Cervical Cancer Survival Rates And Risks No Better With Less-Invasive Surgery
The unexpected negative results from two new studies could change how cervical cancer has been commonly treated for over 10 years as a minimally invasive hysterectomy gained popularity. Appendix removal, premature birth rates and precision medicine are also in public health news today.
Cervical Cancer Patients Face Greater Risks With Minimally Invasive Surgery
A treatment for early stage cervical cancer that has rapidly gained acceptance in the United States turns out to be worse than standard surgery, according to two studies. The practice, now thrown into question, is called minimally invasive surgery. Instruments are threaded through small incisions, and surgeons use those to remove a diseased uterus. This technique has been growing in popularity since 2006 and has been widely adopted. (Harris, 10/31)
The Associated Press:
Appendix Removal Is Linked To Lower Risk Of Parkinson's
Scientists have found a new clue that Parkinson’s disease may get its start not in the brain but in the gut — maybe in the appendix. People who had their appendix removed early in life had a lower risk of getting the tremor-inducing brain disease decades later, researchers reported Wednesday. (Neergaard, 10/31)
Why Are Premature Birth Rates On The Rise Again?
The rate of premature birth across the United States rose for the third year in a row, according to the annual premature birth report card from March of Dimes, a nonprofit organization that works to improve maternal and infant health. This comes after nearly a decade of decline from 2007 to 2015. In 2017, the premature birth rate was 9.93 percent of births, up slightly from 2016, when it was 9.85 percent. The report card draws from the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. (Chatterjee, 11/1)
Pricey Precision Medicine Often Financially Toxic For Cancer Patients
The high cost of cutting-edge tests and treatments is threatening to keep precision medicine — one of the most celebrated areas in cancer research — out of reach for many patients. Patients who pay for these new treatments on their own “could be in debt for decades,” said Dr. Scott Ramsey, director of the Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research in Seattle. ... Precision medicine involves running expensive tests called genomic sequencing, which scan the DNA of tumors to find mutations that might be susceptible to available drugs. Although the field is relatively new, hundreds of thousands of cancer patients have had their tumors sequenced to identify cancer-related mutations, according to testing companies. (Szabo, 11/1)