Uncover Clues About Potential Germline Risk in Somatic Tumor Testing Reports
Approximately 10% of cancers are linked to a germline (inherited) pathogenic variant, which can be confirmed with germline susceptibility testing of a blood, skin, or saliva sample (not a tumor specimen). Identification of individuals with a germline pathogenic variant helps clinicians predict their risk for developing malignancies and provide recommendations for cancer prevention and early detection. If an individual develops a tumor, subsequent somatic predictive or prognostic biomarker tumor testing may be indicated. In some cases, a germline pathogenic variant may inform decisions about cancer-directed therapy, such as the use of a PARP inhibitor in those with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 pathogenic variant.
A Decade of Research Reminds Advocates That Awareness Is the First Step for Tobacco Reduction
Ushering in a new field of study called tobacco regulatory research, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Tobacco Regulatory Science Program (TRSP) funded its first 14 Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science in 2013. Ten years later, David M. Murray, PhD, associate director of the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Disease Prevention, highlighted TRSP’s decade of research discoveries—but reinforced the need for continued research and advocacy on tobacco use.
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.
America Needs Better Access and Equity to Reduce Mortality Rates and Achieve Cancer Moonshot Goals
U.S. healthcare providers need improved access to interventions known to prevent common causes of cancer death so the country can achieve President Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot initiative goal of reducing the cancer death rate by at least 50% over the next 25 years, according to a National Institutes of health study published in April 2023 that was led by National Cancer Institute researchers.
FDA Files Complaints Against Four E-Cigarette Product Manufacturers
In an attempt to strongly regulate the e-cigarettes and vapes industry, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration filed civil money penalty complaints against four tobacco product manufacturers for manufacturing and selling e-liquid products without authorization. The action marks the first time FDA has filed CMP complaints against tobacco product manufacturers to enforce the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act’s premarket review requirements for new tobacco products.
It’s Time to Stop E-Cigarette Manufacturers From Blowing Smoke About Youth Tobacco Use
Joe Camel, the Marlboro Man, and the women who’ve “come a long way, baby” with Virginia Slims are marketing mascots that created an image of smoking as cool, chic, and classy—a concept that’s still cemented in the minds of many Americans today. For the past 30 years, public awareness campaigns have battled that belief among young people to dramatically curtail underage smoking, finally reaching a real reduction in youth tobacco use.
NIH Researchers Make Progress Toward a Possible HIV Vaccine
An experimental HIV vaccine increased participants’ broadly neutralizing antibody (bnAb) precursor B cells that enable the body to develop bnAb-producing B cells and fight HIV, researchers reported in study results published in December 2022. The progress comes more than a decade after researchers at the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Vaccine Research Center first discovered the rare class of antibodies.
Genetic Disorder Reference Sheet: PTEN Hamartoma Tumor Syndrome
Alterations in the phosphatase and tensin (PTEN) homologue gene result in PTEN hamartoma tumor syndrome, which includes Cowden, Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba, and PTEN-related Proteus and Proteus-like syndromes. Pathogenic variants in the PTEN gene are associated with increased risk for developing multiple benign and malignant tumors, some of which may occur in childhood.
Truth Initiative Asks for Removal of Unauthorized E-Cigarettes
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration must pull all unauthorized synthetic nicotine products from the market, Robin Koval, CEO and president of Truth Initiative, said in a July 2022 statement.
Single HPV Vaccine Dose May Be Enough to Prevent Cancer
In findings that could have global implications to change the face of female cancers, researchers reported that a single dose of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is highly effective in protecting young women against cervical infection with cancer-causing HPV types. The study results, which were published in NEJM Evidence, build on the body of evidence supporting single-dose HPV vaccines.
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.
When Healthcare Professionals Join Organizations to Advocate, Patients’ Voices Are Heard
We’ve made incredible progress against tobacco’s reign over youth, but the battle is far from over. Tobacco use is responsible for the death of nearly half a million Americans and more than 8 million people worldwide each year.
New HHS Office Will Fight Environmental Injustices That Affect Health
To address and protect the health of communities disproportionally affected by pollution and other environmental problems, the Biden-Harris administration created a new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) office in May 2022.
FDA Orders JUUL to Stop Selling All of Its Products
Under its authority to regulate vaping and e-cigarettes, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered JUUL Labs Inc. to stop selling and remove all of its current products from the market after the company’s applications failed to provide sufficient evidence about the products’ toxicologic profiles.
FDA Launches Campaign to Prevent Vaping Use Among American Indian and Alaska Native Youth
As part of ongoing efforts to protect adolescents from tobacco, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched an education campaign to prevent e-cigarette use and vaping among America Indian and Alaska Native youth in June 2022.
U.S. Representative Pallone Questions Vaping Companies on Teen Marketing
As the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues its review of tobacco and e-cigarette products’ marketing applications, legislators and government officials, such as Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), are taking a stand and sharing their concerns on Big Tobacco’s marketing to teenage audiences.
Nurses Must Take the Lead in Tobacco Cessation
Associated with more than a dozen different cancers, tobacco use is the leading cause of cancer and cancer deaths in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that 40% of all cancers are linked to tobacco use, and it’s responsible for 30% of cancer deaths in the United States and 22% around the world.
New U.S. Agency Will Propel Healthcare Advancements Directly Into Practice
Biomedical research is what transforms medicine. Oncology nurses see the evidence of that daily, from discoveries like immunotherapy that have revolutionized cancer treatment to novel nursing approaches to managing symptoms and adverse events. And thanks to the studies that brought a COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine to market in record-breaking time, the world understands research like never before, too.
FDA Bans Menthol and Flavored Cigars Through New Product Standards
The authority to adopt product standards is one of the most powerful tobacco regulatory tools that the U.S. Congress gives the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In April 2021, FDA took full advantage of that authority, announcing two new standards to add menthol to the banned flavor list and ban all flavored cigars.
The Case of the Weight Loss Wishes
Craig was diagnosed with colorectal cancer after a routine colonoscopy and subsequent colectomy. He meets with Lacey, the oncology nurse, to discuss managing the side effects of his FOLFOX chemotherapy. Lacey notes that Craig’s age is 71, weight is 255 lbs., and body mass index (a body fat ratio based on weight and height) is 38. Craig describes his activity level as “walking to the mailbox and exercising my fingers on the remote control. This cancer treatment will help me knock off some of this extra weight.”
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.
Patient Education Reduces Barriers and Increases Adherence Rates
Patient education is an essential aspect of cancer prevention. Nearly 1.9 million people in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer in 2021, and modifiable risk factors are responsible for approximately 35% of cancer-related deaths. However, less than half of Americans understand the major risk factors that contribute to the development of cancer.
FDA Campaign Targets Youth Tobacco Use With Classroom Education
What’s the real cost of youth vaping? In a campaign to combat the ongoing epidemic, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Scholastic, which publishes classroom magazines with accompanying teacher guides, provided e-cigarette education materials for middle and high school students to teach young Americans about the risks of e-cigarette use and nicotine addiction.
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.
First-Time Smoking Age Increases Among Young Adults
Although overall smoking rates are decreasing among adolescents and young adults, a new trend is emerging: those who smoked their first cigarette between ages 18–23 increased from 21% in 2002 to 43% in 2018, researchers reported in JAMA Network Open. The increase in young adult first-time smokers comes at a time when smoking initiation rates are decreasing among younger teenagers.
CDC Offers Infection Prevention Guidelines for Patients With Cancer During COVID-19
Immunocompromised patients with cancer are three times more likely to die from complications of the COVID-19 coronavirus. New resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide ideas for preventing infections like COVID-19 in patients with cancer.
NIH Announces COVID-19 Initiative to Connect With High-Risk Patient Populations
The assault on science, medicine, and research has never been stronger, flooding social media and communities with misinformation about the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s new research initiative, the Community Engagement Alliance Against COVID-19 Disparities, provides community education in the areas hit hardest by the virus.
Smoking Initiation Declines in Teens, Rises in Young Adults
The average age at which cigarette users start to smoke regularly has risen. Although the figures dropped from 45% of adults smoking cigarettes in the 1960s to 14% today, and teen smoking declined to 2.4% by 2019, results of a recent study show an upward trend of underage tobacco use in young adults.
Aspirin’s Cancer Benefits May Not Translate to Older Adults
Healthy older adults who take daily low-dose aspirin have increased risk of being diagnosed with advanced cancers and dying from cancer, according to findings from a new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
HHS Responds to Drop in Pediatric Vaccines Because of Stay-at-Home Orders
As families follow public health recommendations to stay at home, many have missed routine vaccinations. In response to lower vaccination rates, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released an amendment to the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act to encourage vaccinations and safeguard children at risk for life-threatening diseases.
FDA Requires New Health Warnings for Cigarette Packages, Advertisements
Change at the federal level takes time and perseverance. Thanks to great effort from the smoking cessation community—including ONS—the federal government is updating package and advertising warning for tobacco products for the first time since 1984. Advocates have been calling on agencies to exercise authority over tobacco products along with their marketing and distribution, and on March 17, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a final rule requiring new health warning labels for cigarette packages and advertisements.
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.
Legislation Raises Minimum Age of Sale for Tobacco Products to 21
Smoking cessation efforts had been gaining ground for decades. Tobacco use and smoking rates were dropping, year after year, as prevention and awareness campaigns worked to codify the dangers of tobacco. People weren’t just quitting smoking; people were avoiding the habit altogether—until the advent of vaping. Reversing a decade-long decline in smoking rates, e-cigarettes and vaping products have engendered an entirely new generation of would-be smokers to pick up the habit. Targeting underage users, the vaping industry experienced a boom. The issue grew with such ferocity that the U.S. Surgeon General declared a youth vaping epidemic in 2019.
Comprehensive Tobacco Treatment Helps Almost Half of Patients Quit Smoking
After nine months of follow-up, 44% of patients in a comprehensive tobacco treatment program were compliant with smoking abstinence, according to the results of a study published in JAMA Network Open.
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.
Medicare Covers CAR T; HPV Vaccine Confusion; Officials Target Drug Makers
The decision to allow Medicare to cover the cost of CAR T-cell therapy—a new and expensive form of immunotherapy—is an important one for patients seeking the treatment, especially after rounds of failed tradition therapies. Educating federal agencies and government representatives about the importance of new treatments like CAR T cells have helped drive coverage decisions, and the patient advocacy community—like ONS’s very own advocates—are to thank.
FDA Takes More Steps Toward Regulating E-Cigarettes
After the U.S. surgeon general’s announcement that youth smoking epidemic was in part a result of vaping and tobacco companies’ marketing and advertising of flavored products, federal agencies began looking for ways to address the growing problem. The ease at which elementary and high school students can access vaping mechanisms was a battle cry for former U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who was an outspoken advocate for regulating and penalizing companies that targeted marketing efforts at young Americans.
Nurses Offer Wellness Checks to Congressional Staffers
In June 2019, in honor of Men’s Health Month, a group of Georgetown nurses, oncology specialists, and professionals from other concentrations volunteered for ONS at the annual Men’s Health Network Congressional Health Screening on Capitol Hill. It was an experience that I will never forget. To be in the offices of the U.S. Congress and to meet elected officials and their staff was incredible, but being able to do what nurses do best—act as the most trusted healthcare professional for patients—was wonderful.
High Fitness Linked to Lower Risk and Mortality in Lung and Colorectal Cancers
Adults with the highest cardiorespiratory fitness levels have a reduced risk for lung and colorectal cancer—and a lower risk of death if they do develop the cancers, according to findings from a study published in Cancer.
CDC Highlights E-Cigarettes’ Dangers
The advent of e-cigarettes and vaping mechanisms has shifted the dynamic of underage tobacco use for the first time in more than a decade. In fact, the U.S. surgeon general declared the situation a national epidemic. Known as e-cigs, vapes, e-hookah, vape pens, and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), the mechanisms look similar to USB flash drives, pens, and other items not typically associated with tobacco consumption.
Bipartisan Support in Congress for Raising the Tobacco Age to 21 Nationwide
Two U.S. senators from different parties, who hail from states with the largest and most successful tobacco crop, have come together to raise the national smoking age. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) have teamed up to cosponsor the Tobacco-Free Youth Act (S. 1541), a bill that would restrict the marketing, sale, and distribution of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21. A similar bill, Tobacco to 21 Act (H.R. 2411), was introduced in the House by Diane Degette (D-CO).
Everyone Means Me, Everyone Includes You: Improving the Practice of Cancer Screening
As we reflect on the progress we’ve made to prevent and control cancer and focus on strategies that will help build on those efforts, one thing is certain: We’ve learned a lot about cancer, but we still have much to learn. Adopting healthy lifestyle habits and knowing your family’s history, especially as you get older, can help you lower a patient’s—or nurse’s—chance of getting cancer.
CDC Encourages Screening, Vaccination for HPV to Fight Cervical Cancer
Recent congressional hearings about vaccination have caused a litany of responses from different members of the public, private, and political sectors. Current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) evidence has shown that human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination has led to fewer cases of HPV-related cancers.
Modifying Five Lifestyle Factors Could Change the U.S. Cancer Burden
Tobacco, obesity, alcohol, diet, and physical activity are major risk factors for cancer, yet all are modifiable, according to findings released in a new report from the American Cancer Society. Reducing tobacco use is the highest priority, but interventions for all five risk factors are essential for a comprehensive U.S. cancer control plan.
Which of the Following Actions Would Not Decrease Risk for Asbestos-Related Cancers?
A.Use building materials made with asbestos to decrease chances of fire in your home.
B. Test your air for asbestos levels.
C. Maintain proper protective gear while working in environments with potential for asbestos exposure.
D. Check with an asbestos expert to assess your home if it was built before 1975.
NIH Office of Disease Prevention Raises Profile
In an open letter to the research and advocacy community, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD, announced the Office of Disease Prevention’s (ODP) new strategic plan to “strengthen research through increased coordination and facilitation among NIH institutes, centers, and offices, including leveraging the power of new portfolio analysis tools, ensuring ongoing communications with stakeholders, and building trans-NIH partnerships to address gaps in prevention research.”
Oncology Nurses Are Vital to Tobacco Control and Smoking Cessation Efforts Worldwide
The World Health Organization indicated that tobacco use is the most preventable cause of cancer worldwide. Globally, more than 7 million people die each year from causes associated with tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. Despite recent trends that show falling rates for U.S.-based smokers, much work still must be done. Oncology nurses around the world can make a difference by engaging in prevention and treatment tactics, working with policymakers, and educating their communities and patients about tobacco control.