For Your Health – Understanding Prostate Cancer Screening and Prevention

Hand in blue surgical gloves holds a vial of blood with the label: Free PSA Test.

Prostate cancer isn’t a pleasant topic to think about. But at the same time, it’s a cancer that many of us are, unfortunately, familiar with. It’s likely impacted people in our lives, whether it’s family members, friends or those we know through school or work. So, whether it’s for ourselves or those we care about, […]

Study Finds Smokers More Likely to Miss Cancer Screenings

Even though smoking is an important cause of multiple cancers, women who smoke are less likely to get recommended cancer screening tests than those who don’t smoke.  That’s the finding from a new study of the large Women’s Health Initiative.  Published yesterday in the journal, BMJ Open, the study followed 89,000 U.S. women for just […]

Low-Income Smokers May Not Be Able to Afford Health Insurance Coverage in the Marketplace

A new study shows just how tough it can be for low-income smokers in the United States to get adequate, affordable health insurance coverage. In an analysis looking at the plans offered in the Affordable Care Act marketplace, in a state that did not expand Medicaid coverage, Washington University School of Medicine researchers found that […]

Tailoring Smoking Cessation Outreach: Specialty Tools of and an Innovative Study in American Indian/Alaska Native Communities

by Katy Henke A new study sheds some light on strategies that may help smokers in under-researched communities take steps to quit. Recently, researchers from Washington University in St. Louis led a study that looked at the potential impact that graphic cigarette labels might have in sparking social interaction around smoking cessation in American Indian/Alaska […]

Potential of Prevention: Only 3 Percent of Us Meet 4 Key Health Behaviors

by Katy Henke When it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle, let’s just say that Americans have a lot of room for improvement. That’s according to a recent study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings that found that only 2.7 percent of U.S. adults practice four key behaviors that can improve health and lower the risk […]

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, […]

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. […]

Data Show More Support Warranted for Worksite Wellness Programs

Photo: Flickr/abraj This week I had the privilege of addressing the American Cancer Society CEOs Against Cancer at their annual meeting that this year was held at Washington University in St. Louis. As a member of the panel addressing worksite wellness, I was able to briefly summarize the strong evidence that worksite wellness programs can […]

Advertising promotes cessation from smoking and reduces cancer burden

The New York Times recently reported on “Gruesome advertising” ( that the CDC campaign against tobacco is launching to bring more graphic advertising to media-based messaging. This set of messages will increase smoking cessation. Evidence from Australia shows a spike in calls to quit lines coinciding with eh introduction of graphic messaging. Every call to […]

Smoking cessation reduces lung cancer mortality

A new rigorous analysis funded by the National Cancer Institute is published this month in the JNCI. Moolgavkar and colleagues (see report) now estimate that over 790,000 lung cancer deaths have been avoided by cessation from cigarette smoking since the 1964 Surgeon General’s first Report on Smoking and Health was released. This represents only a fraction of […]

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).  […]

Smoking cessation: The rapid road to preventing cancer mortality

One third of the 571,000 cancer deaths in 2011 are due to smoking. That is 188,744 men and women will die unnecessarily because of their smoking habits. These are avoidable deaths. Strong evidence supports the benefits of smoking cessation, not just lowering cancer deaths but also reducing deaths form heart disease and total mortality. The […]

Don’t Quit on Quitting: Smoking Cessation Still an Important Focus

John Seffrin, CEO of the American Cancer Society, made the point at last week’s meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative that tobacco control should remain the highest priority in combatting chronic disease.  It’s a point we’ve certainly echoed on this blog – that efforts to curb tobacco use shouldn’t be relegated to the second tier […]

Quitting smoking vs CT scans: cost, risks and benefits

There is lots of talk in the news right now about scanning – mostly about the kind in airports and whether it is too great an invasion of privacy. But medical scanning has also been making headlines – specifically, whether we do too much of it unnecessarily, as CT and X-ray scans expose the body […]

Become an Ex – stop smoking

Second hand smoke exposure in the US was thoroughly documented last week in the CDC report noted in many media stories. The report evaluated national data from 1999 through 2008, and estimates that 88 million non smokers greater than age 3 were exposed to second hand smoke. The authors note that the decline in exposure […]

Medicare: putting their money where the evidence is

On Friday, the federal government announced that effective immediately Medicare would cover the cost of smoking cessation counseling. Anyone covered by Medicare will be able to receive tobacco cessation counseling from a qualified physician or other Medicare-recognized practitioner who can work with them to help them quit. (All people with Medicare will continue to have […]