Wednesday, July 11, 2012

This Child and Her Family need your Help and Prayers..

This sweet, little, 4 year old girl, Eslyn Kubalek, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia on Monday June 18th 2012.  She is in the midst of 4-6 months of treatments to combat the cancer at Toledo Children's Hospital. Eslyn is blessed to be a member of a family of faith. She has two great parents and 5 siblings (some older, some younger).

Due to her treatments dear sweet little Eslyn is beginning to lose her hair. The treatments have also brought on a fever and swelling which has caused the need for continuing treatment in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Literally she is battling for life while friends, family, and even blessed strangers exercise faith in prayer on her behalf and ask that any faith we lack be made up out of the bounteous goodness and grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

A long drawn out battle with cancer brings with it MANY expenses only a part of which are covered by insurance. If you feel moved to help defray these expenses you may send a donation of any size to:

Eslyn Kubalek's Medical Fund
c/o First Federal Bank
300 N. Main St.
Adrian, MI 49221

Thanks so much for doing whatever you can do to help. May God bless you and yours.

Please keep Eslyn and her family in your thoughts and prayers as she battles this horrible cancer! We love you Eslyn! Stay strong! 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Breast Cancer Screening Under Fire Again

Mammography screening leads to a "substantial amount of over diagnosis" of nonfatal breast cancer, researchers reported.

A retrospective analysis in Norway found 6 to 10 cases of over diagnosis for every 2,500 women invited to have mammographic screening, according to Mette Kalager, MD, of Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues.

In other words, the screening found a relatively large number of cancers that would not have become clinically significant during the woman's lifetime, Kalager and colleagues concluded in the April 3 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

Mammograms increase the incidence of cancer first by detecting tumors earlier than they would have been otherwise found, and second by picking up tumors that would never have been clinically apparent in the woman's life, the researchers noted.

In the second case, "the woman would be diagnosed and treated with no possible survival benefit."

But gauging the extent of over diagnosis is difficult and estimates have ranged from 0% to 54%, they noted.

Among the difficulties are disentangling other factors that might affect breast cancer incidence and accounting for lead time, or the amount of time that screening advances a diagnosis, compared with clinical methods.

To help clarify the issue, they took advantage of a nationwide breast screening program in Norway that was rolled out on a regional basis over about nine years, starting in 1996. They compared invasive breast cancer incidence with and without screening.

By 2005, all women in Norway, ages 50 to 69, were invited to have a mammogram every two years and, overall, 77% of eligible women have taken part, the researchers reported.

Using data from the public health system and the government statistics branch, Kalager and colleagues examined figures for invasive breast cancer from Jan. 1, 1986 to Dec. 31, 2005, enabling them to compare periods before and after the screening program started.

In that time, 39,888 women were diagnosed with a first case of invasive breast cancer, including 28.6% diagnosed after introduction of the screening program.

They used two different analytic approaches to minimize the effects of confounders, such as lead time.

In the first approach, attempting to control for temporal trends, they estimated overdiagnosis to be 18% in the region where the screening had been in place the longest. Over the whole country, including some regions with short follow up, they estimated over-diagnosis to be 25%

In the second approach, attempting to control for lead time, the estimated over diagnosis ranged from 15% to 20%, Kalager and colleagues reported.

They cautioned that the study was retrospective and therefore could not eliminate all potential confounding factors. As well, unlike most studies of the type, it excluded ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). Over diagnosis is an important issue for patients with DCIS, but there are fundamental methodological differences in the approach to estimate over diagnosis of invasive cancer versus DCIS, the authors said.

Nonetheless, they concluded, the findings suggest that for every 2,500 women invited to take part in biennial mammography over a 10-year period, 6 to 10 were over diagnosed.

On the other hand, they estimated, 20 women were diagnosed with breast cancer but not overdiagnosed, and one death from breast cancer was prevented.

However, focusing on the exact extent of over diagnosis is missing the point, according to Joann Elmore, MD, of the University of Washington in Seattle, and Suzanne Fletcher, MD, of Harvard Medical School in Boston.

"It is time to agree that any amount of over diagnosis is serious and to start dealing with this issue now," they argued in an accompanying editorial.

In the long run, that will need better tools to distinguish between cancers that need intervention and those that can be safely observed over time, they argued, but "we cannot wait for these tools to be developed."

Mammographers should consider changing the threshold at which an observed feature is called abnormal. "Evaluating strategies for observing change in some lesions over time instead of recommending an immediate biopsy has been suggested," they pointed out.

While that may be a "tough sell" to women, they concluded, that "unless serious efforts are made to reduce the frequency of over diagnosis, the problem will probably increase."

There is also an ethical obligation, they argued, to alert women to the issue and explain it clearly.

The study had support from the Norwegian Research Council and Frontier Science. Kalager and colleagues did not report any conflicts.

The editorial authors did not report any financial links with industry.

Primary source: Annals of Internal Medicine
Source reference:
Kalager M, et al "Over diagnosis of invasive breast cancer due to mammography screening: results from the Norwegian Screening Program" Ann Intern Med 2012; 156: 491-499.

Additional source: Annals of Internal Medicine
Source reference:
Elmore JG, Fletcher SW "Over diagnosis in breast cancer screening: time to tackle an under appreciated harm" Ann Intern Med 2012; 156: 536-537.

This article is By Michael Smith, North American Correspondent, MedPage Today

Published: April 02, 2012

Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco and Dorothy Caputo, MA, RN, BC-ADM, Nurse Planner

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Home World Cancer Day - The Fight Continues

Uniting the world, raising awareness and reducing the devastation of a disease that strikes 12.7 million people on earth every year. Those are the goals of World Cancer Day, being celebrated this year on Saturday, February 4.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) is joining with other organizations throughout the world to support World Cancer Day. Every year, 7.6 million people die of cancer around the world, and many of those deaths can be prevented.

Take action to protect yourself and your children from cancer.

In the United States, cancer is the second leading cause of death, striking down more than a half a million people every year.

On a global scale, the numbers are daunting. The big C overwhelms more people than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis put together. And if nothing changes, the number of cancer deaths will increase by 80 percent by the year 2030 - a burden felt mostly in developing countries.

It doesn't have to be this way. Research shows that one-third of cancers can be prevented and early detection and treatment could save the lives of another third.

Despite these facts, low- and middle-income countries don't have access to screening and treatment technologies and cancer medicine and care. That's why in September, 2011, leaders from more than 120 countries participating in the United Nations Summit on Communicable Diseases declared non-communicable diseases including cancer a global priority and committed to taking action.

CDC cancer programs focus on the United States. But the agency is working with other countries, including Latin America, to improve screening.

The CDC has also joined other global health organizations to create the Global Initiative for Cancer Registry Development in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (GICR).

And the CDC's National Cancer Conference will have a track dedicated to international cancer concerns.

Proven ways to prevent cancer

Take a minute and consider all the ways you can prevent cancer:

  • Avoid tobacco
  • Limiting alcohol intake
  • Avoid too much ultraviolet rays from the sun and tanning beds
  • Eat a diet loaded with fruits and vegetables
  • Maintain a healthy weight,
  • Move your body - be physically active

Along with taking care of your own health, talk to your children about the importance of getting into the habit of a healthy lifestyle.

Daily RX

Published: Feb 4, 2012 07:27 am