec. 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians can manage their online reputation, according to a report from the American Medical Association (AMA).

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CDC: PCPs to Inform Families of Sickle Cell Trait in Newborns

FRIDAY, Dec. 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Primary care providers should offer educational materials and provide genetic counseling to families when they receive positive results for sickle cell trait (SCT) at the time of newborn screening, according to a report published in the Dec. 12 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Mortality Not Up With Pregnancy-Associated Malignant Melanoma

FRIDAY, Dec. 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Cause-specific mortality does not differ significantly for women and girls with malignant melanoma (MM) diagnosed during pregnancy and up to two years postpartum (pregnancy-associated MM [PAMM]) and with non-PAMM, according to a study published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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FDA OKs Test for Human T-Cell Lymphotropic Virus Antibodies

THURSDAY, Dec. 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A new screening test to detect human T-cell lymphotropic virus-I/II (HTLV-I/II) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Many Breast Cancer Patients Receive Too Much Radiation Tx

THURSDAY, Dec. 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Many U.S. patients with breast cancer still get radiation therapy for much longer than they need to, according to research published online Dec. 10 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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FDA Approves Gardasil for Additional Types of HPV

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The Gardasil 9 vaccine has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat five additional types of human papillomavirus (HPV), the FDA said Wednesday.

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More Students Enrolling in U.S. Medical Schools

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- More students are enrolling in medical schools, and enrollees are more diverse than before, according to a report from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound Best for Pancreatic CA

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- High-intensity focused ultrasound seems superior to other therapies for pancreatic cancer, according to a review published in the December issue of the Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine.

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More Docs, Patients Not Speaking Same Language

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- People applying to become medical residents in the United States speak a wide range of non-English languages, but many aren't the languages spoken by patients with limited English skills, according to a research letter published in the Dec. 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on medical education.

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Exercise Eases Arthralgia Caused by Aromatase Inhibitors

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Exercise helps relieve aromatase inhibitor (AI)-induced pain in breast cancer survivors, according to research published online Dec. 1 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Anticoagulation Seen in About Half of Sub-Segmental PE Cases

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Sub-segmental pulmonary embolism (SSPE) represents a substantial burden of total pulmonary embolisms (PEs), according to research published online Dec. 1 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

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Inherited Mutations Common in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

TUESDAY, Dec. 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Almost 15 percent of patients with triple-negative breast cancer unselected for family history have deleterious mutations in breast cancer susceptibility genes, according to a study published online Dec. 1 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Higher Paid Docs Earn More Money From More Procedures

TUESDAY, Dec. 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- High-income doctors make more money by ordering more procedures for each patient rather than by seeing more patients, according to an analysis of 2012 Medicare data published in a research letter Dec. 8 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Docs Trained in High-Cost Areas Practice More Costly Medicine

TUESDAY, Dec. 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors who were trained in high-cost areas of the United States may be more likely to practice expensive medicine, a new study suggests; however, that effect gradually decreases over time. The study was published in the Dec. 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on medical education.

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Work-Hour Restrictions Have Not Improved Outcomes

TUESDAY, Dec. 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Reducing medical residents' work hours hasn't improved mortality rates, hospital readmission rates, or outcomes of surgery, according to two new studies published in the Dec. 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on medical education.

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Routine U/S for Dense Breasts May Not Be Worth Cost

TUESDAY, Dec. 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- New research questions the value of ultrasound screening for women with dense breasts who've had a normal mammogram. The study was published in the Dec. 9 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Too Much TV Time May Lower Colorectal CA Survival Odds

TUESDAY, Dec. 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Watching too much television may lower odds of survival after colorectal cancer, new research suggests. The findings were published online Dec. 8 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Home Therapy for Cancer-Linked Lymphedema Reduces Costs

FRIDAY, Dec. 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Home therapy for cancer-related lymphedema reduces the cost of treating the condition, according to a new study published online Dec. 3 in PLOS ONE.

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FDA Approves Jakafi for Polycythemia Vera

THURSDAY, Dec. 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Jakafi (ruxolitinib) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat polycythemia vera.

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AMA: Social Determinants of Health to Be Taught in Med School

THURSDAY, Dec. 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A new policy implemented by the American Medical Association (AMA) supports integrating more training on the social determinants of health into undergraduate medical education, according to a report published by the AMA.

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Activity Decreases Bleeding Risk From Anticoagulation Meds

THURSDAY, Dec. 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For elderly patients on anticoagulant therapy, a high level of physical activity is associated with a decreased risk of major bleeding, according to a study published online Nov. 18 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

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Cognitive Behavioral Tx for Insomnia Assists CA Survivors

THURSDAY, Dec. 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For cancer survivors, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) with and without armodafinil is associated with decreases in insomnia severity and improvements in sleep quality, according to a study published online Dec. 1 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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FDA Approves Blincyto for Precursor B-Cell Leukemia

THURSDAY, Dec. 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Blincyto (blinatumomab) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat Philadelphia chromosome-negative precursor B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

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Patients May Be Ignoring Cancer's Warning Signs

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Many people ignore potential warning signs of cancer, according to the results of a British survey published online Dec. 2 in PLOS ONE.

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Too Few Prostate Cancer Patients Get Bisphosphonates

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Many men on androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer aren't getting the bone-strengthening medications they may need, new Canadian research contends. The report was published in the Dec. 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Lower Use of Cancer-Related Imaging in VA Health System

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer-related imaging use is lower in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system than in fee-for-service Medicare, and use is not associated with geographic variation, according to research published in the Dec. 2 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Antacids May Improve Head and Neck Cancer Survival

TUESDAY, Dec. 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Using antacids to control acid reflux may improve head and neck cancer patients' chances of survival, a new study suggests. The study is published in the December issue of Cancer Prevention Research.

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Breast Cancer Vaccine Shows Promise in Preliminary Trial

TUESDAY, Dec. 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- An experimental vaccine for breast cancer appears to be safe in a preliminary trial. The findings were published in the Dec. 1 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

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Progress Detailed in Care of Cancer-Linked Lymphedema

TUESDAY, Dec. 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Recent developments are affecting the management of cancer-related lymphedema, according to an article published online Nov. 19 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

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Too Much Patient Care Tied to Faculty Members' Intent to Leave

TUESDAY, Dec. 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Spending "far too much/too much" time/effort on patient care is associated with increased intent to leave the institution, according to research published in Academic Medicine.

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Doctor Discusses Ways to Keep Morale in Medicine High

MONDAY, Dec. 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the many frustrations for doctors in medical practice, there are ways to keep morale high, according to an article published Nov. 20 in Medical Economics.

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Testosterone Tx Doesn't Up Prostate CA in Hypogonadal Men

MONDAY, Dec. 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For hypogonadal men, long-term testosterone therapy seems not to be associated with increased incidence of prostate cancer, according to research published in The Journal of Urology.

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Advanced-Stage Laryngeal CA Outcomes Better at LSU Health

MONDAY, Dec. 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with advanced-stage laryngeal cancer treated at Louisiana State University Health-Shreveport (LSU Health) have higher survival rates, according to a study published online Nov. 27 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

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Many Physicians Report Their Incomes Have Plateaued

MONDAY, Dec. 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Many physicians report that their personal income has not changed since last year, according to the results of the Physicians Practice 2014 Physicians Compensation Survey.

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Hep B Screening Urged for Those Undergoing Chemo, Immune Tx

MONDAY, Dec. 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Hepatitis B virus (HBV) screening is recommended for patients undergoing chemotherapy, immunosuppressive therapy, or transplantation, according to research published online Nov. 21 in Hepatology.

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