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1.  Breast Cancer Pathology, Receptor Status, and Patterns of Metastasis in a Rural Appalachian Population 
Journal of Cancer Epidemiology  2014;2014:170634.
Breast cancer patients in rural Appalachia have a high prevalence of obesity and poverty, together with more triple-negative phenotypes. We reviewed clinical records for tumor receptor status and time to distant metastasis. Body mass index, tumor size, grade, nodal status, and receptor status were related to metastatic patterns. For 687 patients, 13.8% developed metastases to bone (n = 42) or visceral sites (n = 53). Metastases to viscera occurred within five years, a latent period which was shorter than that for bone (P = 0.042). More women with visceral metastasis presented with grade 3 tumors compared with the bone and nonmetastatic groups (P = 0.0002). There were 135/574 women (23.5%) with triple-negative breast cancer, who presented with lymph node involvement and visceral metastases (68.2% versus 24.3%; P = 0.033). Triple-negative tumors that metastasized to visceral sites were larger (P = 0.007). Developing a visceral metastasis within 10 years was higher among women with triple-negative tumors. Across all breast cancer receptor subtypes, the probability of remaining distant metastasis-free was greater for brain and liver than for lung. The excess risk of metastatic spread to visceral organs in triple-negative breast cancers, even in the absence of positive nodes, was combined with the burden of larger and more advanced tumors.
PMCID: PMC3913201  PMID: 24527034
2.  A Population-Based Study of Childhood Cancer Survivors' Body Mass Index 
Journal of Cancer Epidemiology  2014;2014:531958.
Background. Population-based studies are needed to estimate the prevalence of underweight or overweight/obese childhood cancer survivors. Procedure. Adult survivors (diagnosed ≤20 years) were identified from the linked Utah Cancer Registry and Utah Population Database. We included survivors currently aged ≥20 years and ≥5 years from diagnosis (N = 1060), and a comparison cohort selected on birth year and sex (N = 5410). BMI was calculated from driver license data available from 2000 to 2010. Multivariable generalized linear regression models were used to calculate prevalence relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) of BMI outcomes for survivors and the comparison cohort. Results. Average time since diagnosis was 18.5 years (SD = 7.8), and mean age at BMI for both groups was 30.5 (survivors SD = 7.7, comparison SD = 8.0). Considering all diagnoses, survivors were not at higher risk for being underweight or overweight/obese than the comparison. Male central nervous system tumor survivors were overweight (RR = 1.12, 95% CI 1.01–1.23) more often than the comparison. Female survivors, who were diagnosed at age 10 and under, had a 10% higher risk of being obese than survivors diagnosed at ages 16–20 (P < 0.05). Conclusion. While certain groups of childhood cancer survivors are at risk for being overweight/obese, in general they do not differ from population estimates.
PMCID: PMC3913273  PMID: 24527036
3.  Colorectal Cancer Incidence and Mortality Disparities in New Mexico 
Journal of Cancer Epidemiology  2014;2014:239619.
Background. Previous analyses indicated that New Mexican Hispanics and American Indians (AI) did not experience the declining colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence and mortality rates observed among non-Hispanic whites (NHW). We evaluated more recent data to determine whether racial/ethnic differences persisted. Methods. We used New Mexico Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results data from 1995 to 2009 to calculate age-specific incidence rates and age-adjusted incidence rates overall and by tumor stage. We calculated mortality rates using National Center for Health Statistics' data. We used joinpoint regression to determine annual percentage change (APC) in age-adjusted incidence rates. Analyses were stratified by race/ethnicity and gender. Results. Incidence rates continued declining in NHW (APC −1.45% men, −1.06% women), while nonsignificantly increasing for AI (1.67% men, 1.26% women) and Hispanic women (0.24%). The APC initially increased in Hispanic men through 2001 (3.33%, P = 0.06), before declining (−3.10%, P = 0.003). Incidence rates declined in NHW and Hispanics aged 75 and older. Incidence rates for distant-stage cancer remained stable for all groups. Mortality rates declined significantly in NHW and Hispanics. Conclusions. Racial/ethnic disparities in CRC persist in New Mexico. Incidence differences could be related to risk factors or access to screening; mortality differences could be due to patterns of care for screening or treatment.
PMCID: PMC3910286  PMID: 24527035
4.  Cancer Incidence and Mortality in a Cohort of US Blood Donors: A 20-Year Study 
Journal of Cancer Epidemiology  2013;2013:814842.
Blood donors are considered one of the healthiest populations. This study describes the epidemiology of cancer in a cohort of blood donors up to 20 years after blood donation. Records from donors who participated in the Retroviral Epidemiology Donor Study (REDS, 1991–2002) at Blood Centers of the Pacific (BCP), San Francisco, were linked to the California Cancer Registry (CCR, 1991–2010). Standardized incidence ratios (SIR) were estimated using standard US 2000 population, and survival analysis used to compare all-cause mortality among donors and a random sample of nondonors with cancer from CCR. Of 55,158 eligible allogeneic blood donors followed-up for 863,902 person-years, 4,236 (7.7%) primary malignant cancers were diagnosed. SIR in donors was 1.59 (95% CI = 1.54,1.64). Donors had significantly lower mortality (adjusted HR = 0.70, 95% CI = 0.66–0.74) compared with nondonor cancer patients, except for respiratory system cancers (adjusted HR = 0.93, 95% CI = 0.82–1.05). Elevated cancer incidence among blood donors may reflect higher diagnosis rates due to health seeking behavior and cancer screening in donors. A “healthy donor effect” on mortality following cancer diagnosis was demonstrated. This population-based database and sample repository of blood donors with long-term monitoring of cancer incidence provides the opportunity for future analyses of genetic and other biomarkers of cancer.
PMCID: PMC3893810  PMID: 24489545
5.  The Impact of Adjustment for Socioeconomic Status on Comparisons of Cancer Incidence between Two European Countries 
Journal of Cancer Epidemiology  2013;2013:612514.
Background. Cancer incidence rates vary considerably between countries and by socioeconomic status (SES). We investigate the impact of SES upon the relative cancer risk in two neighbouring countries. Methods. Data on 229,824 cases for 16 cancers diagnosed in 1995–2007 were extracted from the cancer registries in Northern Ireland (NI) and Republic of Ireland (RoI). Cancers in the two countries were compared using incidence rate ratios (IRRs) adjusted for age and age plus area-based SES. Results. Adjusting for SES in addition to age had a considerable impact on NI/RoI comparisons for cancers strongly related to SES. Before SES adjustment, lung cancer incidence rates were 11% higher for males and 7% higher for females in NI, while after adjustment, the IRR was not statistically significant. Cervical cancer rates were lower in NI than in RoI after adjustment for age (IRR: 0.90 (0.84–0.97)), with this difference increasing after adjustment for SES (IRR: 0.85 (0.79–0.92)). For cancers with a weak or nonexistent relationship to SES, adjustment for SES made little difference to the IRR. Conclusion. Socioeconomic factors explain some international variations but also obscure other crucial differences; thus, adjustment for these factors should not become part of international comparisons.
PMCID: PMC3881585  PMID: 24454373
6.  Cancer Mortality among Asians and Pacific Islanders in New York City, 2001–2010 
Journal of Cancer Epidemiology  2013;2013:986408.
Asians and Pacific Islanders' (APIs) leading cause of death is cancer. We compared APIs' age-adjusted cancer mortality rates to other racial/ethnic groups and by API subgroup (i.e., Chinese, Koreans, Asian Indians, and Filipinos) using New York City (NYC) Mortality data and Census Bureau population estimates for 2001–2010. While other racial/ethnic groups' overall cancer mortality rates declined in NYC during the last decade, APIs remained stable. APIs overall had the lowest mortality rates for more common cancer types (i.e., lung, colorectal, breast, and prostate), but the highest mortality rates for certain less common cancers (i.e., nasopharyngeal, stomach, and liver). Chinese New Yorkers' lung cancer death rates were very high compared to other APIs and comparable to non-Hispanic whites (47.1/100,000 versus 49.5/100,000, resp.). Chinese men had much higher nasopharyngeal cancer mortality rates (4.5/100,000 versus 0.3/100,000 for non-Hispanic whites). Korean men had the highest liver and stomach cancer mortality rates (25.3/100,000 and 27.7/100,000, resp., versus 7.9/100,000 and 6.0/100,000 for non-Hispanic whites). Analysis of cancer rates by API subgroup provides the detailed information needed to plan cancer prevention efforts. These findings warrant consideration of targeted cancer mortality prevention efforts for affected subgroups, including hepatitis vaccination, screening, and treatment; smoking cessation; and cancer screening.
PMCID: PMC3876672  PMID: 24454374
7.  Sleep Duration and Breast Cancer Phenotype 
Journal of Cancer Epidemiology  2013;2013:467927.
Emerging evidence suggests that short sleep is associated with an increased risk of cancer; however, little has been done to study the role of sleep on tumor characteristics. In this study, we evaluated the relationship between sleep duration and tumor phenotype in 972 breast cancer patients. Sleep duration was inversely associated with tumor grade (univariate P = 0.032), particularly in postmenopausal women (univariate P = 0.018). This association did not reach statistical significance after adjustments for age, race, body mass index, hormone replacement therapy use, alcohol consumption, smoking, and physical activity in the entire study sample (P = 0.052), but it remained statistically significant (P = 0.049) among post-menopausal patients. We did not observe a statistically significant association between sleep duration and stage at diagnosis, ER, or HER2 receptor status. These results present a modest association between short duration of sleep and higher grade breast cancer in post-menopausal women. Further work needs to be done to validate these findings.
PMCID: PMC3834985  PMID: 24319459
8.  Trends in Breast Cancer Incidence Rates by Age and Stage at Diagnosis in Gharbiah, Egypt, over 10 Years (1999–2008) 
Journal of Cancer Epidemiology  2013;2013:916394.
Background. This study was undertaken to evaluate trends in breast cancer incidence in Egypt from 1999 to 2008 and to make projections for breast cancer occurrence for the years 2009–2015. Patients and Methods. We utilized joinpoint regression and average annual percent change (AAPC) measures with 95% confidence intervals (CI) to describe the trends in breast cancer incidence rates from the Gharbiah Cancer Registry by age and stage at diagnosis and to estimate expected breast cancer caseloads for 2009–2015. Results. From 1999 to 2008, the AAPC in breast cancer incidence rates in Gharbiah significantly increased among women 50 years and older and among localized tumors (AAPC %, 95% CI, 3.1% to 8.0%). Our results predict a significant increase in breast cancer caseloads from 2009 to 2015 among women aged 30–39 (AAPC %, 95% CI, 0.9% to 1.1%) and among women aged 40–49 years (AAPC %, 95% CI, 1.0% to 2.6%). Conclusion. These results have important implications for allocating limited resources, managing treatment needs, and exploring the consequences of prior interventions and/or changing risk factors in Egypt and other developing countries at the same stages of demographic and health transitions.
PMCID: PMC3824336  PMID: 24282410
9.  Patterns of Pelvic Radiotherapy in Patients with Stage II/III Rectal Cancer 
Journal of Cancer Epidemiology  2013;2013:408460.
High-level evidence supports adjuvant radiotherapy for rectal cancer. We examined the influence of sociodemographic factors on patterns of adjuvant radiotherapy for resected Stage II/III rectal cancer. Methods. Patients undergoing surgical resection for stage II/III rectal cancer were identified in SEER registry. Results. A total of 21,683 patients were identified. Majority of patients were male (58.8%), white (83%), and with stage III (54.9%) and received radiotherapy (66%). On univariate analysis, male gender, stage III, younger age, year of diagnosis, and higher socioeconomic status (SES) were associated with radiotherapy. Radiotherapy was delivered in 84.4% of patients <50; however, only 32.8% of those are >80 years. Logistic regression demonstrated a significant increase in the use of radiotherapy in younger patients who are <50 (OR, 10.3), with stage III (OR, 1.21), males (OR, 1.18), and with higher SES. Conclusions. There is a failure to conform to standard adjuvant radiotherapy in one-third of patients, and this is associated with older age, stage II, area-level of socioeconomic deprivation, and female sex.
PMCID: PMC3808718  PMID: 24223589
10.  Epidemiological Study of the Incidence of Cancers Eligible for Proton or Carbon Ions Therapy: Methodology and Results of Recruitment Estimation 
Journal of Cancer Epidemiology  2013;2013:107646.
Context. Hadrontherapy is an innovative form of radiotherapy using beams of protons or carbon ions able to destroy some radio-resistant tumours. Because these tumours are highly specific amongst all cancerous tumours, it is impossible to determine the incidence of these diseases from surveillance registries. Goal. To assess, within the Rhône-Alpes region, the incidence of cancers being hadrontherapy indications. Method. Prospective, multicentre continuous data collection during 1 year, by practitioners participating to multidisciplinary tumor board. Tumours are inoperable, radio resistant, at primary stage of development, or locally recurrent, with low metastatic potential. Results. Study involved 27 healthcare centres, 52 groups of specialist practitioners. The estimated incidence of cancers eligible for hadrontherapy in the Rhône-Alpes region in 2010, that is, for 34 locations in all, is of 8.5/100 000 inhabitants. Appraisal of the low potential of metastatic progression is impeded, because these are rare diseases, whose outcome is unfamiliar to investigators. Conclusion. Future epidemiological studies will need to focus on prognosis and on the metastatic progression rate of these diseases. Indeed, there are few information available on this subject in the literature that could be used to improve preventive measures, medical care, and the surveillance of these rare cancers.
PMCID: PMC3705988  PMID: 23864858
11.  Immunohistochemical Analysis of Vimentin in Oral Submucous Fibrosis 
Journal of Cancer Epidemiology  2013;2013:549041.
Background. Oral submucous fibrosis (OSF), a precancerous condition, is characterized by abnormal accumulation of collagen fibers in oral submucosa. Vimentin is a Class 2 intermediate filament (IF) and primarily expressed in cells of mesenchymal origin. Vimentin is also found to be involved in cell growth, cell cycling, and tumour differentiation. Objective. The purpose of the study was to compare the expression of vimentin in various histological grades of OSF. Materials and Methods. To assess the immunohistochemical expression of vimentin in 20 mild cases of OSF, 20 severe cases of OSF, and ten cases of normal oral buccal mucosa. Results. The overall staining intensity of vimentin significantly increased statistically (P < 0.01) in OSF cases over normal control. A significant increase in the staining intensity of vimentin was also noted in the fibroblasts of severe cases of OSF (P = 0.03). Conclusion. Considering the marked vimentin expression in the present study, future studies should include cytoskeleton IF and other filaments in the fibroblasts of OSF.
PMCID: PMC3693162  PMID: 23840210
12.  Worldwide Increasing Incidence of Thyroid Cancer: Update on Epidemiology and Risk Factors 
Journal of Cancer Epidemiology  2013;2013:965212.
Background. In the last decades, thyroid cancer incidence has continuously and sharply increased all over the world. This review analyzes the possible reasons of this increase. Summary. Many experts believe that the increased incidence of thyroid cancer is apparent, because of the increased detection of small cancers in the preclinical stage. However, a true increase is also possible, as suggested by the observation that large tumors have also increased and gender differences and birth cohort effects are present. Moreover, thyroid cancer mortality, in spite of earlier diagnosis and better treatment, has not decreased but is rather increasing. Therefore, some environmental carcinogens in the industrialized lifestyle may have specifically affected the thyroid. Among potential carcinogens, the increased exposure to medical radiations is the most likely risk factor. Other factors specific for the thyroid like increased iodine intake and increased prevalence of chronic autoimmune thyroiditis cannot be excluded, while other factors like the increasing prevalence of obesity are not specific for the thyroid. Conclusions. The increased incidence of thyroid cancer is most likely due to a combination of an apparent increase due to more sensitive diagnostic procedures and of a true increase, a possible consequence of increased population exposure to radiation and to other still unrecognized carcinogens.
PMCID: PMC3664492  PMID: 23737785
13.  Disruptions in Liver Function among Cancer Patients and Patients Treated with Tyrosine Kinase Inhibiting Drugs: Comparisons of Two Population-Based Databases 
Journal of Cancer Epidemiology  2013;2013:358285.
Liver toxicity is a recognized adverse event associated with small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). Electronic Medical Record (EMR) databases offer the most precise data to investigate the rate of liver function test (LFT) elevations; however, they can be limited in sample size and costly to access and analyze. Health insurance claims databases often contain larger samples sizes but may lack key health information. We evaluated the feasibility of utilizing a large claims database to calculate incidence rates (IRs) of LFT elevations among a general cohort of cancer patients and a cohort of patients treated with TKIs by comparing the results to a “gold standard” oncology-specific EMR database. IRs for the TKI cohorts were very similar between the two databases; however, IRs were higher in the EMR database for the cancer cohorts. Possible explanations for these differences include lack of specificity when defining a cancer case, poor capture of laboratory data, or inaccurate assessment of person-time in the insurance claims database. This study suggests that insurance claims data may provide reliable results when investigating liver toxicities associated with oncology drug exposure; however, there are limitations when assessing laboratory outcomes for cohorts defined solely by disease status.
PMCID: PMC3654350  PMID: 23710179
14.  Body Fat and Breast Cancer Risk in Postmenopausal Women: A Longitudinal Study 
Journal of Cancer Epidemiology  2013;2013:754815.
Associations between anthropometric indices of obesity and breast cancer risk may fail to capture the true relationship between excess body fat and risk. We used dual-energy-X-ray-absorptiometry- (DXA-) derived measures of body fat obtained in the Women's Health Initiative to examine the association between body fat and breast cancer risk; we compared these risk estimates with those for conventional anthropometric measurements. The study included 10,960 postmenopausal women aged 50–79 years at recruitment, with baseline DXA measurements and no history of breast cancer. During followup (median: 12.9 years), 503 incident breast cancer cases were diagnosed. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models. All baseline DXA-derived body fat measures showed strong positive associations with breast cancer risk. The multivariable-adjusted HR for the uppermost quintile level (versus lowest) ranged from 1.53 (95% CI 1.14–2.07) for fat mass of the right leg to 2.05 (1.50–2.79) for fat mass of the trunk. Anthropometric indices (categorized by quintiles) of obesity (BMI (1.97, 1.45–2.68), waist circumference (1.97, 1.46–2.65), and waist : hip ratio (1.91, 1.41–2.58)) were all strongly, positively associated with risk and did not differ from DXA-derived measures in prediction of risk.
PMCID: PMC3649193  PMID: 23690776
15.  Epidemiology of Thyroid Cancer in an Area of Epidemic Thyroid Goiter 
Journal of Cancer Epidemiology  2013;2013:584768.
The aim of this study was to analyze and describe the epidemiological characteristics and trends of thyroid cancer in the province of Sassari (Sardinia, Italy), an area with epidemic thyroid goiter, in the period 1992–2010. Data were obtained from the local tumor registry which makes part of a wider registry web, coordinated today by the Italian Association for Tumor Registries. An increasing trend in the incidence of thyroid cancer in the province of Sassari was evidenced. This trend seems to follow the general worldwide trend and does not seem to be related to the high incidence of thyroid goiter in the area. The frequencies of the different histological subtypes were similar to those reported in numerous national and international reports. Women are affected earlier than men and, therefore, suffer greater professional, economic, and social impacts. Overall mortality is low and a relative 5-year survival is excellent, especially in comparison to other malignancies.
PMCID: PMC3603222  PMID: 23533411
16.  Individual and Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status and Healthcare Resources in Relation to Black-White Breast Cancer Survival Disparities 
Journal of Cancer Epidemiology  2013;2013:490472.
Background. Breast cancer survival has improved significantly in the US in the past 10–15 years. However, disparities exist in breast cancer survival between black and white women. Purpose. To investigate the effect of county healthcare resources and SES as well as individual SES status on breast cancer survival disparities between black and white women. Methods. Data from 1,796 breast cancer cases were obtained from the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results and the National Longitudinal Mortality Study dataset. Cox Proportional Hazards models were constructed accounting for clustering within counties. Three sequential Cox models were fit for each outcome including demographic variables; demographic and clinical variables; and finally demographic, clinical, and county-level variables. Results. In unadjusted analysis, black women had a 53% higher likelihood of dying of breast cancer and 32% higher likelihood of dying of any cause (P < 0.05) compared with white women. Adjusting for demographic variables explained away the effect of race on breast cancer survival (HR, 1.40; 95% CI, 0.99–1.97), but not on all-cause mortality. The racial difference in all-cause survival disappeared only after adjusting for county-level variables (HR, 1.27; CI, 0.95–1.71). Conclusions. Improving equitable access to healthcare for all women in the US may help eliminate survival disparities between racial and socioeconomic groups.
PMCID: PMC3590635  PMID: 23509460
17.  Serum Lipid Profiles and Cancer Risk in the Context of Obesity: Four Meta-Analyses 
Journal of Cancer Epidemiology  2013;2013:823849.
The objective here was to summarize the evidence for, and quantify the link between, serum markers of lipid metabolism and risk of obesity-related cancers. PubMed and Embase were searched using predefined inclusion criteria to conduct meta-analyses on the association between serum levels of TG, TC, HDL, ApoA-I, and risk of 11 obesity-related cancers. Pooled relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals were estimated using random-effects analyses. 28 studies were included. Associations between abnormal lipid components and risk of obesity-related cancers when using clinical cutpoints (TC ≥ 6.50; TG ≥ 1.71; HDL ≤ 1.03; ApoA-I ≤ 1.05 mmol/L) were apparent in all models. RRs were 1.18 (95% CI: 1.08–1.29) for TC, 1.20 (1.07–1.35) for TG, 1.15 (1.01–1.32) for HDL, and 1.42 (1.17–1.74) for ApoA-I. High levels of TC and TG, as well as low levels of HDL and ApoA-I, were consistently associated with increased risk of obesity-related cancers. The modest RRs suggest serum lipids to be associated with the risk of cancer, but indicate it is likely that other markers of the metabolism and/or lifestyle factors may also be involved. Future intervention studies involving lifestyle modification would provide insight into the potential biological role of lipid metabolism in tumorigenesis.
PMCID: PMC3563167  PMID: 23401687
18.  Undertreated Breast Cancer in the Elderly 
Journal of Cancer Epidemiology  2013;2013:893104.
The effect of undertreatment with adjuvant hormonal therapy, chemotherapy, or radiation was studied in elderly women with breast cancer. A prospectively maintained database was used to identify women undergoing potentially curative surgery between 1978 and 2012. The presentation, pathologic findings, treatment, and outcomes of 382 women over 70 were compared to the findings in 2065 younger patients. Subsequently, conventionally treated and undertreated elderly patients were identified and their characteristics and outcomes were compared. Both young and old patients presented most frequently with mammographic findings, but older patients presented more frequently with mammographic masses while younger patients presented more frequently with mammographic calcifications. Cancers of older patients were significantly more favorable than cancers in younger patients: smaller, with more infiltrating lobular, fewer ductal carcinoma in situ, and more frequently estrogen receptor positive and fewer were poorly differentiated. Elderly patients had less axillary sampling, fewer mastectomies, less adjuvant radiation therapy, and more hormonal therapy. Fifty-one percent of the 382 elderly patients were undertreated by conventional criteria. Undertreated patients were more frequently in situ, better differentiated, smaller, and more often estrogen receptor positive. Forty-four percent of the undertreated patients died during followup without disease recurrence. Despite undertreatment, local and distant disease-free survival was comparable to patients who were not undertreated.
PMCID: PMC3556836  PMID: 23365573
19.  Accuracy of Self-Reported Breast Cancer Information among Women from the Ontario Site of the Breast Cancer Family Registry 
Journal of Cancer Epidemiology  2012;2012:310804.
Obtaining complete medical record information can be challenging and expensive in breast cancer studies. The current literature is limited with respect to the accuracy of self-report and factors that may influence this. We assessed the agreement between self-reported and medical record breast cancer information among women from the Ontario site of the Breast Cancer Family Registry. Women aged 20–69 years diagnosed with incident breast cancer 1996–1998 were identified from the Ontario Cancer Registry, sampled on age and family history. We calculated kappa statistics, proportion correct, sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values and conducted unconditional logistic regression to examine whether characteristics of the women influenced agreement. The proportions of women who correctly reported having received a broad category of therapy (hormone therapy, chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery) as well as sensitivity and specificity were above 90%, and the kappa statistics were above 0.80. The specific type of hormonal or chemotherapy was reported with low-to-moderate agreement. Aside from recurrence, no factors were consistently associated with agreement. Thus, most women were able to accurately report broad categories of treatment but not necessarily specific treatment types. The finding of this study can aid researchers in the use and design of self-administered treatment questionnaires.
PMCID: PMC3533456  PMID: 23316232
20.  Uptake and Tolerance of Chemotherapy in Elderly Patients with Small Cell Lung Cancer and Impact on Survival 
Journal of Cancer Epidemiology  2012;2012:708936.
The treatment of elderly cancer patients is complicated by many factors. We sought to assess the uptake and tolerance of chemotherapy among patients 75 years and older diagnosed with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) in years 2004–2008 in Alberta, Canada, and assess their survival. All patients who met the above criteria and had an oncologist-consult were included. Data were obtained from the Alberta Cancer Registry and chart review. A total of 171 patients were included in the study, 117 (68%) of whom began chemotherapy. Of those, 52% completed all cycles, 66% did not have any dose reductions, and 31% completed all cycles at the recommended dose. The risk of death for patients who did not complete all cycles of chemotherapy was 2.72 (95% CI: 1.52–4.87) and for those who completed all cycles but with a reduced dose was 1.02 (95% CI: 0.57–1.82) relative to those who completed chemotherapy at full dose after adjusting for several demographic/clinical factors. Our results suggest that a significant proportion of elderly patients are able to tolerate chemotherapy and receive a survival benefit from it while those who experience toxicity may receive a survival benefit from a reduction in chemotherapy dose as opposed to stopping treatment.
PMCID: PMC3517845  PMID: 23251158
21.  Promoting Early Presentation of Breast Cancer in Older Women: Implementing an Evidence-Based Intervention in Routine Clinical Practice 
Journal of Cancer Epidemiology  2012;2012:835167.
Background. Women over 70 with breast cancer have poorer one-year survival and present at a more advanced stage than younger women. Promoting early symptomatic presentation in older women may reduce stage cost effectively and is unlikely to lead to overdiagnosis. After examining efficacy in a randomised controlled trial, we piloted a brief health professional-delivered intervention to equip women to present promptly with breast symptoms, as an integral part of the final invited mammogram at age ~70, in the English National Health Service Breast Screening Programme. Methods. We trained mammographers, who then offered the intervention to older women in four breast screening services. We examined breast cancer awareness at baseline and one month in women receiving the intervention, and also in a service where the intervention was not offered. Results. We trained 27 mammographers to deliver the intervention confidently to a high standard. Breast cancer awareness increased 7-fold at one month in women receiving the intervention compared with 2-fold in the comparison service (odds ratio 15.2, 95% confidence interval 10.0 to 23.2). Conclusions. The PEP Intervention can be implemented in routine clinical practice with a potency similar to that achieved in a randomised controlled trial. It has the potential to reduce delay in diagnosis for breast cancer in older women.
PMCID: PMC3505655  PMID: 23213334
22.  The Front Line of Genomic Translation 
Journal of Cancer Epidemiology  2012;2012:372597.
PMCID: PMC3503331  PMID: 23209467
23.  Patterns of Cancer Genetic Testing: A Randomized Survey of Oregon Clinicians 
Journal of Cancer Epidemiology  2012;2012:294730.
Introduction. Appropriate use of genetic tests for population-based cancer screening, diagnosis of inherited cancers, and guidance of cancer treatment can improve health outcomes. We investigated clinicians' use and knowledge of eight breast, ovarian, and colorectal cancer genetic tests. Methods. We conducted a randomized survey of 2,191 Oregon providers, asking about their experience with fecal DNA, OncoVue, BRCA, MMR, CYP2D6, tumor gene expression profiling, UGT1A1, and KRAS. Results. Clinicians reported low confidence in their knowledge of medical genetics; most confident were OB-GYNs and specialists. Clinicians were more likely to have ordered/recommended BRCA and MMR than the other tests, and OB-GYNs were twice as likely to have ordered/recommended BRCA testing than primary care providers. Less than 10% of providers ordered/recommended OncoVue, fecal DNA, CYP2D6, or UGT1A1; less than 30% ordered/recommended tumor gene expression profiles or KRAS. The most common reason for not ordering/recommending these tests was lack of familiarity. Conclusions. Use of appropriate, evidence-based testing can help reduce incidence and mortality of certain cancers, but these tests need to be better integrated into clinical practice. Continued evaluation of emerging technologies, dissemination of findings, and an increase in provider confidence and knowledge are necessary to achieve this end.
PMCID: PMC3485974  PMID: 23150730
24.  Barriers and Facilitators for Utilization of Genetic Counseling and Risk Assessment Services in Young Female Breast Cancer Survivors 
Journal of Cancer Epidemiology  2012;2012:298745.
Introduction. Women diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age are more likely to carry a cancer predisposing genetic mutation. Per the current NCCN recommendations, women diagnosed under age 50 should be referred to cancer genetic counseling for further risk evaluation. This study seeks to assess patient-reported barriers and facilitators to receiving genetic counseling and risk assessment among a community-based population of young breast cancer survivors (YBCS). Methods. Through the Michigan Cancer Surveillance Program, a state-based cancer registry, 488 women diagnosed with breast cancer before age 50 in 2006-2007 were identified. They received a mail survey regarding family history and facilitators and barriers to receiving genetic counseling and risk assessment. Results. Responses were received from 289 women (59.2%). One hundred twenty-two (42.2%) reported having received cancer genetic counseling. The most frequent reason identified for receiving services was to benefit their family's future. The top reasons for not attending were “no one recommended it” and “medical insurance coverage issues.” Discussion. This study is the first published report using a state cancer registry to determine facilitators and barriers to receiving genetic counseling and risk assessment among YBCS. These findings demonstrate the need for additional awareness and education about appropriate indications for genetic services.
PMCID: PMC3485517  PMID: 23150731
25.  Folate Intake, MTHFR Polymorphisms, and the Risk of Colorectal Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
Journal of Cancer Epidemiology  2012;2012:952508.
Background. The objective was to determine whether relationships exist between the methylene-tetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) polymorphisms and risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) and examine whether the risk is modified by level of folate intake. Methods. MEDLINE, Embase, and SCOPUS were searched to May 2012 using the terms “folic acid,” “folate,” “colorectal cancer,” “methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase,” “MTHFR.” Observational studies were included which (1) assessed the risk of CRC for each polymorphism and/or (2) had defined levels of folate intake for each polymorphism and assessed the risk of CRC. Results. From 910 references, 67 studies met our criteria; hand searching yielded 10 studies. The summary risk estimate comparing the 677CT versus CC genotype was 1.02 (95% CI 0.95–1.10) and for 677TT versus CC was 0.88 (95% CI 0.80–0.96) both with heterogeneity. The summary risk estimates for A1298C polymorphisms suggested no reduced risk. The summary risk estimate for high versus low total folate for the 677CC genotype was 0.70 (95% CI 0.56–0.89) and the 677TT genotype 0.63 (95% CI 0.41–0.97). Conclusion. These results suggest that the 677TT genotype is associated with a reduced risk of developing CRC, under conditions of high total folate intake, and this associated risk remains reduced for both MTHFR 677 CC and TT genotypes.
PMCID: PMC3483802  PMID: 23125859

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