Monthly Archives: May 2007

Lance Armstrong, Texas, and Cancer Research

One of the things I enjoy most about what I do is the frequent unpredictability of my day.  I frequently say that when I wake up in the morning, I never know what the day will hold, or what city I will be sleeping in that night.


 


Today is no exception.


 


I am currently attending a meeting of our national board of directors in Austin, Texas.


 


Yesterday, I was approached by one of my Texas colleagues and asked if I could help out with some legislation currently before the Texas state senate this morning.


 


The bill (HJR90), which would authorize $3 billion for cancer prevention and research ($300 million a year for the next ten years) had passed the Texas House of Representatives, and was currently “in process” in the state Senate.  It had run into some roadblocks, and there was a hearing pending for Friday afternoon.  If it passes the legislature, it goes to the Texas voters as a constitutional amendment authorizing the funding for this momentous effort.


 


I indicated I would be glad to help out, and then received a phone call indicating that I would be participating in … Continue reading →

Decline In Screening Mammograms Is NOT Good News

The information about breast cancer keeps on coming.


 


We have witnessed a number of new research reports over the past six months that would have anyone interested in the subject of breast cancer reeling from the various—and at times conflicting—messages contained in these reports.


 


Now, we have another article published in the current issue of Cancer which shows that mammography rates have fallen precipitously from 2000 to 2005.


 


If you are a regular reader of this blog, you might be asking, “What’s new about that?”  After all, we have been discussing the various reports about the decreasing incidence of breast cancer and the decrease in screening mammography for some time.


 


In fact, this new study adds further strong confirming evidence that we are facing significant challenges when it comes to the early diagnosis of breast cancer.


 


This new report, which is authored by investigators from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), found that mammography screening rates dropped nearly 4% from 2000 to 2005.


 


This drop was found in many different groups of women, irrespective of age (see comment below), insurance, demographic factors, etc.


 Continue reading →

What REALLY Caused The Decrease In Breast Cancer?

If you are interested in the topic of breast cancer, these past months have certainly provided you with a lot of information.


 


There have been articles on the decrease in the incidence of breast cancer, the effects of hormones on breast cancer, the decrease in the use of mammography for the early detection of breast cancer, and conflicting new recommendations on the value of screening mammography for women between the ages of 40-49.


 


For all the clutter and the chatter, it is nearly impossible to keep all of the information straight, and it is even harder to figure out what it all means to you or someone you love.


 


A new paper in the current issue of Breast Cancer Research written by my colleagues here at the American Cancer Society is not going to make the discussion any easier.


 


The paper discusses the relative impacts of hormonal replacement therapy vs. the decrease in mammography as the cause for the recently reported decline in newly diagnosed breast cancer cases.


 


In the current study, the researchers took a look at the incidence of breast cancer diagnoses in the United States from 1975 to 2003, analyzing all cases … Continue reading →