2012 Health News Highlights

December 2012: Ten years of adjuvant treatment with tamoxifen was significantly better than the standard 5 years in terms of reducing the risk for breast cancer recurrence and disease-specific death, according to findings from the international ATLAS (Adjuvant Tamoxifen, Longer Against Shorter) study.

October 2012: Patient navigators find role in the local healthcare system. Read the Oct. 9 Plain Dealer article that mentions Dr. Freeman, Dee Dee Ricks and Carol Santalucia.

October 2012: George Washington researchers published results of a study that found patient navigation sped the diagnosis of breast cancer.

October 2012: Facilities seeking accreditation from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer need to have a patient navigation process in place by 2015. More

July 2012: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Novartis AG’s Afinitor for use in combination with another drug to treat post-menopausal women with advanced hormone-receptor positive, HER2-negative breast cancer.

June 2012: The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new drug, Perjeta (pertuzumab), to treat HER2-positive breast cancer that has metastasized.

June 2012: Researchers discover a DNA marker may indicate differences in breast cancer between Caucasians and African Americans.

April 2012: Breast Cancer Classified into 10 Different Subtypes, according to results of a recent study that could change the future of breast cancer diagnoses, treatment and survival.

March 2012: Screening Guidelines for Cervical Cancer – Updated recommendations issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, the American Cancer Society and other organizations state that women between ages 30 and 65 should have a Pap test plus an HPV test every five years. This is the preferred approach, but it is also OK to have a Pap test alone every three years.