Aunt Minnie (1/10, Kim) reports that researchers have created a “3D-printed robot-guided device capable of facilitating MR-guided breast biopsy and improving the accuracy of breast cancer diagnosis.” The group includes Vincent Groenhuis, Françoise Siepel, PhD, and Stefano Stramigioli, PhD, from the Robotics and Mechatronics laboratory at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. The article says, “In a proof-of-concept study, the researchers found that the device was able to maneuver a needle toward target coordinates inside the breast with extreme precision on a single attempt.” The device is called Stormram 4 and it won the Surgical Robot Challenge at the 2017 Hamlyn Symposium in London, “a major event in the field of robotic surgery.”
HealthDay (1/9, Thompson) reports a study published Jan. 9 in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that “screening and treatment reduced breast cancer deaths by 49 percent in 2012, compared with a 37 percent reduction in 2000.” Additionally, “treatments that target specific types of breast cancer have generated the most scientific advancement and, as such, have taken a larger role in saving lives, the researchers found,” with better cancer treatments accounting “for 63 percent of the reduction in breast cancer deaths in 2012, compared with 37 percent due to early detection of cancer through screening.”
TIME (1/8, Park) reports that research suggests “women who work the night shift have a 19% increased risk of developing cancer compared to women do not work at night.” The findings were published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. After analyzing data from 61 studies, researchers “found that women who worked night shifts for longer periods of time had a 41% higher risk of skin cancer, 32% higher risk of breast cancer and an 18% greater risk of digestive system cancers compared to women who did not work night shifts.” The data indicated that “the risk was highest among nurses who worked at night; their risk of developing breast cancer if they worked night shifts long term was 58% higher than nurses who didn’t have night shifts.”
HealthDay (1/8, Dallas) reports that the studies analyzed included “people from North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.” When the investigators “took into account for location, they found that only the night-shift workers from North America and Europe had a greater risk for breast cancer.” Medscape (1/8, Jenkins) also covers the story.
The Baltimore Sun (1/8, Cohn) reports “doctors at the University of Maryland have developed a new form of radiation treatment,” delivered by a machine called the GammaPod, “that may reduce or eliminate the need for surgery to remove tumors in patients with early-stage breast cancer.” Physicians “said it will not only reduce the number of radiation treatments a patient may need but will zap the cancer so thoroughly that there may be nothing left for surgeons to tackle.” The GammaPod will be marketed by Xcision Medical System based in Columbia, a company created by university doctors, “and the technology could be costly,” the article suggests.
According to the Washington Post (1/4, McGinley) in “To Your Health,” a report from the American Cancer Society (ACS) indicates the US’ “overall cancer death rate declined 1.7 percent in 2015.” The data indicate that “overall, the cancer death rate has dropped from 215.1 per 100,000 population in 1991 to 158.6 per 100,000 in 2015.”
On its website, NBC News (1/4, Fox) reports, “More than 2.3 million people have not died of cancer since 1991 who otherwise would have if cancer rates had remained unchanged... said” the ACS.
TIME (1/4, Park) reports, “One of the biggest forces behind the decline is a reduction in smoking, thanks to public health campaigns warning of its dangers, and tobacco taxes that discourage people from picking up the habit.” Although lung cancer, for instance, “remains a leading cause of cancer death, death rates have dropped by 45% among men from 1990 to 2015 and by 19% among women from 2002 to 2015.”
Aunt Minnie (1/4) reports, however, that “gains in lung cancer survival are being slowed because so few individuals who are eligible for CT lung cancer screening actually undergo the scans.”
Meanwhile, HealthDay (1/4, Gordon) reports, “During the past 10 years, cancer death rates in men” declined by approximately “2 percent per year, but they remained steady in women.” Additionally, the investigators “found a persistent gap between cancer death rates between whites and blacks.” The data indicated “in 2015, the cancer death rate was 14 percent higher in black people than in white people.” The findings were published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. Bloomberg News (1/4, Levingston) and MedPage Today (1/4, George) also cover the story.