Showing posts with label cancer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cancer. Show all posts

Monday, September 8, 2014

Cancer Trend Data in Children May Surprise You and Your Patients

By: Lewis First, MD, MS; Editor-in-Chief 
Photo by Kathryn Cartwright

When was the last time you looked at cancer trends in children and adolescents? Siegel et al. (doi: 10.1542/ peds.2013-3926), in a study we are releasing this week, opted to analyze data from a national cancer registry containing information on more than 94 percent of the US population to review cancer trends in children aged 0- to 19-years-old from 2001 through 2009.

Researchers studied more than 120,000 cases, and while the overall rate of childhood cancers remained stable over this time period, they identified some interesting trends including increases in thyroid and renal cancers with decreases in germ cell tumors and melanomas.

There are many other interesting findings worth reviewing in this comprehensive description analysis of this large database—so rather than my highlighting what interests me, read the article for yourself and for the patients in your practice who may have or be at risk for a particular malignancy so you can tailor the findings to your own practice needs.

Related Reading:

Monday, June 23, 2014

Indoor Tanning and Basal Cell Carcinoma: Not a Good Combination

By: Lewis First, MD, MS

Are you aware that basal cell carcinomas are being diagnosed in younger adults more than ever before?

Photo by TristanB via Wikimedia Commons
Karagas et al. (doi: 10.1542/ peds.2013-3559) certainly are and decided to see if adolescent and young adult exposure to indoor tanning contributed to the increased prevalence of basal cell cancers before the age of 50.

Their study compared 657 young adults with this skin malignancy with a group of similarly aged controls and assessed both groups for indoor tanning exposure in terms of type (sunlamps, tanning beds or booths) and duration. The results shed light (hopefully not ultraviolet light) on the importance of discussing indoor tanning with older teens in your practice who like to go to such facilities.

Hopefully after sharing the information in this study, you will be even more convincing in helping them recognize the potential dangers of indoor tanning and its association with earlier onset of skin cancer.

Related Reading:

Friday, February 7, 2014

Chemotherapy Drug Shortages: A Critical Issue for Children & Not Just Specific to Cancer

Photo by TheNickster via Flickr
Every so often we read or hear about drug shortages such as a vaccine or antibiotic. Perhaps we have paid less attention to the drugs needed for children with chronic illness such as children with cancer, but fortunately our fellow oncologists have been quite focused on this issue and the ethical and practical ramifications of not having the appropriate drug to treat the appropriate tumor or cancer.

DeCamp et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-2946) share the results of a Working Group on Chemotherapy Drug Shortages in Pediatric Oncology with six suggested steps to remedying the drug shortage issues in for children with cancer.

Accompanying this article is a terrific commentary by Dr. Dianne Murphy and colleagues (doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-4018) to show the relevancy of the cancer drug shortage situation to other potential pediatric drug shortage situations.

This is an important issue to think about—and the two articles will give you plenty to then talk about with your specialists as well as your fellow primary care practitioners who coordinate the care and therapies for your patients with chronic illness.

Related Reading:

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Mortality Data for Males and Females under 20 Years of Age Over a Decade: Some Epidemiologic Data Worth Knowing About

While we strive to prevent mortality in children and teens in everything we do as pediatricians, deaths to this age group can and do occur.  What causes these deaths and do differences exist by gender at different age ranges, or due to specific types of diseases?  Balsara et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds.203-0339) studied these types of questions by looking at linked birth and death records from 1999 to 2007 stratified by males and females. They then further stratified the data by age from birth to age 20 as well as in terms of the 7 leading types of pediatric cancers. They found gender differences in the causes of early mortality , and the reasons for these differences make for some thought-provoking reading.

This information may provide you with a better understanding of the genetic and hormonal factors that may contribute to increasing the earlier risk of death in your very young patients.