Urologist Often Determines Use of Hormone Therapy for
Which urologist a patient with prostate cancer chooses may be more important in determining whether he receives hormone therapy than other factors such as his age or type of tumor, a new study reports.
"The urologist seems to play a role that is at least as important, if not more important, than tumor grade and patient characteristics," says lead researcher Dr. Vahakn B. Shahinian of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.
The findings suggest that a patient could go to two urologists and receive different opinions about whether to have the treatment, called androgen deprivation therapy because it blocks androgen hormones such as testosterone.
"This scenario is cause for concern because patients might be getting therapy that may not be in their best interest," says Dr. Shahinian. Read more
NCI's Advocacy Summit Educates and Inspires
The dedication and enthusiasm of the advocacy community were palpable last week on the NIH campus. The occasion was the inaugural NCI advocacy summit, Listening and Learning Together: Building a Bridge of Trust, hosted by the NCI Director's Consumer Liaison Group (DCLG) and cosponsored by the NCI Office of Liaison Activities (OLA) and the Foundation for the NIH.
An idea that originated from the results of a survey of the advocacy community conducted in 2003, the summit was an exciting gathering of some 250 patient advocates from all across the country. Attendees represented local and national organizations, all dedicated to activities such as increasing awareness about specific cancers; raising money to support cancer research; and providing services to patients, survivors, and caregivers.
I had the privilege of speaking at the summit's opening plenary session and again at the closing ceremony. Talking with advocates is one of the most rewarding aspects of being part of NCI leadership. After all, these are dedicated people who log many hours as volunteers not only for their own organizations but also in various volunteer capacities for NCI and their local cancer centers. Their desire to learn as much as they can about NCI and cancer - all in an effort to more effectively promote their cause - always amazes me. Read more