Woman to Woman: Supporting Patients Who Have Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer can be a challenging and isolating ordeal. Mount Sinai provides a program that helps women who are suffering from this disease and allows them to stay positive.

The Woman to Woman program offers mentoring to women undergoing treatment for gynecologic cancer, including cervical cancer, to help them and their families get through this tough time. The program helps empower women to advocate for themselves and offer ongoing emotional support.

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Chemo Costs in U.S. Driven Higher by Shift to Hospital Outpatient Facilities

A Kaiser Health News article noted: “The price of cancer drugs has doubled in the past decade, with the average brand-name cancer drug in the U.S. costing $10,000 for a month’s supply, up from $5,000 in 2003, according to a new report by IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, a health information, services and technology company.”

“And those are just average prices; some drugs may cost as much as $30,000 a month.In Europe, where governments negotiate for national discounts, the list prices of cancer drugs are at least 20 to 40 percent lower than in the U.S., the report found.” Read more

Does a Robotic Cystectomy Offer a Superior Outcome to Open Cystectomy?

Currently, the standard of care worldwide for the treatment of patients who have cancer invading the bladder muscle (muscle invasive bladder cancer) is chemotherapy followed by surgery. In men, the surgery is called radical cystoprostatectomy (removal of the bladder, prostate, and the seminal vesicles). In women, the surgery is called anterior pelvic exentration (removal of bladder, uterus, ovaries, and part of the vagina which can sometimes be avoided). In addition, a critical part of the surgery in both men and women is removing the lymph nodes within the pelvis.

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The Cancer Related Benefits of Brussel Sprouts (Recipe Included!)

Brussel sprouts have a history of under appreciation, being boiled or steamed to an olive colored mush and strongly eliciting smells of sulfur. Over the past few years, however, they’ve taken a turn in the eyes of the public and have become a favorite of foodies, bloggers, and some of the best restaurants in NYC. This is good news for the health minded and flavor-seeking alike!

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“Incidentalomas” + – Concerns about Overdiagnosing and Overtreating Cancer

The Wall Street Journal article noted “Removing the word ‘cancer’ from the terminology used for many slow-growing lesions in the breast, prostate, lung, skin and other body areas could ease patients’ fears and reduce the inclination of doctors to treat them aggressively, says a panel of experts advising the National Cancer Institute.”

“…new diagnostic technology is finding ever smaller abnormalities that are unlikely to be lethal, but are being labeled cancer and treated as if they were. The result: billions of dollars in unnecessary surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.”

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“Robot versus Surgeon: No Clear Winner”

An article in Medpage Today noted “Robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) led to complication rates, readmission rates, and rates of additional cancer therapy similar to those of conventional surgical prostatectomy, a review of almost 6,000 cases showed.”

“First-year reimbursements were greater for patients undergoing robot assisted compared with open radical prostatectomy.”

“Introduced a decade ago, robot-assisted prostatectomy has become the dominant surgical technique for patients with localized prostate cancer. Investigators in some studies have suggested that robotic prostatectomy has driven the overall prostatectomy rate to a level beyond what would have been expected given current demographic and clinical trends.”

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“… Comparing the Quality and Outcomes of Care at Competing Cancer Centers”

“Cancer!” Should you rush to a “major” cancer center?

The Modern Healthcare article noted “When it comes to cancer care, there is a huge disconnect between the possibilities of modern medicine and its day-to-day practice. As last fall’s troubling report from the Institute of Medicine noted, variation in oncology practice is wide; collection of quality and outcomes data is poor; and progress in learning what works best for any particular cancer remains slow and halting.”

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New Research Refutes Long-Held Antiviral Theory

A long-standing belief that mammals use the same potent antiviral molecules deployed by plants and invertebrates is being challenged by researchers at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Their findings, published in the July 10, 2014, issue of Cell Reports, surprised many scientists who assumed that antiviral RNA Interference (RNAi) exists in humans as a natural result of evolution.

Scientists know that human cells, like cells in every living organism with a nucleus, encode and generate small RNAs, which influence our genetics. It is also known that mammals combat viruses with interferons—proteins manufactured by immune cells in response to pathogens.

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“The Rationale For Most (cancer) Screenings Are Strong If There Is A Good Test…”

“If there is a test but there’s problems with it, I often go over this with a patient and how to decide if it’s necessary.”

Add mammography to the list of cancer screenings where evidence has challenged “best practices.”

Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN reported in EveryDay Health that while early cancer detection can save lives, recent studies raise new doubts about the benefits of screening without considering the risks as well.

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