10 medical tests to avoid
AARP Bulletin, March 2014
Most people should have screening for colon cancer at 50 and then every five to 10 years after that, if the first test is normal. By age 75 — if you've always had normal colonoscopies — you can stop taking this test altogether. That should be good news, because a colonoscopy can cause serious complications in older people. “Just the preparation for colonoscopy can be exceptionally harsh,” says UTMB’s Dr. James Goodwin, who studies overuse of colonoscopies. Some patients become incontinent or experience weeks of pain, diarrhea and constipation. In worst cases, the procedure can perforate the colon. Despite such risks, recent studies have found that substantial numbers of people over 75, even over 85, are still getting screening colonoscopies.
CPRIT funds UTMB $3.2 mil in continuing effort to study cancer screening outcomes in TX
BioNews Texas, March 7, 2014
One of the most recent high-profile Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas awards has gone to UTMB, which will receive more than $3.2 million in new funding to continue research efforts to collect comprehensive data relating to population research on cancer treatments and outcomes in Texas. The grant comes as part of a larger collection of research grants awarded to a host of top Texas-based research institutions that will give them the necessary funding to continue previously CPRIT-funded cancer research. The ongoing study spearheaded by UTMB is titled the “Comparative Effectiveness Research on Cancer in Texas,” and will be able to continue for the next two years. The study, which is headed by Dr. James Goodwin, vice president and chief research officer at UTMB, also includes researchers from MD Anderson, Rice University and the Texas Cancer Registry, in addition to a team of UTMB researchers supporting Goodwin’s efforts. Over the next two years, the consortium of researchers will continue their look into how breast, colon, and prostate cancer screening is administered throughout Texas — specifically emphasizing any correlation between patient outcomes and patients’ access to varying quality levels of cancer treatment care. The news also appears in BioPortfolio, the Bay Area Citizen and Phys.org.
A Visit with Dr. James Goodwin – PSA screening among the Elderly
UTMB Newsroom December 23, 2013
Dr. James Goodwin, who has recently been promoted to vice president and chief research officer at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and Principle Investigator for CERCIT, visited with Guidry News Service about a new study by UTMB researchers that shows that one out of four colonoscopies paid for by Medicare is potentially inappropriate under current screening guidelines set forth by the United States Preventive Services Task Force. Listen (14:01)
UTMB Research Spotlight - Dr. Taylor Riall
UTMB Newsroom December 11, 2013
Senior author and CERCIT investigator, Dr. Taylor Riall, discusses the breast biopsy study with Jim Guidry.
Listen to the interview with Guidry News
Many women in Texas who are found to have an abnormality on routine mammogram or discover a lump in one of their breasts end up having an old-fashioned surgical biopsy to find out whether the breast abnormality is malignant. Since 2001, national expert panels have recommended that the first course of action for women with breast lumps or masses should be minimally invasive biopsy. Minimally invasive biopsies are most commonly done under ultrasonographic or X-ray guidance, with either a fine needle or preferably a “core tissue extraction” needle. They do not require surgery or anesthesia and leave little to no scarring. Most importantly, a diagnosis of benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous) breast mass can be determined before any decisions about treatment are made.
Breast Cancer Rx Linked to Heart Failure risks in older women:
DailyRx News October 23, 2013
Roughly one in four breast cancers has too much of a protein called HER2, which makes the cancer grow faster. A new study has shown that older breast cancer patients taking Herceptin had higher risks of congestive heart failure than patients who didn’t take the medication. Mariana Chavez-MacGregor, MD, MSc, assistant professor of breast medical oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and CERCIT investigator, was the lead investigator of this study that evaluated the rates of and risk factors associated with Herceptin-related congestive heart failure (CHF) in older patients. The authors conclude that “It is possible that among high-risk patients, early cardiology referral, the use of prophylactic cardioprotective agents, and close monitoring may be beneficial.”
Many older men still getting PSA test for prostate cancer, against recommendations
CBS News, Oct. 16, 2013
Many doctors still give their patients who are 75 and older prostate-specific antigen tests for prostate cancer, even though many medical groups have recommended against it. A research letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on Oct. 16 reveals that about 41 percent of men in that age group had the PSA procedure done — and 29 percent had been recommended for the test by their primary care physician. “Our results suggest that a major reason for the continued high PSA rate is decision-making by the physicians,” said senior author Dr. James Goodwin, director of UTMB's Sealy Center on Aging. Lead author Dr. Elizabeth Jaramillo said that overtesting can create harms, including overdiagnosis. “The vast majority of prostate cancers are so slow growing that an elderly man is much more likely to die of another condition in his lifetime than from the cancer,” she said. The news also appears in UPI.com, MedPage Today, Everyday Health, Drugs.com, HealthDay and U.S. News & World Report, among other outlets.
More Hispanic Texans die from cancer than any other cause
UPI.com, Oct. 1, 2013
More Hispanic Texans die from cancer than any other cause and only 3 percent of Hispanic Texans are age 75 and older, researchers say. The report, published in a special issue of the Texas Public Health Journal, found cancer was the leading cause of death among Hispanic Texans age 76 and younger, but survival after a diagnosis of cancer is superior for Hispanics compared to non-Hispanic whites. Principal investigator Dr. James S. Goodwin of UTMB said even though cancers tend to be more advanced when diagnosed in Hispanics, death rates were lower than in the white population.
CERCIT releases report on Cancer in Texas Hispanic/Latino population
September 19, 2013
In response to the growing Texas Hispanic population and their health needs, Comparative Effectiveness Research on Cancer in Texas (CERCIT) investigators have developed and released ‘A Comprehensive Report on Cancer among Hispanics in Texas.’ This report, presented as a supplemental issue of the Texas Public Health Journal, provides current cancer incidence, survival, and screening statistics for Hispanics/Latinos in Texas that can be used for planning, program evaluation and policy purposes. If you would like a hard copy of the supplemental TPHJ issue mailed to you, please contact us. For more information about the Texas Public Health Association and its journal, please visit www.texaspha.org.
Early detection key to combating bladder cancer
El Paso Times, 07/14/2013
While most people know that cigarette smoking is the No. 1 risk factor for lung cancer, few realize that it is the single biggest risk factor for bladder cancer as well. Bladder cancer is the fifth most common cancer in Americans and the most common cancer of the urinary tract. But it is largely out of the public eye, even though nearly 71,000 new cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States alone.
More CERCIT News