Watch for the Warnings of Early-Onset Colorectal Cancer
Adolescents and young adults (AYAs) aged 20–39 account for the steepest increase in the rising rates of early-onset colorectal cancer, but identification of early warning signs and vigilant screening can prevent the predictions of the incidence doubling by 2030 in patients younger than 50 years. According to the results of a new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, four red flags should trigger clinicians to refer younger individuals for early detection testing.
CDC: Cancer Prevention Starts in Childhood
As summer’s heat records finally take a fall break, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) latest awareness campaign reminds parents about some simple strategies to start now to support their children’s health and lower their risk for cancer later in life.
United States and European Union Form Joint Task Force to Tackle Global Health Issues
Joining two powerful entities may be what it takes to overcome cancer and global health threats and improve health architecture around the world. In May 2023, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra and the European Union Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides announced that the countries had formed the EU–U.S. Health Task Force, a new joint effort to address global health.
U.S. Representatives Introduce HPV Cancer–Prevention Legislation
Most people are versed in the flu, measles, and chicken pox vaccines, but fewer know the importance of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. HPV can cause six different cancers, but early vaccination in younger individuals helps prevent those cancers later in life.
CDC Awards $215 Million to Advance President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot
To support the objectives of President Joe Biden’s relaunched Cancer Moonshot initiative, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded $215 million to three national cancer programs in June 2022. The funds are part of a $1.1 billion investment in cancer prevention and control.
As Skin Cancer Screening Increases, Clinicians Find More Thin Melanomas
Although regular population-based skin cancer screening isn’t recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, more Americans are getting full-body skin exams at dermatology visits or other provider services. Data from a new study published in JAMA Dermatology suggest that the screening uptick is associated with increased diagnoses of early-stage, in situ melanoma, leading the researchers to raise concerns about overdiagnosis.
FDA Won’t Finish Reviewing E-Cigarette Marketing Applications Until June 2023
E-cigarette marketing application reviews won’t conclude until June 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in a status report in May 2022, sparking frustration among healthcare advocates.
Biden Cancer Moonshot Relaunch Will “End Cancer as We Know It”
In a clarion call for action seven years ago, President Barack Obama unveiled the Cancer Moonshot during his last State of the Union address. In that speech, Obama recalled, “Last year, Vice President Joe Biden said that with a new moonshot, America can cure cancer. Tonight, I’m announcing a new national effort to get it done. And I’m putting Joe in charge of Mission Control.”
CDC Emphasizes Importance of Cancer Screenings During COVID-19
“Cancer doesn’t wait, and neither should you,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urged patients in its new cancer screening adherence campaign. The COVID-19 pandemic has created barriers to regular health visits, screenings, and treatment for individuals everywhere, and providers and organizations alike are seeking solutions.
Genetic Disorder Reference Sheet: Von Hippel-Lindau Syndrome
An inherited disorder characterized by the formation of benign and malignant tumors and cysts throughout the body, Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome (VHL) occurs with an altered VHL tumor suppressor gene with autosomal dominant transmission. Estimated incidence is 1 in 36,000 people, both males and females equally, and the mean age of onset is 26 years. About 20% of patients with VHL are the first person in their family to have the pathogenic variant (i.e., de novo). The diagnosis is made with germline biomarker testing.
More Women Have Access to Essential Health Care, HHS Says During Women’s History Month
Healthcare organizations and agencies across the country, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), prioritized enhancing and expanding services like maternal and postpartum care and sexual and reproductive health during Women’s History Month, HHS announced in March 2022.
Genetic Disorder Reference Sheet: PALB2
PALB2 refers to partner and localizer of BRCA2. The gene was isolated in 2007 and is the third most common gene associated with breast cancer risk. Both men and women are at increased risk for developing multiple cancers if they have a pathogenic PALB2 variant (see sidebar).
Preventive Healthcare Guidelines for Women and Children Improve Under Affordable Care Act
Comprehensive preventive care and screening guidelines for women and infants, children, and adolescents under the Affordable Care Act expanded in January 2022, requiring certain group health plans and insurance plans to provide coverage with no out-of-pocket costs for preventive health services, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
Rural Populations’ Fatalistic Perceptions About Cancer May Contribute to Cancer Disparities
Compared to people living in urban areas, on a nationwide U.S. survey, rural populations were more likely to report believing that cancer is unpreventable and always fatal. Researchers reported the survey findings and analysis in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention.
Genetic Disorder Reference Sheet: CDH1 and Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer
Pathogenic variants in the CDH1 gene are associated with hereditary diffuse gastric cancer (HDGC), a poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma that infiltrates into the stomach wall. It causes the stomach wall to thicken without forming a distinct mass, which limits effective screening strategies.
Fructose Fuels Colorectal Cancer Growth, Study Shows
Excess consumption of fructose in additives like table sugar or high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) not only contributes to obesity, but it may increase colorectal cancer (CRC) cell survival, leading to larger tumors and increased symptom burden in patients at higher risk, researchers showed in study results published in Nature. However, blocking the body’s uptake of the sweetener may be a key to controlling the disease.
Clinical Full-Body Skin Examination Identifies Twice the Number of Cancers
A dermatologist-performed total-body skin examination (TBSE) identifies more than two times the number of skin cancers than patients or other providers discovered, researchers reported in the International Journal of Women’s Dermatology. The cancers may otherwise have gone undiagnosed, leading to later-stage disease and poorer outcomes.
This Is Why Red Meat Increases Colorectal Cancer Risk
Frequent red and processed meat consumption leaves a specific pattern of DNA damage in colorectal cells that contributes to the formation of tumors, researchers reported in study findings published in Cancer Discovery.
Hope in Rare Cancers: Care Is Complex, but Oncology Nurses Are Making a Difference
As individual diseases, cancer diagnoses like pheochromocytoma (cancer of the adrenal gland), neuroendocrine cancers, and malignant mixed Mullerian tumors (also called carcinosarcomas) are rare, but collectively they’re more common than breast, colon, lung, or prostate cancer.
Study Shows Anti-Vaping Advertising Campaigns Are Effective in Educating Youth About Tobacco Dangers
Young people who see anti-vaping advertisements and prevention campaigns are more likely to have accurate e-cigarette knowledge, which can lead to a decrease in tobacco use and consequently, lung cancer diagnoses, according to a July 2021 study from the Truth Initiative, an organization devoted to educating youth about smoking and tobacco industries.
Lung, Melanoma, and Overall Cancer Death Rates Decline, According to 2021 Report
Cancer mortality for all racial and ethnic groups in the United States continues to decline, with death rates for lung cancer and melanoma decreasing faster than others, according to findings that the American Cancer Society (ACS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Cancer Institute, and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) published in their July 2021 Annual Report to the Nation on the status of cancer.
FDA Launches National Black Family Cancer Awareness Week
African Americans have a higher cancer burden and face greater obstacles to cancer prevention, detection, treatment, and survival, according to the American Cancer Society. Health organizations such as ONS and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are dedicated to breaking down barriers and improve access to quality care and resources for those patients. To increase cancer awareness in one of the most vulnerable segments of the U.S. population, the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence (OCE) dedicated June 17–23, 2021, as National Black Family Cancer Awareness Week.
Cancer Deaths Decline, CDC Says, but More Prevention and Screening Are Needed
Cancer mortality rates decreased by 27% from 1999–2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in February 2021. However, cancer remains the one of the leading causes of death in the United States, second only to heart disease, and disparities remain. More needs to be done to decrease risk and increase prevention.
President Biden Rejoins WHO in Support of Pandemic Efforts and Cancer Prevention
One of President Joe Biden’s first executive orders was rejoining the World Health Organization (WHO). He also signed executive orders to require masks on all federal grounds and asked agencies to extend moratoriums on evictions and federal student loan payments, but the WHO executive order has particular implications for cancer care.
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Prevention, Screening, Diagnosis, Treatment, Side Effects, and Survivorship
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, accounting for about one quarter of cancer deaths, and more than a quarter of million lung cancer diagnoses are projected in the United States for 2020. Lung cancer has various types, pathologies, and histologies, each with its own prognosis and treatment plan. Non-small cell lung cancer consists of about 80%–85% of lung cancer diagnoses.
CMS Proposes Amendments to Telehealth, Preventive Care, and Staffing Concerns Amid COVID-19
During a global pandemic that requires social distancing, telehealth has suddenly become routine. Seeing an opportunity, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is breaking down barriers, enhancing patient-centered care, and bolstering the healthcare workforce with a series of regulations, with telehealth topping the list.
Multiple Myeloma Prevention, Screening, Treatment, and Survivorship Recommendations
Multiple myeloma is a plasma cell neoplasm and the second most common hematologic malignancy in the United States, although overall incidence rates are relatively low at approximately 32,000 annually. The overall five-year survival rate is 52%, and most people are diagnosed with the disease in later stages.
Oral and Oropharyngeal Cancer Prevention, Screening, Treatment, and Survivorship Recommendations
Approximately 53,000 cases of oral and oropharyngeal cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year. Men are twice as likely to develop the disease, and it typically affects people older than 55.
Global Cancer Cases Could Increase 60% in Next 20 Years
If current trends continue, the world will see a 60% increase in cancer diagnoses through 2040, the World Health Organization said in its February 2020 Report on Cancer: Setting Priorities, Investing Wisely, and Providing Care for All.
Prevent, Recognize, and Manage Sepsis in Patients With Cancer
Because of weakened immune systems and prolonged treatment courses, patients with cancer have a higher chance of developing sepsis. Once acquired, sepsis puts patients at risk for hospitalization and increased morbidity and mortality. Prevention and prompt management are essential to improve outcomes.
Community Support Makes a Difference in HIV/AIDS Treatment
Since 1981, more than 700,000 Americans have died from HIV/AIDS. Nearly 32 million people have died worldwide, and experts suggest that almost 38 million are currently infected with the virus. In the decades since the disease was first discovered, HIV/AIDS treatments have advanced, providing patients with a chance to manage a once-deadly diagnosis. With an active and outspoken community of advocates, patients with HIV/AIDS have seen a swell of support.
Title VIII Support; Trump's 2021 Federal Budget; Ineffective E-Cigarette Ban
When oncology nurses speak, people listen. An op-ed column published February 24, 2020, written by ONS member Janice Phillips, PhD, RN, FAAN, outlined the potential harm to the future of health care and the nursing profession if the Trump administration’s budget cuts are approved. As an oncology nurse, Phillips’ insights have made a difference in Washington before, and she explained that the budget cuts could target key funding for items like nursing development and workforce programs.
FDA Revamps Anti-Smoking, Vaping Initiative
The growing rates of teen vaping and e-cigarette use have been a focal point at the national legislative level for the past several years. From the U.S. surgeon general’s youth vaping epidemic announcement to the investigation of vaping industry leader Juul, congressional representatives have been busy addressing the issue.
Nurses Lead Charge for HPV Prevention
Only 65% of all U.S. teens have received the first dose of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine—and only 48.6% of those teens are up to date with the series of HPV vaccinations. Studies have shown the HPV vaccination is effective at reducing the rates of cervix, vaginal, anal, and penile cancers. HPV vaccination rates have become a national health prevention priority, and oncology nurses can help lead the discussion about ways to prevent more than 90% of all HPV-related cancers.
HPV Vaccine Has an Indirect Benefit: Herd Immunity
As more people receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to protect themselves from strains of the virus that can cause cervical, anal, oropharyngeal, penile, vulvar, and vaginal cancers, researchers are starting to see herd immunity, where even people who haven’t received the vaccine are developing fewer oral HPV infections. The findings were published in JAMA.
Ovarian Cancer: Prevention, Screening, Treatment, and Survivorship Recommendations
Even though its incidence is less common, ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of death from cancer in women, according to the American Cancer Society. It also estimated more than 22,000 new cases of ovarian cancer in 2019, with a five-year survival of 47% for all stages.
Prostate Cancer Prevention, Screening, Treatment, and Survivorship Recommendations
One in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, the second leading cause of death in men in the United States. Survival varies greatly depending on the disease’s severity and extent at diagnosis: five-year survival rates are near 100% for local or regional disease, but they drop to 30% for metastatic prostate cancer.
January Is Cervical Health Awareness Month
In 2020, approximately 13,800 new cases of invasive cervical cancer will be diagnosed in the United States. Prevention and screening are critical to reducing its incidence, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) launched an awareness campaign in January in recognition of Cervical Health Awareness Month. The movement educates women about cervical cancer risks, how and when to get the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, the vaccine’s impact on cancer rates, and how to promote awareness.
WHO Reports First Global HPV Vaccine Data
New cancer prevention strategies like the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine are making waves throughout the United States and around the world. Evidence has shown that the vaccine can help protect against certain cancers such as cervical, anal, oropharyngeal, penile, vulvar, and vaginal in people who receive the vaccine. For the first time ever, the World Health Organization (WHO) has global data outlining HPV coverage in countries across the globe.
USPSTF Updates Recommendations on Breast Cancer Prevention
Certain groups of women who are at increased risk for carrying BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes should be assessed for the need for genetic testing, and women at increased risk for breast cancer and low risk of adverse events should be offered risk-reducing medications, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended.
Majority Favors Lowering Nicotine Levels in Cigarettes
The evidence is clear: Nicotine is an addictive substance. Even current smokers acknowledge its power, and addiction information is required in advertisements and product promotions. Despite tobacco’s known issues, people still smoke at alarming rates. With vaping, e-cigarettes, and flavored tobacco being introduced to younger and younger consumers, youth smoking is on the rise for the first time in decades.
CDC Estimates That 92% of HPV-Related Cancers Could Be Prevented
For years, the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has been promoted for its potential role in cancer prevention. In a study released in August 2019 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the agency estimated that nearly 92% of all HPV-related cancers could be prevented through proper vaccination.
The Case of the Nicotine Nightmare
Jill works as an oncology nurse in a large community hospital. While attending a family gathering, her uncle proudly tells her that he and his 17-year-old son are using e-cigarettes to help them stop smoking traditional cigarettes. He comments that his wife now allows them to “smoke” in the house and car because the vapor is relatively odor free.
Model May Help Predict Lung Cancer Risk in Patients With Nodules
A risk-prediction model that combines patients’ health history with clinical characteristics of their lung nodules may help physicians determine which will develop into cancer, according to the results of a study published in Cancer Prevention Research.
Nurses Impact Health Policy; State Vaping Legislation; Pelosi's Drug Plan
As ONS advocates participate in the 2019 ONS Capitol Hill Days training and advocacy event in Washington, DC, from September 22–24, 2019, a recent Journal of Nursing Administration post about nursing influence in health policy is timely. It serves as a reminder that a nurse’s work in patient-centered care goes beyond the bedside or chairside. Nurses are educators, influencers, innovators, and sage guides for patients, policymakers, and the greater healthcare industry.
FDA Calls Out Juul; Opioid Crackdown; States Tackle Drug Pricing
With more deaths reported from vaping and a forceful U.S. Senate declaration to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acting commissioner to either enact stronger federal provisions restricting e-cigarettes, flavored tobacco, and inhalants or resign, the Trump administration moved quickly to demonstrate a recognition that cessation is a national, bipartisan concern. FDA sent a warning letter to Juul about its marketing and labeling, and the president, Health and Human Services secretary, and FDA commissioner issued very public statements on the matter, making it clear that federal oversight will be enforced on youth tobacco issues.
Cancer Prevention Starts in Childhood
The cancer prevention conversation is tricky for providers to navigate. Not surprisingly, people want to do everything it their power to prevent cancer. But sometimes conversations involve uncomfortable elements of health care—like sex or sexually transmitted diseases—that can quickly derail the discussion. Despite this, the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is one case where prevention efforts have a led to huge increases in participation, especially among children. Following that thread, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have committed to spearheading the cancer prevention conversation by encouraging people to discuss cancer prevention early in their children’s lives.