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J Oncol Pract. 2007 January; 3(1): 39.
PMCID: PMC2793730

Podcasts: A New Way for Patients to Receive PLWC Information

This year, People Living With Cancer ( will begin offering some of its wealth of patient information on cancer research, treatment, and coping in a new technologic format—the audio podcast.

Interested individuals will be able to download these free, prerecorded audio files or listen to them on their MP3 players to access oncologist-approved information when and how they want it.

Each podcast addresses a specific cancer-related topic of interest to people living with cancer. The length of time may vary depending on the subject, but each PLWC podcast will run approximately 3 minutes. PLWC's collection of podcasts will create a new repository of information for people with cancer. Visit PLWC to see the range of topics covered by the podcasts, and be sure to mention this valuable PLWC service to your patients.

New Patient Guide on HER2 Testing for Breast Cancer

A new patient guide, “HER2 Testing for Breast Cancer,” is now available on PLWC. The guide is based on a joint clinical practice guideline published by ASCO and the College of American Pathologists (CAP), on improving the accuracy of HER2 testing for patients with breast cancer. Because predictive and prognostic markers are increasingly being used to guide therapy selection, the accurate detection of a patient's HER2 status is important for identifying patients that could benefit from specific treatments and those who could be spared potentially toxic and costly therapies.1

This patient guide describes the new ASCO/CAP recommendations, including background information about HER2 and the importance of accurate HER2 testing, a brief analysis of what the recommendations mean for patients, questions patients can ask their doctors, and a list of resources for additional information. It can be found at in a text-only format or as a PDF.

Information on Myelodysplastic Syndromes Now Offered

Patients can now visit PLWC for comprehensive information on myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), a group of disorders affecting the blood and bone marrow in which some subtypes can lead to acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Each year in the United States, MDS is diagnosed in approximately 10,000 to 15,000 people, most of them older than 60 years. Visit for complete details.

Diagnostic Tests Highlighted in New Feature Articles

PLWC enables patients original feature articles each week that provide practical information for use in everyday life. PLWC is offering a special series, which started in December 2006 and will run through April 2007, that explains common diagnostic tests that people with cancer must often have. Each article focuses on a different test and gives detailed information on what the patient can expect before, during, and after the procedure. The tests covered include biopsy, colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, digital rectal examination, computed tomography (CT) scan, positron-emission tomography (PET) scan, integrated PET-CT scan, magnetic resonance imaging, bone scan, mammography, Papanicolaou test, endoscopy, and ultrasound.

This series is designed to supplement the explanations you provide your patients in an effort to reduce possible anxiety about what they will experience, particularly when a patient is having a test for the first time. These feature articles and more than 120 others can be found in the Web site's library at


1. Guideline Summary: American Society of Clinical Oncology/College of American Pathologists Guideline Recommendations for Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 Testing in Breast Cancer. J Oncol Pract 3:48-50, 2007

Articles from Journal of Oncology Practice are provided here courtesy of American Society of Clinical Oncology