Women's Cancer News
May. 13, 2015

Possible hope for ovarian cancer screening
The Inquirer
Since the discovery more than 30 years ago of a protein shed by tumor cells in the ovaries, researchers have tried unsuccessfully to use it for an ovarian-cancer screening test. Now, a mammoth, long-awaited study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has had some success by tracking rapid changes in blood levels of the protein, CA125, rather than simply elevations above a presumed normal.More

ACOG: Practice and referral patterns may affect occult uterine sarcoma risk post hysterectomy
ACS Surgery News
Occult uterine sarcoma occurred in less than 0.1 percent of more than 10,000 hysterectomies performed at a large hospital system between 2000 and 2014 for presumed benign gynecologic indications. Of 10,083 patients who underwent such hysterectomies at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center hospitals during the study period, 9 were found to have uterine sarcoma, including 5 with leiomyosarcoma and 2 each with endometrial stromal sarcoma and uterine adenosarcoma Dr. Ken Yu Lin reported at the annual meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.More

Aetna won't pay for most fibroid removal using morcellators
Medscape (Free login required)
Health insurer Aetna will no longer cover most hysterectomies and myomectomies that utilize power morcellators to remove uterine fibroid tumors "because the safety and efficacy of this approach has not been demonstrated," the company said. The new policy, which takes effect May 15, is the latest backlash against a medical device in the toolbox of gynecologic surgeons that they once took for granted. More

HPV: 1.1 million more women started vaccine after ACA passed
Medscape (Free login required)
Passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which extended health coverage to more young adults and erased copayments for certain preventive treatments, was associated with an additional 1.1 million women aged 19 to 25 years initiating the three-dose human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, according to a study in the May issue of Health Affairs.More

Cancer Screening Test Use — Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
CDC
Regular breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer (CRC) screening with timely and appropriate follow-up and treatment reduces deaths from these cancers. Healthy People 2020 targets for cancer screening test use have been established, based on the most recent U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) guidelines (1). National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data are used to monitor progress toward the targets. CDC used the 2013 NHIS, the most recent data available, to examine breast, cervical, and CRC screening use. Although some demographic subgroups attained targets, screening use overall was below the targets with no improvements from 2010 to 2013 in breast, cervical, or CRC screening use. Cervical cancer screening declined from 2010 to 2013. Increased efforts are needed to achieve targets and reduce screening disparities.More

Failure to expand ACA Medicaid coverage widens disparities in breast and cervical cancer screenings
Medical Xpress
Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center researchers recently conducted a study that found low-income and uninsured women in states that are not expanding their Affordable Care Act Medicaid coverage are less likely to receive breast and cervical cancer screenings compared to those in states that are implementing expansions. The ACA is allowing states to extend their Medicaid health insurance coverage for nonelderly adults with an annual income up to 133 percent of the federal poverty line. However, only approximately half of the states are expanding their Medicaid eligibility.More

Jennifer Doudna, a pioneer who helped simplify genome editing
The New York Times
As a child in Hilo, one of the less touristy parts of Hawaii, Jennifer A. Doudna felt out of place. She had blond hair and blue eyes, and she was taller than the other kids, who were mostly of Polynesian and Asian descent. “I think to them I looked like a freak,” she recently recalled. “And I felt like a freak.”More