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Radiation Therapy

NEWS
April 18, 2011 | By Marissa Cevallos, HealthKey
Brain tumors may soon encounter a new weapon. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new device that uses electrical energy to kill brain cancer cells. The device, approved for those who have malignant tumors known as glioblastoma multiforme, adds a potential new alternative to chemotherapy for patients with advanced brain tumors. The device, called NovoTTF, delivers low-intensity electrical fields directly to a patient’s scalp via four electrodes. The electrical fields appear to interfere with the process of cell division, halting the tumor’s growth.
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NEWS
April 1, 2011 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
Prostate cancer screenings are more trouble than they’re worth, according to a new study out Thursday in the British Medical Journal. The study looked at 9,026 men in Sweden in their 50s and 60s. Nearly one-sixth of them --  1,494 men -- were screened every three years between 1987 and 1996. Their findings? That after two decades of follow up, there wasn’t a difference in death rates between those who were screened and those who weren’t. Another study in the New England Journal of Medicine has said that 1,410 men would need to be screened and 48 men would need to be treated (and treatment, radiation therapy, is no fun)
HEALTH
March 16, 2011 | Shari Roan
As engineers have fought to avert a meltdown at the earthquake- and tsunami-crippled Fukushima No. 1 (Daiichi) power plant, nuclear authorities have reported that spikes of radiation have escaped from the facility at levels that can be dangerous to human health. Authorities have evacuated more than 170,000 people within 12 miles of the plant and have warned those within 20 miles to stay indoors and close off ventilation systems. They have also issued iodine tablets to those who have remained in the area and those at evacuation centers.
NEWS
January 3, 2011 | Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times
Surgeons make different choices in how they excise abnormal cells that are an early precursor to a breast cancer called ductal carcinoma, or DCIS. And surgeons make a wide range of recommendations on whether a woman diagnosed with DCIS should receive radiation therapy after surgery. Those physician differences, says an article published on Monday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute , play a pretty significant role in predicting whether a woman who has been treated for DCIS will have a recurrence of the condition or a later diagnosis of invasive breast cancer. A group of researchers from the Rand Corp.
NEWS
October 28, 2010 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times
For many women, the fight against breast cancer is public, with support from friends and family and frequent discussions with healthcare professionals about side effects and treatment. But part of that fight is intensely private -- rarely more so than when it affects their sex life. Certain chemotherapy drugs send women into early menopause within a few months. That, coupled, with hair loss and disfiguring mastectomies, leave some breast cancer survivors struggling to be intimate again, a new study finds.
SCIENCE
September 27, 2008 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Intense radiation therapy for three weeks after surgery for early breast cancer keeps the disease at bay just as well as lower doses for five weeks, a study found. More than 1,200 women were treated with either the accelerated three-week dose of radiation or the standard five-week therapy, then tracked for recurrences for up to 12 years. The cancer returned to the same breast a decade after treatment in 6.2% of those treated for three weeks and 6.7% of those getting standard therapy, according to the study presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology in Boston.
HEALTH
April 16, 2007 | From Times wire reports
Being older than 70 should not stop patients from getting aggressive treatment of the most malignant form of brain cancer with radiation therapy, French researchers have reported. Because the tumor, glioblastoma, typically kills half its victims within a year, doctors have been unsure whether it is even worthwhile to treat older patients.
HEALTH
June 5, 2006 | From Times wire reports
Fewer but more concentrated doses of radiation therapy could be as safe and effective as a longer course of treatment for breast cancer patients, researchers said Tuesday. Women having radiation therapy, which is given to reduce the risk of the cancer returning after surgery, normally receive 25 doses over five weeks. But a 10-year trial of a shorter course of 13 larger doses showed it worked just as well as the standard treatment and without an increase in side effects.
HEALTH
January 30, 2006
Re: "Chemo That's Easier to Take" [Jan. 23]: You know how to ameliorate chemotherapy's side effects? By legalizing medical marijuana. In 1996, Californians approved compassionate use (Prop. 215), but the federal government and the Supreme Court would rather AIDS and cancer patients suffer, so Washington can keep its precious war. Marijuana is not a cure, but some find it is the missing ingredient in their treatments (chemo, radiation therapy, drug cocktails), which are nearly as devastating as the diseases they attack.
NATIONAL
June 17, 2005 | From Associated Press
A judge ruled Thursday that the state would retain custody of a 13-year-old girl who was taken from her parents after they refused to continue her cancer treatments and the cancer, which once appeared to have been eliminated, returned. Katie Wernecke, who has Hodgkin's disease, will remain with Child Protective Services pending another hearing next month, juvenile court Judge Carl Lewis ruled. Katie was examined Thursday by doctors at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
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