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DNA alternative to Pap smear sparks medical debate
The Associated Press
A high-tech screening tool for cervical cancer is facing pushback from more than a dozen patient groups, who warn that the genetic test could displace a simpler, cheaper and more established mainstay of women's health: the Pap smear. The new test from Roche uses DNA to detect the human papillomavirus, or HPV, which causes nearly all cases of cervical cancer. While such technology has been available for years, Roche now wants the FDA to approve its test as a first-choice option for cervical cancer screening, bypassing the decades-old Pap test.
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SGO ANNUAL MEETING COVERAGE


Less invasive technique possible for vulvar cancer
Oncology Nurse Advisor
Sentinel lymph node dissection in women with vulvar malignancies allowed gynecologic oncology surgeons to identify and remove just the sentinel nodes and follow the patients for complications and recurrence, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology in Tampa, Florida.
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Palliative care consultations improve outcomes, but referrals lag
The Oncology Report
Outpatient palliative care consultations are associated with decreased symptom burden in women with gynecologic malignancies, but American Society of Clinical Oncology recommendations for referral are often ignored, according to retrospective data and a review of patient records. In one study, 78 patients seen between June 2007 and March 2013 at an outpatient symptom management clinic for follow-up within 90 days of their initial consultation completed a questionnaire at each visit, including the nine-item Edmonton Symptom Assessment System.
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OVARIAN CANCER


Irregular periods: Risk factor for ovarian cancer?
HealthDay News via WebMD
Women with irregular menstrual cycles may have more than double the risk of ovarian cancer compared to women who have regular monthly periods, new research suggests. This finding suggests that women with irregular periods — including those with a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome — might be a group that could benefit from early screening for ovarian cancer, said the study's lead author, Barbara Cohn. She is director of child health and development studies at the Public Health Institute in Berkeley, Calif.
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OBESITY


Obesity shows exercise benefits all cancer survivors equally, regardless of weight
BioNewsTexas
A new study reveals that a simple home exercise regimen offers the same health benefits to survivors of cancer, regardless of their body mass index (BMI). Karen Basen-Engquist, Ph.D., led a team of scientists in conducting an examination of a longitudinal study on the dissimilarities among obese and normal weight survivors of endometrial cancer during the implementation of a home exercise scheme. The study lasted 6 months, and took into account the subjects’ behavior, level of fitness, vital signs, body measurements and quality of life to identify areas of contrast.
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BREAST CANCER


Experts support broader pertuzumab use in HER2-positive breast cancer
OncLive
The recent approval of pertuzumab (Perjeta) as part of a combination neoadjuvant treatment for patients with early-stage breast cancer has paved the way for wider use of the regimen in preoperative settings, experts indicated during a recent Peer Exchange panel discussion. In September 2013, the FDA approved pertuzumab in combination with trastuzumab (Herceptin) and chemotherapy for patients with HER2-positive locally advanced or early-stage breast cancer, marking the first neoadjuvant indication in that disease setting.
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MORCELLATION


How morcellators simplified the hysterectomy but posed a hidden cancer risk
The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required)
The women's health-care community got a shock to the system in December, when leading U.S. hospitals abruptly began acknowledging that a commonly used surgical tool risked killing some women. The tool, used since the 1990s in many hysterectomies, can stir up aggressive cancers, they said. Brigham and Women's Hospital, Temple University Hospital and others quickly altered their procedures for the tool's use.
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Women's Cancer News
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Jessica Taylor, Senior Medical Editor, 202-684-7169  
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