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September 2013 Briefing - Hematology & Oncology

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 (Last Updated: 10/04/2013)

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Hematology & Oncology for September 2013. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Lower National Health Spending Due to Slow Economy

MONDAY, Sept. 30 (HealthDay News) -- National health care expenditures remain sluggish but are expected to grow at a rate of approximately 6.2 percent per year after 2014, with federal, state, and local governments accounting for half, according to research published online Sept. 18 in Health Affairs.

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Medicare, Medicaid Will Still Run If Government Shuts Down

MONDAY, Sept. 30 (HealthDay News) -- According to U.S. officials, veterans and Medicare and Medicaid recipients will continue to receive health care benefits even if the federal government shuts down on Tuesday.

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Only One-Third of Voters Think Congress Should Delay ACA

MONDAY, Sept. 30 (HealthDay News) -- With a government shutdown impending, only one-third of voters think that Congress should delay, defund, or repeal the health care laws set to take effect imminently, according to a report from The Morning Consult.

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FDA Approves Perjeta for Early-Stage Breast Cancer

MONDAY, Sept. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The drug Perjeta (pertuzumab) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat early-stage breast cancer before surgery, the agency said Monday.

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DOL Clarifies Employer Health Insurance Notification Duty

MONDAY, Sept. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Department of Labor has provided clarification in the form of a frequently-asked-questions (FAQ) document, relating to employer obligations to provide employees with written notice about the Affordable Care Act's health insurance marketplaces by Oct. 1, 2013.

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Health Worker Roles Impacted When 'Undervalued' by Patients

FRIDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Job satisfaction among nurse practitioners and other professionals can suffer when clientele lack a clear understanding of what they do, according to research published in the Aug. 1 issue of the Academy of Management Journal.

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Practical Tips Offered for Medical Employee Satisfaction

FRIDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Managing staff is a learned skill, and one for which physicians are often ill-equipped. An article published Sept. 25 in Medical Economics lays out some practical tips and advice for motivating staff to excel.

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HEALTH REFORM: ACA Impact on Medicare Recipients Unclear

FRIDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will help millions of uninsured Americans access affordable health care coverage, but it's unclear what effect the law will have on people covered by Medicare.

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Bioinformatics Approach IDs Approved Drugs for Repurposing

FRIDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Bioinformatics-based drug approaches have identified U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs and a novel class of molecules that can be repurposed to treat patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC), according to research published online Sept. 26 in Cancer Discovery.

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CDC: Flu Shot Coverage of Health Care Personnel Increasing

THURSDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Influenza vaccination coverage has increased among health care personnel but varies by occupation type and occupational setting, according to a report published in the Sept. 27 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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HEALTH REFORM: Medicaid Expansion Will Up Coverage

THURSDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Two aspects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have the potential to extend health insurance coverage to those who do not qualify for government-sponsored health care but cannot afford to purchase private plans.

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HEALTH REFORM: Exchanges Offer Options for the Uninsured

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Millions of part-time, seasonal, self-employed workers and other individuals currently without health insurance may find a solution to their vulnerable status when the new health care exchanges go into effect on Oct. 1.

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More Options, Lower Premiums With Insurance Exchanges

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Consumers are likely to find insurance options more plentiful and more affordable than expected in the new Health Insurance Marketplace that goes into effect Oct. 1, according to a report released Sept. 25 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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ACP Provides Overview of Health Insurance Marketplaces

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- The opportunities and challenges presented by health care reform are discussed in an article published online Sept. 24 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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HEALTH REFORM: Health Care Reform a Mixed Bag for Workers

TUESDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Much discussion of the Affordable Care Act revolves around the dramatic changes in store for America's uninsured, but the health care reform law will also have an impact on individuals with employer-based coverage.

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FDA Gives Final Guidance on Mobile Medical App Oversight

TUESDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued final guidance for mobile application (app) developers, and is focusing its oversight on medical apps that will be used as accessories to regulated medical devices, or that transform a mobile device into a regulated medical device.

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Marriage Shown to Provide Cancer Survival Benefit

TUESDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Unmarried patients are at significantly higher risk of presentation with metastatic cancer, undertreatment, and cancer-related death, according to a study published online Sept. 23 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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FDA Issues Final Rule for Device Identification System

MONDAY, Sept. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has released a final rule for the unique device identification system (UDI) that, when implemented, will improve patient safety by providing a consistent way to identify approved medical devices.

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USPSTF: Offer Breast CA Risk-Reducing Rx to High-Risk Patients

MONDAY, Sept. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that women at increased risk of breast cancer be prescribed tamoxifen or raloxifene for risk reduction, according to a final Recommendation Statement published online Sept. 24 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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HEALTH REFORM: Young People Likely to Be Key to Success

MONDAY, Sept. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Young, healthy adults are considered key to the success of health insurance reform, but many are not even aware of state insurance exchanges.

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Majority of U.S. Consumers Want Full Access to EMR

MONDAY, Sept. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Most U.S. consumers want to have full access to their electronic medical records (EMR), and 41 percent would be willing to switch doctors to gain access, according to a survey published by Accenture.

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Racial Disparities in Functional Disability of Breast Cancer

MONDAY, Sept. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Older women with newly diagnosed non-metastatic breast cancer frequently have functional disability, with African-American (AA) women disproportionately affected, according to a study published online Sept. 23 in Cancer.

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HEALTH REFORM: Health Care Exchanges Going Into Effect

MONDAY, Sept. 23 (HealthDay News) -- As of Oct. 1, consumers looking for health insurance will be able to turn to state-based health care exchanges, a centerpiece of the Affordable Care Act intended to help the uninsured and small businesses find affordable coverage.

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Eating, Exercises Improve Diet After Pharyngeal Cancer Tx

FRIDAY, Sept. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who maintain eating and a regimen of swallowing exercises during treatment for pharyngeal cancers have the highest rate of return to a regular diet following treatment, according to a study published online Sept. 19 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

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Implications of Very Low Risk Prostate Cancer Assessed

FRIDAY, Sept. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of adverse findings at surgery for men with very low risk (VLR) prostate cancer is significantly lower than for those with low risk (LR), according to research published in the October issue of the The Journal of Urology.

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Little Correlation Between Care Quality, Patient Experience

FRIDAY, Sept. 20 (HealthDay News) -- There is little correlation between quality of care assessed by clinical measures versus by patient experience, according to research published in the September/October issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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New Medicaid Enrollees Under ACA May Be Healthier

THURSDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Adults potentially eligible for Medicaid under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) are expected to have equal or better health status than current beneficiaries, according to research published in the September/October issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Hypofractionated Radiation Effective for Early Breast Cancer

THURSDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term follow-up of the START (Standardization of Breast Radiotherapy) trials confirms that appropriately-dosed hypofractionated radiotherapy is safe and effective for the treatment of invasive early breast cancer, according to research published online Sept. 19 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Exposure to Tamoxifen Causes CNS Cell Death

THURSDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Tamoxifen causes central nerve system (CNS) cell cytotoxicity, and MEK1/2 inhibition can prevent tamoxifen-induced cell death, according to a study published in the Sept. 18 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

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Pros and Cons of Shortening Medical School Discussed

THURSDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The pros and cons of shortening medical school to three years are discussed in two perspective pieces published in the Sept. 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Millions Are Harmed by Unsafe Medical Care Each Year

THURSDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Adverse events caused by inferior medical care are a major source of morbidity and mortality globally, according to research published in the October issue of BMJ Quality & Safety.

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Colorectal Cancer Screening Offers Lasting Benefits

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Lower endoscopy and fecal occult-blood testing screening correlate with lasting reductions in colorectal cancer mortality, according to two studies published in the Sept. 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Expansion of VA Mammography Services Impacts Care

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Rapid expansion of mammography screening at a Veterans Affairs (VA) facility has translated to increased clinical volumes and increased time to definitive treatment, according to research published online Sept. 18 in JAMA Surgery.

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Enhanced Care Program Set Up at Six Mayo Clinic Hospitals

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 18 (HealthDay News) -- A new program has been developed and implemented at six Mayo Clinic Health System hospitals to improve care and shorten hospital stays using remote monitoring, according to a press release issued by the Mayo Clinic.

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Payment for Routine Office Visits Varies Substantially

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 18 (HealthDay News) -- There is substantial variation in private insurance payment to physicians for routine office visits, according to research published in the September issue of Health Affairs.

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EHR Systems Meeting Meaningful Use Criteria Beneficial

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Most electronic health record (EHR) systems meet meaningful use criteria, and these systems are associated with time-saving and other benefits, according to a September data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

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Unfounded Fears Prompt Prophylactic Mastectomy Choice

TUESDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Among young women who undergo a bilateral mastectomy for cancer in one breast, contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM) is often chosen to reduce risk of future cancer and improve survival, according to research published in the Sept. 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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FDA Approves First Generic Version of Xeloda

TUESDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The first generic version of the oral chemotherapy drug Xeloda (capecitabine) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat cancers of the colon/rectum or breast, the agency said Monday in a news release.

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Detection Bias May Explain Raised Bladder CA Risk in T2DM

TUESDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Early detection bias may explain the pattern of increased bladder cancer risk previously reported in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a study published online Aug. 29 in Diabetes Care.

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More Than 1.6 Million Americans Expected to Get Cancer in 2013

TUESDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Although significant progress has been made in treating cancer, more than 1.6 million Americans are projected to receive a cancer diagnosis in 2013, according to the third American Association for Cancer Research's Cancer Progress Report 2013.

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Telomere Length Increase Lasts With Lifestyle Intervention

TUESDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthDay News) -- For men with low-risk prostate cancer, a comprehensive lifestyle intervention is associated with increased telomere length after five years of follow-up, according to a study published online Sept. 17 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Multiple Bilateral Circumscribed Breast Masses Usually Benign

MONDAY, Sept. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Multiple bilateral (MB) circumscribed breast masses detected with ultrasound screening are almost always benign, according to research published in the September issue of Radiology.

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FDA Approves New Device for Enlarged Prostate

MONDAY, Sept. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The UroLift system has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat low or blocked urine flow in men aged 50 and older who have an enlarged prostate.

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Screen-Film Mammography Bests Computed Radiography

FRIDAY, Sept. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Computed radiography (CR) systems are 21 percent less effective at detecting breast cancers than screen-film mammography (SFM), according to a study published in the September issue of Radiology.

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Inverse Link for Dental Caries, Head/Neck Squamous Cell CA

FRIDAY, Sept. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Dental caries, crowns, and endodontic treatments are inversely associated with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), according to a study published online Sept. 12 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

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Mindfulness Training Beneficial for Clinicians, Patients

THURSDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Mindfulness training is associated with improvements in physician burnout; and, clinicians who rate themselves as more mindful engage in more patient-centered communication, according to two studies published in the September/October issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Experts Address California Breast Density Notification Law

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 11 (HealthDay News) -- A team of California-based breast imaging experts have developed a website and strategy in response to impending breast density notification laws, according to a special report published online Sept. 10 in Radiology.

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Being at Healthy Weight, Active Could Halve Endometrial Cancers

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Being at a healthy weight and being physically active could prevent more than half of all cases of endometrial cancer in the United States, according to a report published Sept. 10 by the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR).

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Swallow Preservation Protocol Effective in Compliant Patients

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Head and neck cancer patients who are compliant with a swallow preservation protocol (SPP) are more likely to maintain their diet, according to a study published online Aug. 27 in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

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IOM IDs Current Challenges, Six Ways to Improve Cancer Care

TUESDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Given the current challenges in cancer care, six components that are integral to a comprehensive, patient-centered, high-quality cancer care delivery system have been identified, according to a report published Sept. 10 by the Institute of Medicine.

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FDA Approves Abraxane for Late-Stage Pancreatic Cancer

TUESDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for Abraxane (paclitaxel) has been expanded to include advanced pancreatic cancer, the agency said Friday in a news release.

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About Half of Health Care Providers Are 'Digital Omnivores'

TUESDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- About half of health care providers are "digital omnivores," meaning they use a tablet, smartphone, and laptop/desktop computer routinely in a professional capacity, according to a report published by Epocrates.

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Future Issues Important for Fertility Preservation Decisions

TUESDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Future decisions and issues must be considered by cancer patients in their fertility preservation decision-making process, according to a clinical opinion piece published in the August issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Treatment in Critical Care Often Perceived As Futile

TUESDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Intensive care unit (ICU) treatment is frequently perceived as futile by critical care specialists, and entails considerable costs, according to a study published online Sept. 9 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Cardiac Risk Assessed in Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancer

MONDAY, Sept. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Modifiable cardiovascular risk factors, particularly hypertension, add to the treatment-associated risk of major cardiac events in adult survivors of childhood cancer, according to research published online Sept. 3 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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'Meaningful Use' Achievement Not Uniform Across Hospitals

MONDAY, Sept. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In regard to the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs), achievement of "meaningful use" criteria is not uniform across all hospitals, according to a study published in the August issue of Health Affairs.

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Most Physicians Report Being Satisfied With Career Choice

MONDAY, Sept. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Most physicians report being satisfied with their career choice, although 40 percent would rethink their path given the chance to choose again, according to the 2013 Great American Physician Survey published in Physicians Practice.

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Young Women With Fatal Breast Cancer Are Mostly Unscreened

MONDAY, Sept. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Most breast cancer deaths occur in unscreened women, according to a study published online Sept. 9 in Cancer.

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E-Cigarettes Modestly Effective for Helping Smokers Quit

MONDAY, Sept. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are modestly effective for helping smokers quit; and, a three-month television antismoking campaign is effective for increasing quit attempts, according to two studies published online Sept. 9 in The Lancet.

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Care for Head and Neck Cancer Increasingly Regionalized

FRIDAY, Sept. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Care for head and neck cancer is becoming increasingly regionalized, according to research published online Sept. 5 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

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Screening Tool Does Not Cut Distress in Cancer Patients

FRIDAY, Sept. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Distress monitoring and needs assessment using the Distress Thermometer and Problem List (DT&PL) does not appear to be cost-effective in improving mood states in cancer patients, according to research published online Sept. 3 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Response-Guided Neoadjuvant Chemo Beneficial in Breast CA

FRIDAY, Sept. 6 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with early breast cancer, a response-guided neoadjuvant chemotherapy approach seems beneficial, according to a study published online Sept. 3 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Processing Speed Drops After Medulloblastoma Diagnosis

THURSDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Among key cognitive functions, processing speed (PS) shows the poorest outcomes five years after diagnosis of pediatric medulloblastoma, according to a study published online Aug. 26 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Anti-CMV Treatment Shows Promise for Glioblastoma

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with glioblastoma, treatment with the anti-cytomegalovirus (CMV) agent valganciclovir is associated with improved survival, according to a study published in the Sept. 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Low-Dose CT Lung Screening More Sensitive Than Radiography

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Low-dose computed tomography (CT) lung screening is more sensitive than radiography, and predictors of cancer on low-dose CT have been identified, according to two studies published in the Sept. 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Study Assesses Benefits of HBV Vaccine Program in Taiwan

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Implementation of a national hepatitis B virus (HBV) immunization program in Taiwan correlated with reductions in infant fulminant hepatitis (IFH), chronic liver disease (CLD), and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) mortality, and with HCC incidence, according to a research letter published in the Sept. 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Excess HRT-Tied Breast Cancer Risk Varies With Race, BMI

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The increased risk of breast cancer among users of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) varies by race/ethnicity, body mass index (BMI), and breast density, according to a study published online Sept. 3 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Male-Female Physician Earnings Gap Has Persisted for 20 Years

TUESDAY, Sept. 3 (HealthDay News) -- For physicians, the male-female earnings gap has not changed significantly since 1987, according to a research letter published online Sept. 2 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Docs' Confidence in Diagnosis Unrelated to Diagnostic Accuracy

TUESDAY, Sept. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians' confidence in their diagnostic accuracy is not associated with actual diagnostic accuracy or with case difficulty, according to a study published online Aug. 26 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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No Link Found Between Various Insulins and Breast Cancer

TUESDAY, Sept. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Various types of insulins are not associated with breast cancer risk, according to a study published online Aug. 15 in Diabetes Care.

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Pre-Diagnosis Coffee Intake Tied to Prostate CA Outcomes

TUESDAY, Sept. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Higher coffee consumption before prostate cancer diagnosis is associated with a lower risk of recurrence/progression, according to a study published in the August issue of Cancer Causes & Control.

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Hydroxyurea Cost-Effective for Childhood Sickle Cell Anemia

TUESDAY, Sept. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Treating children with sickle cell anemia with hydroxyurea is associated with lower total medical costs (higher outpatient costs but lower inpatient costs) as compared to placebo, according to a study published online Sept. 2 in Pediatrics.

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Employer-Based Health Insurance Premiums Rose Modestly in 2013

MONDAY, Sept. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Employer-sponsored health insurance premiums rose only modestly in 2013, according to research published in the August issue of Health Affairs.

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Workaholics Have Poorer Physical and Mental Health

MONDAY, Sept. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Workaholics, defined as those who work more than 50 hours per week, have reduced physical and mental well-being, according to researchers from Kansas State University.

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