New Prostate Cancer Tests Try To Reduce Unnecessary Biopsies, Treatments
New testing aims to identify harmless tumors from those that are lethal, but the tests don’t always provide useful information and they can add to costs. In other cancer news, a study finds that African American lung cancer patients living in low-income neighborhoods are less likely to get surgery than those living in more affluent areas.
The Wall Street Journal:
A Better Prostate-Cancer Test?
When Al Piazza learned he had prostate cancer, his first thought was, “Let’s get this out and be done with it,” he says. But his urologist, Jeremy Lieb, said the side effects of treatment could be more harmful than the cancer itself. Dr. Lieb ran a genetic test on the patient’s biopsy sample, which calculated that Mr. Piazza, then 70 years old, had only a 3% chance of dying from prostate cancer over the next 10 years if he left the tumor untreated. ... The procedure done on Mr. Piazza’s tumor sample, called Prolaris by Myriad Genetics, is one of several new prostate-cancer tests that aim to reduce detection and treatment of tumors that are likely to be harmless while still spotting those that are lethal. (Beck, 5/9)
Lower Odds Of Lung Cancer Surgery For Blacks In Segregated Neighborhoods
African American lung cancer patients who live in low-income, segregated neighborhoods are less likely than their peers in more-affluent communities to get surgery that can add years to their lives, a study suggests. Compared with black patients living in the least-segregated areas, residents of the most-segregated communities were at least 60 percent less likely to receive surgery for what’s known as non-small-cell lung cancer, the most common form of the disease. A greater proportion of black patients than whites died during the study, and African Americans typically had fewer months of survival after their diagnosis, the study also found. (Rapaport, 5/9)