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National Cancer Institute

January 25, 2013 | By Nardine Saad
"Game of Thrones" actor Wilko Johnson says his pancreatic cancer is giving him a new appreciation for life. The 65-year-old actor, who plays mute knight and executioner Ser Ilyn Payne on the hit HBO series, announced via his manager on his Facebook page in early January that he'd been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. But now, the diagnosis has given him "an elation of spirit," he told BBC's Radio 4's "Front Row . " "You're walking along and suddenly you're vividly alive.
January 18, 2013 | By Monte Morin
More than  1.66 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2013, while more than 580,000 Americans are expected to die of the disease, according to the annual statistics report of the American Cancer Society. The report, released Monday, notes that the overall death rate for cancer in the United States has declined significantly since 1991, primarily because of reductions in smoking and improved cancer screening. The report is based on data from the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Center for Health Statistics.
January 10, 2013 | By Rosie Mestel
Between 1940 and 1971, many pregnant women were treated with a synthetic estrogen, diethylstilbestrol -- commonly known as DES -- to prevent miscarriage and other complications. The drug didn't work for that purpose, but it did have biological effects on the women who took it,  as well as their children. On Wednesday, four sisters who'd been exposed to DES in the womb reached a settlement with one of the drug's principal makers, Eli Lilly & Co., during a federal trial in Boston, the Associated Press reported.
January 7, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
This year's Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, released online Monday, brought Americans good news and bad.  Extending a trend since the early 1990s, authors reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute that cancer deaths have continued to fall in the United States, with rates declining 1.5% per year for all cancers, in both sexes combined, from 2000 to 2009.  Deaths from the most common cancers - including lung,...
January 4, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
Deep in the fine print of a $633-billion defense bill signed by President Obama on Wednesday, a provision aimed at the National Cancer Institute may hasten the development of earlier detection and treatment methods for deadly malignancies such as pancreatic cancer. The Defense Authorization Act signed into law Jan. 2 carried along the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act, a measure pressed by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and the Lung Cancer Alliance to shift the focus of the federal government's cancer research toward malignancies with poor early-detection and low survival rates.
November 28, 2012 | By Jon Bardin
A new genetic test may help determine whether a small tumor in the breast is likely to turn in to full-blown breast cancer, according to a study published Wednesday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The small tumor, called a ductal carcinoma in-situ, or DCIS, resides in the milk ducts and is generally considered pre-cancerous. But according to the study, DCIS lesions left untreated will eventually progress to breast cancer in about 50% of patients. The lesions, which tend to be small and only detectable via mammogram, have become increasingly common as mammography has become more widespread.
November 22, 2012 | Monte Morin
About a third of all tumors discovered in routine mammography screenings are unlikely to result in illness, according to a new study that says 30 years of the breast cancer exams have resulted in the overdiagnosis of 1.3 million American women. The report, published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, argues that the increase in breast cancer survival rates over the last few decades is due mostly to improved therapies and not screenings, which are intended to flag tumors when they are small and most susceptible to treatment.
November 21, 2012 | By Monte Morin
A controversial study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that raises questions about the value of routine mammogram screenings is just the latest in a series of papers raising alarms over some forms of cancer treatment. Earlier this year, another study concluded that most patients diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer will live just as long if they simply watch their cancers rather than have them surgically removed.  At the root of both studies is a newly developing view of early cancer diagnosis, particularly for prostate and breast cancer.
October 31, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
Low levels of vitamin D in the blood double the risk of developing bladder cancer, Spanish researchers reported Wednesday. The low levels increase the risk of the most aggressive form of the disease almost six-fold, the researchers reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Spain has about 11,000 new cases of bladder cancer per year, one of the highest rates in the world. The United States has about 73,500 new cases per year, with nearly 15,000 deaths. It is primarily a disease of the elderly, with nine out of 10 victims over the age of 55. Low levels of vitamin D have previously been linked to increased risk of breast and colon cancer, but no one has studied the potential association with bladder cancer, according to Dr. Nuria Malats, a geneticist at the Spanish National Cancer Research Center.
October 23, 2012
Robotic surgery was initially developed to target prostate cancer - and today four in five prostectomies are performed by this revolutionary system, according to the National Cancer Institute. Although robotics - the pioneering da Vinci Surgical System in particular - is today employed to treat a wide range of cancers, it remains an especially effective way to deal with the specific challenges of prostate cancer. Robotic surgery has also been shown to minimize recovery time, pain and side effects.
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