Randomized clinical trials have shown that use of 5a-reductase inhibitors (5-ARIs) lowers overall prostate cancer (PCa) risk compared to placebo, while the proportion of Gleason 8-10 tumors is elevated. It is unknown whether this affects PCa-specific survival. We studied disease-specific survival by 5-ARI usage in a cohort of 6,537 prostate cancer cases diagnosed in the Finnish Prostate Cancer Screening Trial and linked to the national prescription database for information on medication use. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to estimate hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals for prostate cancer-specific deaths. For comparison, survival among alpha-blocker users was also evaluated. During the median follow-up of 7.5 years after diagnosis a total of 2,478 men died; 617 due to prostate cancer and 1,861 due to other causes. The risk of prostate cancer death did not differ between 5-ARI users and nonusers (multivariable adjusted HR 0.94, 95% CI 0.72-1.24 and HR 0.98, 95% CI 0.69-1.41 for usage before and after the diagnosis, respectively). Alpha-blocker usage both before and after diagnosis was associated with increased risk of prostate cancer death (HR 1.29, 95% CI 1.08-1.54 and HR 1.56, 95% CI 1.30-1.86, respectively). The risk increase vanished in long-term alpha-blocker usage. Use of 5-ARIs does not appear to affect prostate cancer mortality when used in management of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Increased risk associated with alpha-blocker usage should prompt further exploration on the prognostic role of lower urinary tract symptoms.
The prospects for the treatment of metastatic melanoma are improving. Whereas previous scientific meetings dedicated to the treatment of metastatic melanoma patients were overshadowed by our inability to improve overall survival or lengthen the time to progression, the results presented at the most recent meetings are hopeful. The 5th Canadian Melanoma Conference held on 24-27 February in Banff (AB, Canada) was nothing short of optimistic. This year's meeting was divided into three themes: basic science and pathology, dermatology and surgery, and immunology and systemic treatment. In addition, dermoscopy case studies were presented, and Hoffmann la Roche sponsored a symposium on the evaluation of treatment for advanced melanoma. It underscored the importance of early detection and patient stratification, based upon the molecular profile of the tumor, in order to optimize the response to targeted therapy.
Nordic countries' data offer a unique possibility to evaluate the long-term benefit of cervical cancer screening in a context of increasing risk of human papillomavirus infection.
Ad hoc-refined age-period-cohort models were applied to the last 50-year incidence data from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden to project expected cervical cancer cases in a no-screening scenario.
In the absence of screening, projected incidence rates for 2006-2010 in Nordic countries would have been between 3 and 5 times higher than observed rates. Over 60,000 cases or between 41 and 49% of the expected cases of cervical cancer may have been prevented by the introduction of screening in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Our study suggests that screening programmes might have prevented a HPV-driven epidemic of cervical cancer in Nordic countries. According to extrapolations from cohort effects, cervical cancer incidence rates in the Nordic countries would have been otherwise comparable to the highest incidence rates currently detected in low-income countries.
Different abdominal symptoms may signal cancer, but their role is unclear.
To examine associations between abdominal symptoms and subsequent cancer diagnosed in the abdominal region.
Prospective cohort study comprising 493 GPs from surgeries in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Scotland, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
Over a 10-day period, the GPs recorded consecutive consultations and noted: patients who presented with abdominal symptoms pre-specified on the registration form; additional data on non-specific symptoms; and features of the consultation. Eight months later, data on all cancer diagnoses among all study patients in the participating general practices were requested from the GPs.
Consultations with 61 802 patients were recorded and abdominal symptoms were documented in 6264 (10.1%) patients. Malignancy, both abdominal and non-abdominal, was subsequently diagnosed in 511 patients (0.8%). Among patients with a new cancer in the abdomen (n = 251), 175 (69.7%) were diagnosed within 180 days after consultation. In a multivariate model, the highest sex- and age-adjusted hazard ratio (HR) was for the single symptom of rectal bleeding (HR 19.1, 95% confidence interval = 8.7 to 41.7). Positive predictive values of >3% were found for macroscopic haematuria, rectal bleeding, and involuntary weight loss, with variations according to age and sex. The three symptoms relating to irregular bleeding had particularly high specificity in terms of colorectal, uterine, and bladder cancer.
A patient with undiagnosed cancer may present with symptoms or no symptoms. Irregular bleeding must always be explained. Abdominal pain occurs with all types of abdominal cancer and several symptoms may signal colorectal cancer. The findings are important as they influence how GPs think and act, and how they can contribute to an earlier diagnosis of cancer.
The goal of this study was to identify measures to facilitate access to the Quebec Breast Cancer Screening Program for women with activity limitations, considering the barriers to screening uptake in that population.
The study was carried out in three stages. First, 124 semi-structured interviews were conducted in five regions of Quebec with five groups of key informants. The content analysis lead to the identification of 64 proposals, which were submitted to 31 experts through a two-round Delphi survey process. Finally, consultations were held with 11 resource people to determine which decision-making levels (local, regional, provincial) could play a key role in implementing the proposals.
A strong consensus (=80%) was achieved for 25 proposals seen as highly relevant and feasible.
The implementation of such proposals could substantially improve access to screening, given the prevalence of activity limitations in the age group targeted by the program.
The purpose of this study is to determine if access to medical care and utilization of cancer screenings differs between women in the United States and Canada. This study examined this question by comparing women in Canada to women in the United States who have insurance coverage and those who do not.
This study used data from the 2002/03 Joint Canada United States Survey of Health and examined access to medical care and cancer screenings. A binary probit model was used to address several measures of access to medical care and cancer screening utilization.
This study finds five significant differences between insured American and Canadian women. Canadian women are better off in terms of ever having a mammogram, having a regular doctor, and having access to needed medicine, but fare worse in terms of having had a recent mammogram and having perceived unmet healthcare needs. With the exception of having recent mammograms, there is no statistical difference between uninsured and insured American women.
Although this study does not show that one group is strictly better off, it does show that there are significant differences between the two groups of women.
Active surveillance has evolved to become a standard of care for favorable-risk prostate cancer. This article is a summary of the rationale, method, and results of active surveillance beginning in 1995 with the first prospective trial of this approach.
This was a prospective, single arm cohort study. Patients were managed with an initial expectant approach. Definitive intervention was offered to those patients with a prostate specific antigen (PSA) doubling time of less than 3 years, Gleason score progression (to 4?+?3 or greater), or unequivocal clinical progression. Since November 1995, 450 patients have been managed with active surveillance. Median follow-up is 6.8 years (range 1-16 years). Overall survival is 78.6%. Ten-year prostate cancer actuarial survival is 97.2%. Five of 450 patients (1.1%) have died of prostate cancer. Thirty percent of patients have been reclassified as higher risk and offered definitive therapy. The commonest indication for treatment was a PSA doubling time less than 3 years (48%) or Gleason upgrading (26%). Of 117 patients treated radically, the PSA failure rate was 50%. This represents 13% of the total cohort. Most PSA failures occurred early; at 2 years, 44% of the treated patients had PSA failure. The hazard ratio for nonprostate cancer to prostate cancer mortality was 18.6 at 10 years.
We observed a very low rate of prostate cancer mortality in an intermediate time frame. Among the one-third of patients who were reclassified as higher risk and retreated, PSA failure was relatively common. However, other cause mortality accounted for almost all of the deaths. Further studies are warranted to improve the identification of patients who harbor more aggressive disease in spite of favorable clinical parameters at diagnosis.
This study compares adherence to breast and ovarian cancer screening recommendations among a population cohort of women at familial risk of breast and/or ovarian cancer. This cross-sectional study included 1039 first-degree female relatives without breast cancer identified from the Ontario site of the Breast Cancer Family Registry. We compared breast and ovarian cancer screening behaviors, using a telephone-administered questionnaire among three groups of women defined by their familial risk (high, moderate, and low) of breast and/or ovarian cancer. Associations between screening behaviors and familial risk were assessed using multinomial regression models adjusted by familial clustering. Women, 40-49 years of age, at moderate or high familial risk were significantly more likely to have had a screening mammogram within the past 12 months [odds ratio (OR): 2.80; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.40-5.58], and women of less than 50 years of age were more likely to have a clinical breast examination (OR: 1.84; 95% CI: 1.02-3.31) compared with women at low familial risk. Compared with women at low or moderate familial risk, women at high familial risk were significantly more likely to have ever had a genetic test for the BRCA 1/2 genes (OR: 2.67; 95% CI: 1.76-4.05). Although the overall level of adherence among high-risk women is suboptimal in the community, women at a higher familial risk are adhering more often to cancer screening recommendations than women at a lower familial risk.
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Cancer screening guidelines reflect the costs and benefits of population-based screening based on evidence from clinical trials. While most of the existing literature on compliance with cancer screening guidelines only measures raw screening rates in the target age groups, we used a novel approach to estimate degree of guideline compliance across Canadian provinces for breast, colorectal and prostate cancer screening. Measuring compliance as the change in age-specific screening rates at the guideline-recommended initiation age (50), we generally found screening patterns across Canadian provinces that were not consistent with guideline compliance.
We calculated age-cancer-specific screening rates for ages 40-60 using the Canadian Community Health Survey (2003 and 2005), a cross-sectional, nationally representative survey of health status, health care utilization and health determinants in the Canadian population. We estimated the degree of compliance using logistic regression to measure the change in adjusted screening rates at the guideline-recommended initiation age for each province in the sample.
For breast cancer, after adjusting for age trends and other covariates, being above age 50 in Quebec increased the probability of being screened by 19 percentage points, from an average screening rate of 24% among 40-49 year olds. None of the other regions exhibited a statistically significant change in screening rates at age 50. Additional analyses indicated that these patterns reflect asymptomatic screening and that Quebec's breast cancer screening program enhanced the degree of guideline compliance in that province. Colorectal cancer screening practice was consistent with guidelines only in Saskatchewan, as screening rates increased at age 50 by 12 percentage points, from an average rate of 6% among 40-49 year olds. For prostate cancer, the regions examined here are not compliant with Canadian guidelines since screening rates were quite high, and there was not a discrete increase at any particular age.
Screening practice for breast, colorectal and prostate cancer was generally not consistent with Canadian clinical guidelines. Quebec (breast) and Saskatchewan (colorectal) were exceptions to this, and the impact of Quebec's breast cancer screening program suggests a role for policy in improving screening guideline compliance.
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Women living with HIV (WLWH) are at increased risk of invasive cervical cancer (ICC). International HIV guidelines suggest cervical screening twice the first year after HIV diagnosis and thereafter annually. Adherence to the HIV cervical screening program in Denmark is unknown.
We studied women from a population-based, nationwide HIV cohort in Denmark and a cohort of age-matched females from the general population. Screening behaviour was assessed from 1999-2010. Adjusted odds ratios (OR's) for screening attendance in the two cohorts and potential predictors of attendance to guidelines were estimated. Pathology specimens were identified from The Danish Pathology Data Bank.
We followed 1143 WLWH and 17,145 controls with no prior history of ICC for 9,509 and 157,362 person-years. The first year after HIV diagnosis 2.6% of WLWH obtained the recommended two cervical cytologies. During the different calendar intervals throughout the study period between 29-46% of WLWH followed the HIV cervical screening guidelines. Adjusted OR's of attendance to the general population screening program for WLWH aged 30, 40 and 50 years, compared to controls, were 0.69 (95% CI: 0.56-0.87), 0.67 (0.55-0.80) and 0.84 (0.61-1.15). Predictors of attendance to the HIV cervical screening program were a CD4 count?>?350 cells/µL and HIV RNA?
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