For Your Health: Lung Cancer Screening Can Save Lives

by Dr. Graham A. Colditz Among scary diseases, lung cancer can be one of the scariest. It is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the nation, and in both Missouri and Illinois.  And for smokers and many ex-smokers who are at increased risk of lung cancer, it can feel especially scary. But there is […]

Questions About Colon Cancer Screening? We Have Some Answers

By this time in March, you may have heard that it’s Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.   And with spring in the air and other health awareness promotions competing for your attention, it’s easy to lose the significance of that.  But colon cancer is really important.  It’s the third most common cancer in the United States and the third […]

Reaching the Goal of 80% Colon Cancer Screening by 2018: Practical Lessons from Community Clinics

A great interview this week with Belma Andrić, MD, MPH on the 80% by 2018 blog highlights successful approaches that can boost colon cancer screening rates at community clinics with underserved populations. During her tenure as Medical Director with C. L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics in Florida, colon screening rates increased from 21 percent in 2013 […]

Cloudy Evidence on Skin Cancer Screening Shines Light on Prevention

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) reported today in the journal, JAMA, that there is not enough evidence to recommend that adults get screened for skin cancer. Though some professional medical organizations recommend physician-performed visual checks for skin cancer — and many physicians carry them out — the USPSTF found no solid evidence that […]

With Breast Cancer in the News – A Brief Primer on Screening and Prevention

by Katy Henke Breast cancer is back in the headlines this week with the announcement by U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (Missouri) that she has been diagnosed with the disease following a routine mammogram. Because such news coverage can raise questions about current breast cancer screening guidelines and the steps women can take to prevent the disease, […]

8 Ways to Lower Colon Cancer Risk in One Simple Graphic

by Katy Henke Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States. The good news is that 75 percent of cases could be prevented with healthy lifestyle choices. These eight simple tips can help you lower your colon cancer risk and improve your overall health (PDF). For more information and prevention tips, […]

The Importance of Shared Decision Making in Lung Cancer Screening

by Mary C Politi, PhD and Sydney Philpott More people in the United States die from lung cancer than any other type of cancer. Patients and providers want and need ways to find lung cancer early when it is more easily treated. Recently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved yearly lung cancer […]

Still Important To Be a Quitter – Looking at Cessation and Lung Cancer Screening

In 2008, scandal struck the world of cancer screening.  A rare occurrence, to be sure. About two years after the release of a groundbreaking study showing that low-dose CT scans could catch lung cancer early and save lives in smokers, it was revealed that the study’s principal investigator had close ties to the tobacco industry. […]

Bottom Line of New Study: Colon Cancer is Quite Preventable

[If you are viewing the mobile version of this post on a desktop, click here for desktop version.] A large proportion of colon cancer is preventable with healthy lifestyle choices, even without taking into account the benefits of screening.  That’s the finding in a new analysis from the large Nurses’ Health Study released in print […]

Colon Screening saves lives: Massachusetts Success Story

A new report by our CNiC team summarizes the rapid changes in colorectal cancer screening in Massachusetts and more broadly through New England over 15 years from 1997 onwards. The move from scientific evidence to public health strategy hinged on a sustained strategy described by the collective impact approach where common goals, a shared measurement […]

Of Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and Blood Tests: A Big Week in Liver Cancer Prevention

It’s been a big week for liver cancer prevention – not something we often get a chance to write here at CNiC.   As we reported on Tuesday, the US Preventive Services Task Force released new draft screening recommendations for the hepatitis C virus (HCV) – an infection that can greatly increase the risk of liver […]

Preventing colon cancer: Screening works – mortality down 30% nationwide from 1992 through 2009.

The evidence on screening as an effective strategy to reduce colorectal cancer mortality has its roots in studies of fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) that showed a reduction in colorectal cancer mortality1-3. These three independent trials were conducted in the US, England and Scandinavia. Completing the clinical trials of fecal occult blood testing case-control sampling […]

Medical interventions to prevent cancer

Much has been written over the past few months on progress against cancer. For example, in the New York Times, Kolata summarizes funding for cancer research and shows the percentage of health research funding spent on cancer treatment research, cancer biology, and cancer causation, with only a small fraction on early detection and prevention (1).  […]

PSA Screening: Task Force Recommends Against Prostate Cancer Test

Despite the widespread use of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test for prostate cancer, it’s been known for many years that it had murky benefits, especially in the face of its well-demonstrated risks – like impotence, incontinence, and unnecessary surgery. Now, as reported in a very good article in the New York Times, the US Preventive […]

Colorectal Cancer: Screening Rates Up; New Cases and Mortality Down

A new federal report out yesterday may put some wind in the sails of those who work in the field of cancer prevention.  The July 5 issue of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report shows that rates of screening for colorectal cancer have been climbing steadily between 2002 and 2010, with a related drop in […]

Which Screening Tests and When? Two Nice Tools Cover This and More

I was on the Preventive Services Task Force website yesterday to read some new screening recommendations, and I came across a couple neat little widgets that personalize the Task Force’s prevention-related guidelines.  One is intended for the public and provides very nice, straightforward recommendations based on a person’s gender and age.  The other is intended for […]

Physical activity prevents colon cancer

In a detailed review of evidence from 20 studies one of us, Kathleen Wolin, reports that higher levels of physical activity protect against colon cancer (see study) and now the precursor lesions, colon polyps (see study) . The evidence is consistent across study design, approaches to assessment of physical activity, and the populations studied.  Key […]

Primary prevention of colon cancer, time to act is now!

In this short update we draw attention to the strength of evidence that colon cancer is largely preventable with what we already know. While we have provided more extensive summaries of the overall evidence in the past 1, and have reported in detail on specific lifestyle habits and colon cancer 2,3, our goal here is […]

Lifestyle changes to prevent premature mortality will trump screening for cancer

This month in the Journal of Clinical Oncology a report from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer screening trial (PLCO) highlights priorities for cancer prevention 1. In a detailed analysis that addresses the potential for PSA screening to reduce mortality from prostate cancer in this randomized trial, the authors report that more than 9,500 […]

Colon Cancer Screening – Just a (great) first step

New research results out today suggest that 1 in 13 colon cancers may be missed on colonoscopy. There are a few reasons this may happen – some you can control and some you can’t. Completing the colonoscopy prep is one you can control – having a clean, prepped colon reduces the changes that a tumor […]

Do we really need more breast cancer awareness?

The LA Times has a provocative new article out that seems to rail against breast cancer awareness month. What are the criticisms? – Since the breast cancer awareness campaign started, age-adjusted rates have remained largely flat. – Talking about “breast cancer” ignores all of the research done to date that shows there are many different […]

State policies drive cancer burden

Recent media reports highlight how a lack of state policy on cigarette taxes can drive a state to have high cancer rates. Missouri is a fine US example which now has the lowest tax on cigarettes in the nation (17 cents per pack). State level policy impacting cancer is not limited to just cigarettes and increased burden […]

Screening for Hepatits C?

This week, the New York Times reported (story) on the status of our nation’s efforts to control hepatitis C infections, which look grim in some ways, as rates of infection, and associated liver transplants continue to rise.  Some experts are excited about a new screening test which can detect hepatitis C infection immediately without waiting […]

Cancer Screening: The Science. The Tests. And a Dose of Reality.

Along with flowering plants , green grass, and warmer temperatures, late spring always brings with it a slew of cancer-related headlines out of the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). This meeting is one of high points of the year for sharing the latest findings related to treatment, diagnosis, and sometimes […]

The Skinny on Esophageal Cancer: Obesity, Tobacco, and Screening

While the rates of many cancers have remained stable over the past decade, the rate of some esophageal cancers has been rising, and the main culprit is likely the epidemic of overweight and obesity. Squamous cell cancers of the esophogous , a cancer type largely caused by smoking, have remained stable. But adenocarcinomas of the […]

New Results Further Confirm that Screening Prevents Death from Colon Cancer

Despite some pretty timid headlines, like “Sigmoidoscopy May Reduce Deaths From Colorectal Cancer,” the results of a UK-based randomized controlled trial seemed pretty resounding and further confirm the importance of regular colon cancer screening tests between ages 50 – 75 (USPSTF recommendations). The studied appeared early-online this Wednesday in the Lancet (study) and tested the […]

Health care reform and prevention of cancer

In Sunday’s New York Times (story), Robert Pear wrote about the many disease prevention initiatives contained in the new health care law recently passed by congress and signed by the president. It’s important to stop and consider the full implications of this.  Importantly, Medicaid will now cover drugs and counseling to help pregnant women stop […]

Regular care improves cancer prevention

In a recent study, Karen Emmons and Colleagues evaluate colorectal cancer screening behaviors among 695 low-income, multiethnic adults aged 50 years and over who were primarily insured (97%). Provider’s recommendation was significantly associated with being up-to-date with colorectal cancer screening. Provider’s understanding of patient’s social context was assessed by how well participants felt that their […]