February 2015 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 February 2015. 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.

AMA: Key Steps for Minimizing Liability Risk in Telemedicine

FRIDAY, Feb. 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Key steps should be taken to minimize the potential risk of liability resulting from use of telemedicine, according to an article published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Oral Bisphosphonate Use Tied to Lower Endometrial Cancer Risk

FRIDAY, Feb. 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For postmenopausal women, oral bisphosphonate use is associated with a reduction in the risk of endometrial cancer, according to a study published online Feb. 23 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Genetic Mutations Found in Leukemia Rise With Age

FRIDAY, Feb. 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For many people, an increase in genetic mutations that could trigger leukemia seems to be an inevitable part of aging, according to a new study published online Feb. 26 in Cell Reports.

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Researchers Examine Etiology of Ibrutinib Discontinuation in CLL

THURSDAY, Feb. 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor ibrutinib is effective, and prognosis is poor after discontinuation, according to a study published online Feb. 26 in JAMA Oncology. The research identifies, for the first time, baseline factors associated with ibrutinib therapy discontinuation.

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Location of Colorectal Cancer Factors Into Survival

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with metastatic colorectal cancer that started on the left side may be more likely to survive than those whose disease originated on the right side, according to research published in the March issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Six-Month Dual Antiplatelet Tx Noninferior to 24-Month DAPT

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For aspirin-sensitive patients undergoing everolimus-eluting stent implantation, six-month dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) is noninferior to 24-month DAPT, according to a study published in the March 3 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Suicide Deemed Public Health Concern in Genitourinary Cancers

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Suicide is a public health concern for patients with genitourinary cancer, especially bladder cancer, according to a study published online Feb. 17 in Cancer.

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SNP Linked to Vincristine-Related Neuropathy in ALL

TUESDAY, Feb. 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the promoter region of the CEP72 gene, which encodes a centrosomal protein involved in microtubule formation, correlates with risk and severity of vincristine-related peripheral neuropathy in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), according to a study published in the Feb. 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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FDA Approves Farydak for Multiple Myeloma

TUESDAY, Feb. 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Farydak (panobinostat) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat multiple myeloma. Farydak inhibits the activity of histone deacetylases, which could slow the overproduction of plasma cells among people with multiple myeloma, the FDA said.

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Nasal Allergies Tied to Increased Nasopharyngeal Cancer Risk

TUESDAY, Feb. 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with allergic rhinitis may have an increased risk of developing nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), according to a Taiwanese study published in the March issue of Head & Neck.

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Patients Say Cost Matters Greatly in Choosing Doctor

FRIDAY, Feb. 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The number one determining factor for selecting a doctor is whether the physician is in-network, according to a report published by Vitals.

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Americans Living Longer Post-Cancer, but Disparities Remain

FRIDAY, Feb. 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Survival rates are improving for many people with cancers of the breast, prostate, lung, liver, and colon or rectum, especially for those diagnosed at younger ages, according to research published online Feb. 19 in JAMA Oncology.

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Radiation Therapy Most Common Treatment for Prostate Cancer

FRIDAY, Feb. 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- New research suggests that a wait-and-watch approach for prostate cancer isn't being used often enough, and that more men are being treated than may be necessary. The study appears online Feb. 19 in JAMA Oncology.

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Cancer Prevalence Low in Power Morcellation Fibroid Removal

FRIDAY, Feb. 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The use of power morcellation to remove fibroids in the uterus can end up spreading bits of hidden cancerous tumors throughout the abdomen, but a new study suggests the likelihood is low. Researchers called the findings, reported online Feb. 19 in JAMA Oncology, "reassuring."

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Better Informed Women Less Likely to Want Mammogram

THURSDAY, Feb. 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Educating women about the possibility of overdiagnosis from mammography screening may make some of them less likely to get the test, new research suggests. The study was published online Feb. 17 in The Lancet.

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Fear of Discrimination Keeps Many LGBT Med Students Silent

THURSDAY, Feb. 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Fear of discrimination is a major reason why about one-third of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) medical students stay "in the closet," new research finds. The study was published online Feb. 16 in Academic Medicine.

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Doctors, Pharmacists Least Likely Health Pros to Divorce

THURSDAY, Feb. 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors appear less likely to get divorced than most other health care professionals, according to research published online Feb. 18 in The BMJ.

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Research Finds No Cancer Link With Pimecrolimus

THURSDAY, Feb. 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Pimecrolimus (Elidel) cream used to treat eczema in children does not appear to increase the risk of cancer, according to a study published online Feb. 18 in JAMA Dermatology.

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Article Emphasizes Importance of Apology in Medical Error

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Apology laws, which prohibit certain statements or expressions of sympathy by a physician from being admissible in a lawsuit, are unnecessary if physicians understand the importance of saying sorry and offering accountability after an error, according to an article published Feb. 4 in Medical Economics.

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'Most Comprehensive Map' of Human Epigenomes Presented

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Scientists have issued a comprehensive map of human epigenomes -- the range of chemical and structural shifts that determine how genes govern health. The group published the new map online Feb. 18 in Nature, accompanied by simultaneous publication in six other sister journals.

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Cancer Survivors Need Healthful Lifestyle Advice

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Clinical interventions should be implemented to help cancer survivors make lifestyle behavior changes, according to research published online Feb. 13 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

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Many Women Not Receiving Recommended Radiation Tx

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Many American women with locally-advanced breast cancer do not receive recommended radiation therapy after mastectomy, according to a study published online Jan. 14 in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

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Eliglustat Safely Reverses Manifestations of Gaucher's

TUESDAY, Feb. 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A novel oral substrate reduction therapy, eliglustat, can safely reverse clinical manifestations in untreated adults with Gaucher's disease type 1, according to a study published in the Feb. 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Observation Increasingly Used in Younger Men With Prostate CA

TUESDAY, Feb. 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Observation is increasingly being used among men with low-risk prostate cancer who are young and healthy enough for treatment, according to a study published in the March issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Antiviral Tx Improves Survival in Sorafenib-Treated HBV-HCC

TUESDAY, Feb. 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For sorafenib-treated patients with hepatitis B virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HBV-related HCC), antiviral therapy with nucleoside analogues (NAs) is associated with improved survival, according to a study published online Jan. 30 in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Wide Variation in Hospital Tx Patterns for Metastatic CRC

TUESDAY, Feb. 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC), there is wide variation in hospital treatment patterns, according to a study published online Jan. 29 in Cancer.

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High Deductible Plans Factor Into Physician-Patient Relationship

MONDAY, Feb. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- In an environment where patients are increasingly aware of the costs of health care, physicians need to be prepared to address these issues with their patients, according to an article published Feb. 4 in Medical Economics.

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Medical Journals Should Not Be Swayed by Fear of Libel Lawsuits

MONDAY, Feb. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Fear of corporate defamation lawsuits should not prevent medical journals from investigating corporate products, according to a perspective piece published online Feb. 16 in Pediatrics.

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Considerable Surgeon-Level Variation in Radical Prostatectomy

MONDAY, Feb. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Considerable practice variation exists among surgeons at a high-volume academic center when selecting patients with prostate cancer to undergo radical prostatectomy, according to a study published in the March issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Lycopene Inversely Linked to Renal Cell Carcinoma Risk

MONDAY, Feb. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For postmenopausal women, lycopene intake seems to be inversely associated with the risk of renal cell carcinoma (RCC), according to a study published in the Feb. 15 issue of Cancer.

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Patients Tend to Prefer Formal Physician Attire

FRIDAY, Feb. 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Patients often prefer physicians with formal attire and white coats, according to a systematic review published online Jan. 19 in BMJ Open.

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FDA Approves Lenvima for Type of Thyroid Cancer

FRIDAY, Feb. 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The kinase inhibitor Lenvima (lenvatinib) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat differentiated thyroid cancer that has progressed despite radioactive iodine therapy, the agency said Friday in a news release.

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ASCO Endorses ACS Guideline for Prostate CA Survivor Care

FRIDAY, Feb. 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has endorsed the American Cancer Society (ACS) Prostate Cancer Survivorship Care Guidelines, according to a report published online Feb. 9 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Cancer Patients Rarely Demand Unnecessary Treatment, Tests

FRIDAY, Feb. 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer patients rarely request unnecessary tests or treatments, according to a study published online Feb. 12 in JAMA Oncology.

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HRT Use, Even Short Term, Tied to Higher Risk of Ovarian CA

FRIDAY, Feb. 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Women who use hormone therapy after menopause -- even for just a few years -- may have an increased risk of ovarian cancer, according to new research. The meta-analysis was published online Feb. 12 in The Lancet.

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Latino Physician Shortage Has Worsened Since 1980

FRIDAY, Feb. 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- From 1980 to 2010 the Latino physician shortage worsened, according to a study published online Jan. 27 in Academic Medicine.

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Lenvatinib Delays Progression in Advanced Thyroid Cancer

THURSDAY, Feb. 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Oral lenvatinib delayed progression of advanced thyroid cancer by 18 months, compared with four months for patients treated with a placebo, according to results from a new clinical trial. Results of the study were published in the Feb. 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Perception of Cancer Care Quality Higher When Patient Involved

THURSDAY, Feb. 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer patients who let their doctors make all the decisions are less likely to rate their care as excellent compared to patients who participate in their medical decisions, a new study suggests. The report was published online Feb. 12 in JAMA Oncology.

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Deaths Due to Smoking Underestimated in U.S.

THURSDAY, Feb. 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- According to the U.S. Surgeon General, about 480,000 Americans die of smoking-related causes each year, but that figure may be closer to 540,000, researchers from the American Cancer Society report. The findings were published in the Feb. 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Specific NSAIDs Increase Nonfatal Ischemic Stroke Risk

THURSDAY, Feb. 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Use of specific nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), diclofenac and aceclofenac, is associated with increased risk of nonfatal ischemic stroke, according to a study published online Jan. 22 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

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Mammography Rates Down Since 2009 USPSTF Guidelines

THURSDAY, Feb. 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Since the publication of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force guidelines for mammography in 2009, there has been a decrease in mammography rates among white, Hispanic, and Asian women, according to a study published online Feb. 9 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Seven Tips Help Doctors Prepare for Meaningful Use Audits

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Given that physicians are chosen for meaningful use (MU) audits at random, the best way to prepare is for a physician to assume they will be audited, according to an article published Jan. 28 in Medical Economics.

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Hepatitis B Screening Endorsed Pre-Immunosuppressive Tx

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- All patients undergoing chemotherapy or immunosuppressive therapies should undergo routine screening for active or prior hepatitis B viral infection, according to research published in the February issue of Hepatology.

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Americans' Complementary Health Approaches Changing

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Yoga is increasingly popular among U.S. adults and children, two new government surveys reveal. Both surveys, which were published Feb. 10 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), looked at the overall use of alternative or complementary medicine among Americans.

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Iron Supplements Speed Blood Donation Recovery

TUESDAY, Feb. 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Low-dose iron supplements speed blood donors' recovery of iron and hemoglobin, new research shows. The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)-funded study was published in the Feb. 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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HPV16 Seropositivity Relatively Common Before Anal Cancer

TUESDAY, Feb. 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16 (HPV16) seropositivity is relatively common before anal cancer diagnosis, according to a study published online Feb. 9 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Lung-RADS Criteria Can Reduce False-Positive Result Rate

TUESDAY, Feb. 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Use of the American College of Radiology Lung Imaging Reporting and Data System (Lung-RADS) classification system for low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) can reduce the false-positive result rate but also decreases sensitivity, according to a study published online Feb. 10 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Research Misconduct ID'd by FDA Often Unreported in Literature

TUESDAY, Feb. 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A review of U.S. Food and Drug Administration inspection reports between 1998 and 2013 revealed 57 clinical trials in which regulators had uncovered violations serious enough to earn the agency's most severe classification -- "official action indicated," or OAI. The findings were published online Feb. 9 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Eight Clinical Signs of Impending Death Identified

MONDAY, Feb. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers say they have identified eight specific physical signs that strongly indicate impending death in patients with advanced cancer. The findings have been reported online Feb. 9 in Cancer.

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Confidence Not Accurate Measure of Prescribing Competence

MONDAY, Feb. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For medical students, self-reported confidence in prescribing only weakly correlates with actual competence, according to a study published online Feb. 4 in The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

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One-Quarter of Adnexal Masses in Youth Are Malignant

MONDAY, Feb. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For children and adolescents with an adnexal mass, about 25 percent of masses are malignant, according to a study published online Feb. 4 in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Case Series Addresses Spine Tumors in Pregnancy

MONDAY, Feb. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For most pregnant patients with benign spine tumors, surgery can be postponed until after delivery, according to a study published in the Feb. 1 issue of Spine.

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Soy Food, Isoflavone Intake Not Linked to Endometrial Cancer

FRIDAY, Feb. 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Soy food/isoflavone intake is not associated with endometrial cancer risk in Japanese women, according to a study published in the February issue of BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology.

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Motivational Interviewing Can Help Reach Nonadherent Patients

FRIDAY, Feb. 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Motivational interviewing can be a useful approach for reaching noncompliant patients, according to an article published Jan. 22 in Medical Economics.

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Value of Robot-Assisted Surgery in Kidney CA Accrues Over Time

FRIDAY, Feb. 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery for kidney cancer is associated with considerable benefits, which outweigh health care and surgical costs, according to a study published in the February issue of Health Affairs.

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High Coffee Intake Linked With Lower Risk of Endometrial Cancer

FRIDAY, Feb. 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- High versus low intake of coffee is associated with a reduced risk for endometrial cancer, according to a new study published in the February issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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Two Novel Genetic Variants for Breast Cancer Discovered

THURSDAY, Feb. 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Scientists say they have identified two new genetic variants that are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. Their findings are published online Feb. 4 in Human Molecular Genetics.

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Perspective on Dr. Davidson: 'Be Like Mike'

THURSDAY, Feb. 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The tragic shooting of surgeon Michael Davidson can be used as an opportunity to find meaning in tragedy, according to a perspective piece published online Feb. 5 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Meaning-Centered Group Therapy Beneficial in Advanced Cancer

THURSDAY, Feb. 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Meaning-centered group psychotherapy (MCGP) is effective for reducing psychological distress and improving spiritual well-being in patients with advanced cancer, according to a study published online Feb. 2 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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FDA Approves Ibrance to Treat Advanced Breast Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Ibrance (palbociclib) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat advanced breast cancer among postmenopausal women.

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Lung Cancer Now Leads Cancer Mortality in Developed Nations

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Lung cancer has overtaken breast cancer as the leading cancer killer of women in developed countries, reflecting changing smoking patterns among females worldwide, according to a new report published online Feb. 4 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

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AICR: Awareness of Key Cancer Risk Factors Alarmingly Low

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer than half of Americans are aware that some major lifestyle factors can affect their cancer risk, and many people worry about cancer-causing claims that aren't backed by scientific evidence, according to a survey conducted by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR). The survey results were released Wednesday to coincide with World Cancer Day.

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Guidelines for VTE Prophylaxis, Treatment in Cancer Unchanged

TUESDAY, Feb. 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The 2014 recommendations for the prophylaxis and treatment of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in patients with cancer are unchanged from 2013, according to an article published online Jan. 20 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Patient Engagement Can Cut Costs, Improve Outcomes

MONDAY, Feb. 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Patient engagement initiatives can decrease costs without sacrificing quality care, according to an article published Jan. 22 in Medical Economics.

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Recommendations Presented for MRI Use in Multiple Myeloma

MONDAY, Feb. 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Recommendations for the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in multiple myeloma are presented in a consensus statement published online Jan. 20 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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