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Showing posts from April, 2010

HPV test more sensitive than PAP smear for detecting cervical cancer lesions

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Findings from researchers, published in the British Medical Journal, reveal that HPV (human papillomavirus) testing is more sensitive for detecting precancerous lesions that can lead cervical cancer, compared to PAP smear. Dr Ahti Anttila at the Finnish Cancer Registry who led research says the findings that HPV testing is more sensitive than PAP smear are important for cervical cancer prevention.

In a trial of 58,282 women aged 30-60, HPV testing detected more precancerous cells than routine cytology exam performed with a traditional PAP smear.

Women were studied between 2003 and 2008 in Finland and randomly assigned to a routine PAP smear or an HPV test. For women with positive HPV testing, further screening was conducted. Traditional cancer screening using a PAP smear was inferior for detecting cervical lesions that could lead to cancer compared to HPV testing.

Over a period of five years the women were tracked. The number of pre cancerous cells (cervical intraepithelial neoplasi…

Overdiagnosis of cancer focus of review

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An analysis of cancer diagnosis in the past 30 years related to mortality and screening for the disease shows that overdiagnosis of cancer should become a focus of the medical community. Researchers H. Gilbert Welch, M.D. and William Black, M.D., of the Dept. of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, White River Junction, Vt. and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center conducted a review, finding that many cancers are diagnosed that would never require treatment.

Following a systematic review, the researchers learned that though cancer diagnosis has increased, there has been no association with mortality to account for the rising numbers. Overdiagnosis of cancer occurs from sophisticated screening tools that the researchers say could cause harm to some individuals.

The study authors write, "Whereas early detection may well help some, it undoubtedly hurts others. Often the decision about whether or not to pursue early cancer detection involves a delicate balance between benefits and harms……

Women Fail to Recognize Osteoporosis Risk Shown in Study

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A study shows that women questioned in 10 countries failed to recognize risk for fracture from osteoporosis. Results of the Global Longitudinal Study of Osteoporosis in Women (GLOW) show that among 60,000 postmenopausal women studied, only 43 percent perceived themselves at risk for fracture from osteoporosis compared to women not diagnosed with disease.

Thirty three percent of women already diagnosed with osteoporosis also failed to recognize their risk factors for fracture - a finding that researchers say is a public health concern.

"We've found that many women aren't making the connection between their risk factors and the serious consequences of fractures," said the lead author of the paper, Ethel Siris, MD, GLOW investigator and Director of the Toni Stabile Osteoporosis Center of the Columbia University Medical Center, New York-Presbyterian Hospital. "Without a clear understanding of their risks, women cannot begin to protect themselves from fracture."

T…