Delayed Radiation Increases Breast Cancer Risk

Recent study findings indicate that some patients with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) may be able to forego radiotherapy. However, an analysis of data on women in the Missouri Cancer Registry with DCIS who were treated with breast-conserving surgery suggests otherwise. For the study, radiation was administered within 8 weeks of surgery in about 53% of women, at 8 or more weeks after surgery for approximately 18% of women, and not at all for about 29% of the participants. At 72 months follow-up, patients whose radiation therapy was delayed were at 26% higher risk for developing ipsilateral breast cancer when compared with those who received timely radiation therapy. This risk was 33% higher for women who received no radiation.



Physical Activity & Prostate Cancer Prognosis

For a study, researchers reviewed data on more than 10,000 men who were diagnosed with non-metastatic prostate cancer to investigate the associations of pre- and post-diagnostic physical activity and sitting time with prostate cancer-specific mortality (PCSM). The researchers found that 17.5 metabolic equivalent (MET) hours (equivalent to 5 hours of walking) or more per week of pre- and post-diagnostic physical activity was associated with 30% and 34% decreased risks of PCSM, respectively, when compared with men who had less than 3.5 MET hours per week of physical activity. Walking 4 or more hours per week prior to their diagnosis was associated with a lower risk for PCSM, whereas post-diagnosis walking was not statistically significantly associated with PCSM. Sitting time was also not associated with PCSM.



Tobacco Use Common in Cancer Survivors

Information on the prevalence of tobacco use among cancer survivors can help inform smoking cessation programs that are developed for this patient population. For a study, investigators analyzed data from 2012 to 2014 on tobacco use by cancer status among 6,000 adult survivors. More than 20% of survivors were current cigarette smokers, a significantly higher rate than what has been observed among those without a history of the disease. More than 6% were current users of a non-cigarette combustible tobacco product, which was similar to the rate observed among individuals without a cancer history. Less than 2% of cancer survivors currently used smokeless tobacco products, a rate that was just over half the rate seen in those without a cancer history.



EHR Use in Patients With Cancer

Evidence suggests that the ability of patients to view, download, and transmit their medical records is especially important for those with cancer because their care is often delivered by multiple specialists. This makes accurate communication of medical and treatment history between all parties paramount to optimizing care. Survey data were analyzed for a study to determine patient access to and use of electronic health records (EHRs). Among patients with cancer, nearly half (48.2%) reported being offered access to their EHRs, compared with a rate of 41.8% reported by those without cancer. EHRs were accessed at least once by 30.8% of patients with cancer and 27.2% of those without cancer.



Predicting Cervical Cancer Co-Testing Guideline Adherence

Little is known about the longitudinal adoption of cervical cancer screening using HPV testing combined with Pap testing (co-testing) for average-risk women. This practice is recommended in clinical guidelines, but little is known about factors that contribute to clinicians offering this co-testing. For a study, predictors of cervical cancer co-testing guideline adherence were examined over a period of 4 years following the adoption of co-testing at Kaiser Permanente Northern California in 2003. Women who underwent baseline co-testing in more recent years were significantly more likely to adhere to the recommended interval length of co-testing than women who did so in earlier years. The findings suggest that there has been a trend toward increasing adoption of co-testing guidelines.


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