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Shared Decision Making Missing in Cancer Screening Discussions

Shared Decision Making Missing in Cancer Screening Discussions | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

"A national survey of patients reveals that physicians don't always fully discuss the risks and benefits of cancer screening, reports a new study in American Journal of Preventive Medicine.


"The study examined data from more than 1100 people aged 50 and older who made decisions about whether to undergo screening for breast cancer, colorectal cancer, or prostate cancer in the previous 2 years. Participants were asked whether their physicians discussed the pros and cons of screening and of forgoing screening, and if they had been given a choice whether or not to be screened."

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Medical Xpress  |  Jun 13, 2014

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Medical Xpress  |  Jun 13, 2014

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Medical Xpress  |  Jun 13, 2014

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10 Issues to Consider During National Skin Cancer Awareness Month

10 Issues to Consider During National Skin Cancer Awareness Month | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Accounting for approximately half of all cancers in the United States, skin cancer is widely recognized as the most common cause of cancer nationwide. More than 3.5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year, and according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, incidences of skin cancer outnumber all combined cases of breast, colon, lung and prostate cancers.


"With the month of May designated as National Skin Cancer Awareness Month, HemOnc Today highlights 10 issues for oncologists and dermatologists to consider for their patients, as well as the new guideline revisions and research regarding the identification, treatment and management of patients with melanoma and skin cancer."

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Healio  |  May 15, 2014

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iPhone App Offers Quick and Inexpensive Melanoma Screening

iPhone App Offers Quick and Inexpensive Melanoma Screening | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

"The idea sounds simple: Take a photo of a suspicious mole or lesion with your phone, run it through an embedded software program and find out within a few seconds if it is likely to be cancerous.


"But it could make quick and inexpensive screening a reality for millions of people who lack access to medical specialists. A University of Houston professor created the app, called DermoScan, which is now being evaluated for further testing at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. George Zouridakis, professor of engineering technology, has worked on the project since 2005, moving it to an application for a mobile phone after the iPhone became ubiquitous. The goal is to provide quick screening in rural areas or in the developing world, where specialty medical care generally isn't available, he said."

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Medical Xpress  |  May 7, 2014

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Genetic Mutations Warn of Skin Cancer Risk

Genetic Mutations Warn of Skin Cancer Risk | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Researchers have discovered that mutations in a specific gene are responsible for a hereditary form of melanoma.


"Every year in the UK, almost 12,000 people are diagnosed with melanoma, a form of skin cancer. About 1 in 20 people with melanoma have a strong family history of the disease. In these patients, pinpointing the genetic mutations that drive disease development allows dermatologists to identify people who should be part of melanoma surveillance programmes.


"The team found that people with specific mutations in the POT1 gene were extremely likely to develop melanoma. These mutations deactivate the POT1 gene that protects the ends of our chromosomes from damage."

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Medical Xpress  |  Mar 30, 2014

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Radiation from Medical Imaging May Increase Cancer Rates

Radiation from Medical Imaging May Increase Cancer Rates | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

Medical imaging techniques that use high doses of radiation, including CT scans, play an important role in modern medicine, including cancer screening. However, these procedures may themselves increase the incidence of cancer. Radiation exposure from medical imaging in the U.S. has increased more than sixfold between the 1980s and 2006. Several studies have linked multiple CT scans to increased cancer risk. Moreover, there are no official guidelines on the correct radiation doses for different medical imaging techniques, meaning that doses at one hospital may be up to 50 times higher than at another. Clear standards are needed to ensure that high-radiation imaging techniques are only used when clearly medically necessary and that the lowest feasible radiation doses are employed.

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New York Times  |  Jan 30, 2014

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New York Times  |  Jan 30, 2014

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Cancer Screening Less Beneficial in Older Patients

Cancer Screening Less Beneficial in Older Patients | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

Although cancer rates increase with age, screening for cancer may not be useful past a certain age. Older patients already have a shorter life expectancy and may die of other causes before the cancer becomes a problem. Indeed, the psychological burden of a cancer diagnosis and the side effects of cancer treatment may unnecessarily lower a person’s quality of life. While the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that colorectal cancer screening and mammograms for breast cancer screening be stopped after age 75 years, a recent study by the National Cancer Institute suggests that a patient’s overall health should be taken into account. An older patient with multiple chronic illnesses will have a lower life expectancy, while a healthy patient the same age may still benefit from cancer screening.

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Time Magazine  |  Nov 20, 2013

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Time Magazine  |  Nov 20, 2013

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Time Magazine  |  Nov 20, 2013

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Computer Program Helps Doctors Determine When It’s Time to Test Patients for Cancer

Computer Program Helps Doctors Determine When It’s Time to Test Patients for Cancer | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

A new computer program may soon help doctors decide whether patients should get tested for cancer based on their symptoms. The software is not meant to replace the physician’s judgment, but rather supplement it, developers say. Many general practitioners do not have specific cancer expertise, or the time to calculate each patient’s cancer risk in detail–a task made instantaneous by the computer program. The software also analyzes each symptom in the context of all other relevant information in a patient’s record–age, sex, smoking status, family history–along with any other symptoms reported during earlier visits. Ensuring timely testing for patients at risk of cancer is a critical step towards early treatment with a higher chance of success.

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Cancer Research UK | Nov 5, 2013

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Cancer Research UK | Nov 5, 2013

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Fast, New Screen Reveals Melanoma Proteins Targeted by Immunotherapy

Fast, New Screen Reveals Melanoma Proteins Targeted by Immunotherapy | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

Immune system cells that dive into tumors can make melanomas shrink and even disappear altogether. But these cells, called tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, must be customized to target the specific proteins that are mutated in each melanoma — and identifying these mutated proteins is time-consuming. Now, there's a much faster way to screen melanomas for specific mutated proteins, report researchers in a Nature Medicine study. Rather than analyzing all of the DNA (genome), the new method looks only at the parts that code for proteins, which account for just 1% the genome. This method could also be used to quickly screen the mutated proteins in other kinds of tumors.

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Medical Xpress│Jun 25, 2013

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Myriad Genetics, Inc. - Myriad myPath(TM) Melanoma Test Improves the Reliability of Melanoma Diagnosis

"Myriad Genetics, Inc. (Nasdaq:MYGN) today presented results from a pivotal clinical validation study of the Myriad myPath™ Melanoma test at the 2014 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting in Chicago, Ill. The Myriad myPath Melanoma test is a novel molecular test that accurately differentiates malignant melanoma from benign skin lesions with a high level of accuracy and helps physicians deliver a more objective and confident diagnosis for patients."

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Myriad  |  Jun 2, 2014

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Blue Nevi Acquired in Older Men, Lacked Association with Melanoma

Blue Nevi Acquired in Older Men, Lacked Association with Melanoma | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

Blue nevi commonly occurred in older men and usually were not associated with melanoma, according to recent study results.


" 'Our findings support the concept that benign [blue nevi] are not uncommonly acquired in older age individuals and that they may be safely clinically followed in the absence of concerning clinical and/or dermoscopic features,' the researchers said."

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Healio  |  May 7, 2014

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Sidestepping the Biopsy With New Tools to Spot Cancer

Sidestepping the Biopsy With New Tools to Spot Cancer | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

"For people with cancer or suspected cancer, the biopsy is a necessary evil — an uncomfortable and somewhat risky procedure to extract tissue for diagnosis or analysis.


"Lynn Lewis, a breast cancer patient in Brooklyn, has had her cancer analyzed an easier way: simple blood tests that are being called 'liquid biopsies.'


"Telltale traces of a tumor are often present in the blood. These traces — either intact cancer cells or fragments of tumor DNA — are present in minuscule amounts, but numerous companies are now coming to market with sophisticated tests that can detect and analyze them."

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The New York Times  |  Apr 7, 2014

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The New York Times  |  Apr 7, 2014

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DNA Shed by Tumors Shows Promise for Non-Invasive Screening and Prognosis

DNA Shed by Tumors Shows Promise for Non-Invasive Screening and Prognosis | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Certain fragments of DNA shed by tumors into the bloodstream can potentially be used to non-invasively screen for early-stage cancers, monitor responses to treatment and help explain why some cancers are resistant to therapies, according to results of an international study led by Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center investigators.


"Analyzing blood samples from 640 patients with various cancers, the researchers used digital polymerase chain reaction-based technology (a sophisticated method of multiplying and measuring the number DNA molecules) to evaluate how well the DNA fragments predicted the presence of tumors in the patients."

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Medical Xpress  |  Mar 6, 2014

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Researchers Call Melanoma Rise an Epidemic

Invasive melanoma rates are 17 times higher in men and 9 times higher in women than they were 60 years ago, according to a new analysis of Connecticut Tumor Registry data from 1950 to 2007. The registry included nearly 20,000 people with melanomas that had spread, as well as more than 3,600 who died from melanoma. Incidence rates rose from about 2 to 33 per 100,000 for men, and from more than 2 to 25 per 100,000 for women. In addition, mortality rates more than tripled in men (from 1.6 to about 5.0 per 100,000) and doubled in women (from 1.3 to 2.6 per 100,000). Calling U.S. melanoma rates an epidemic, the researchers urge targeting high-risk populations with a national prevention and early-detection program. In Germany, a screening program reduced melanoma deaths by 40%.

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Journal of Clinical Oncology│Nov 18, 2013

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Sniffing Out Cancer

Sniffing Out Cancer | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

Researchers are working on an 'electronic nose' that could detect cancer by smell. The abnormal chemical processes inside cancer cells can lead to different substances being released from these cells than from healthy tissues, including different odor molecules. An electronic nose is a machine that uses numerous chemical sensors to detect odor molecules with higher sensitivity and accuracy than a human nose, or even a dog’s nose. Now scientists are examining blood samples from cancer patients and healthy individuals to determine the patterns that distinguish the two and to program an electronic nose to recognize the difference. The hope is that a future 'smell test' may be able to reliably identify cancer in its early stages, without the need for invasive procedures.

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New York Times  |  Nov 20, 2013

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New York Times  |  Nov 20, 2013

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Internet Use Linked to Cancer-Preventive Behaviors in Older Adults

Internet Use Linked to Cancer-Preventive Behaviors in Older Adults | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

A UK survey found that older individuals who use the Internet are more likely to engage in cancer-preventive behaviors. Adults aged 50 years and older who were regular Internet users were 50% more likely to get screened for colorectal cancer than non-users. They were also more physically active, smoked less, and ate more fruits and vegetables. Younger, wealthier, and more educated respondents were more likely to use the Internet, and fewer women and non-white survey participants used the Internet. However, the link between Internet use and cancer-preventive behaviors remained even after controlling for these factors. Given the apparent beneficial influence of Internet use on cancer outcomes, the survey’s authors urge policymakers to promote better Internet access for currently underserved demographics.

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ScienceDaily | Oct 22, 2013

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ScienceDaily | Oct 22, 2013

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ScienceDaily | Oct 22, 2013

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New Melanoma Mutation Frequent Enough for Routine Screening

Researchers identified a new mutation (BRAF L597) in a melanoma patient and then tested for it in 49 other melanomas that had no known cancer-linked mutations, which account for about half of all melanomas. They found that BRAF L597 occurred in 4% of the other melanomas tested. The study, which appeared in Cancer Discovery, also showed that tumors with this mutation respond to a MEK inhibitor called TAK-733. The existence of a targeted treatment, coupled with the new mutation’s relatively high incidence, lead the researchers to suggest routinely screening melanomas for BRAF L597.

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Cancer Discovery | Jul 13, 2012

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