Posts tagged ‘national cancer institute’

Middle Tennessee Medical Center is urging the women folk to get tested for cervical cancer. January is dedicated as the Cervical Cancer Screening Month and regular screening is the best way to combat this dreaded disease.

There are basically two tests that determine if the person has cervical cancer or not- the Pap test and the HPV test. The Pap test or Pap smear is directed towards preventing cervical cancer. It looks for precancerous cells that might become cervical cancer if left untreated. Dr. Kelly Williams, a MTMC physician states that it is recommended (by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) that woman undertake an annual examination beginning at age 21.

Pap test is the main test for cervical cancer but another test called the HVP test proves to be helpful at times. HPV or Human Papilloma Virus test looks for the said virus and this test can also be used to find the presence of the virus which causes cellular changes. HPV test is generally used to screen women who are in the age group 30 and above. But it is also used to detect the presence of virus in women who have unclear Pap test results.

There is a vaccine called HPV vaccine that is a big positive leap for medical science since it provides immunity against the virus. This vaccine is recommended for women from the age 9 to 26. Dr. Kelly Williams stresses that the HPV vaccine is a major advancement for preventing cervical cancer worldwide.

Cervical cancer awareness is a positive endeavor by the MTMC since many women fall prey to this ailment. As per an estimate by the National Cancer Institute, 12,200 women would be diagnosed and 4,210 women would die of it in 2010 alone.


Constantine Gatsonis, the biostatistics professional attached to the Brown University along with his colleagues reported the results of their study on the 4th of November 2010. The results were disclosed by the National Cancer Institute.

The study reveals that scanning the patients diagnosed with lung cancer by means of a helical scan can actually help to reduce the death rate by almost 20% as opposed to those that are subjected to chest X-rays.

The results were announced after the first definite evidences of the effectiveness of helical scans started to come in while screening smokers for lung cancers. Gatsonis, who also serves as the director of the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) stated that this was indeed a breakthrough for formulating further screening procedures which would be more appropriate in combating the deadly disease.

The lung screening study and the ACRIN conducted a consortium jointly which enrolled around 53,000 heavy smokers both current as well as former. The study was conducted across 33 different sites in America. The ages of the participants varied from 55 to 74. All the participants were observed for a period of 20 months when they underwent three random screening procedures either with the aid of low dose helical CTs ( spiral CT) or a normal form of chest X-ray. The design of the study has also been published in the Radiology journal.

Helical CT scans can be used to obtain multiple images of the chest whereas the standard chest X-rays are limited to a single image of the entire chest.

The study also revealed that the death rate for patients screened with a low dose helical CT was at least 7% less than those who had been screened by regular chest X-Rays. The cause of deaths in the NLST was lung cancer for 25% while the other deaths could be attributed to various other factors including cardio vascular disease.