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.”
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.”
A new therapeutic clinical trial is now available at Mount Sinai for patients with HPV-related oropharyngeal (tonsil and tongue base) cancer who are eligible to undergo robot-assisted surgery. This study tests a novel vaccine (ADXS11-001) that patients receive during a specific window prior to undergoing surgery.
“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.”
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.
“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.
“… unless we change our current practices, 3 percent to 5 percent of all future cancers may result from exposure to medical imaging.”
CT, MRI, ultrasound, nuclear scan, PET scan – why not? Just to make sure.
An article in the New York Times noted: “ DESPITE great strides in prevention and treatment, cancer rates remain stubbornly high and may soon surpass heart disease as the leading cause of death in the United States. Increasingly, we and many other experts believe that an important culprit may be our own medical practices: Of course, early diagnosis thanks to medical imaging can be lifesaving. But there is distressingly little evidence of better health outcomes associated with the current high rate of scans. There is, however, evidence of its harms.”
So why are you delaying your colonoscopy again? Colonoscopy! Ugh! But…
The Wall Street Journal article reported “The incidence of colon cancer, declining since the mid-1980s, plunged a further 30% last decade among Americans 50 and older as more people had colonoscopies…”
The New York Post reported “An Associated Press survey found examples coast to coast. Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is excluded by five out of eight insurers in Washington state’s insurance exchange. MD Anderson Cancer Center says it’s in less than half of the plans in the Houston area. Memorial Sloan-Kettering is included by two of nine insurers in New York City and has out-of-network agreements with two more”
“Doctors and administrators say they’re concerned. So are some state insurance regulators. In all, only four of 19 nationally recognized comprehensive cancer centers that responded to AP’s survey said patients have access through all the insurance companies in their state exchange”.
Mount Sinai’s Derald H. Ruttenberg Treatment Center, part of The Tisch Cancer Institute, is dedicated to providing comprehensive care to cancer patients – including offering support and wellness programs throughout cancer treatment.