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Week In Review — Feb. 14

The Week In Review provides an overview of the past week’s top healthcare content, including industry news and trends, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Medical Laboratories news and upcoming events.

Smoking tied to increased risk of common type of breast cancer

Young women who smoke may have an increased risk of a common type of breast cancer, according to a new study. Researchers found that women between 20 and 44 years old who had smoked a pack of cigarettes per day for at least 10 years were 60 percent more likely than those who smoked less to develop so-called estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. Smokers were not more likely to develop a less common form of breast cancer known as triple-negative breast cancer, which tends to be more aggressive. “I think that there is growing evidence that breast cancer is another health hazard associated with smoking,” Dr. Christopher Li told Reuters Health. Via Reuters. 

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Another delay in health law’s employer requirement 

Trying to limit election-year damage on health care, the Obama administration on Monday granted business groups another delay in a much-criticized requirement that larger firms cover their workers or face fines. Via The Associated Press.

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President’s panel calls for more girls, boys to get HPV vaccine

Too few American girls and boys are getting vaccinated against the cancer-causing human papillomavirus (HPV), the President’s Cancer Panel reported Monday. HPV is linked to cervical cancer as well as penis, rectal and oral cancers. One in four adults in the United States is infected with at least one type of HPV. Increasing HPV vaccination rates could prevent a large number of cancer cases and save many lives, the panel said. Via HealthDay.

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Vast study casts doubts on value of mammograms 

One of the largest and most meticulous studies of mammography ever done, involving 90,000 women and lasting a quarter-century, has added powerful new doubts about the value of the screening test for women of any age. It found that the death rates from breast cancer and from all causes were the same in women who got mammograms and those who did not. And the screening had harms: One in five cancers found with mammography and treated was not a threat to the woman’s health and did not need treatment such as chemotherapy, surgery or radiation. Via The New York Times.

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Stroke risk tied to cold, humidity, weather swings

There may be a link between weather and the risk of suffering a stroke, say researchers who analyzed climate trends and hospital records on millions of Americans. Cold weather, high humidity and big daily temperature swings seem to land more people in the hospital with strokes. As it got warmer, risk fell — 3 percent for every 5 degrees, the study found. Via Associated Press.

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WellStar Health System and Mayo Clinic announce collaboration

WellStar Health System (WellStar) and Mayo Clinic today announced that the metro Atlanta-based health system is joining the Mayo Clinic Care Network, a national network of like-minded organizations that share a commitment to better serving patients and their families. WellStar is the largest member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network in the southeast and the only member in metro Atlanta…”WellStar is home to some of the most accomplished and preeminent physicians in the Southeast,” says Robert Jansen, M.D., executive vice president and chief administrative medical officer of WellStar. “Working with Mayo Clinic through the Mayo Clinic Care Network offers our physicians a new resource to ensure the kind of innovative and leading care that patients have grown to expect from WellStar.”  Via The Sacramento Bee.

‘Larger than life’ Twins GM Terry Ryan ready to battle cancer head on

A one-inch lump on the left side of Ryan’s neck was found to contain squamous cell carcinoma following a routine physical exam. Subsequent tests showed the cancer had not spread to other parts of his body, but Ryan, 60, still is expected to undergo radiation treatments at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. The cancerous lymph node is expected to be removed on Tuesday, Eyunni said, and Ryan is likely to remain at the Mayo Clinic for another two or three days before returning to the Twin Cities to determine the next course of treatment. Via Pioneer Press.

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Mayo Clinic identifies a key cellular pathway in prostate cancer

Mayo Clinic researchers have shed light on a new mechanism by which prostate cancer develops in men. Central to development of nearly all prostate cancer cases are malfunctions in the androgen receptor — the cellular component that binds to male hormones… “By uncovering this new and important pathway of androgen receptor destruction, we may one day be able to develop more effective treatments for a substantial proportion of prostate cancer patients who have developed resistance to standard antiandrogen therapy,” says Haojie Huang, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic biochemist and senior author of the paper. Via eNews Park Forest, Ill.

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Two oncogenes work together to sustain population of cells in lung squamous cell carcinoma

A team of cancer biologists at Mayo Clinic in Florida is reporting in the Feb. 10 issue of Cancer Cell the discovery of two oncogenes that work together to sustain a population of cells in lung squamous cell carcinoma, which may be responsible for the lethality of the disease…”Cancer stem cells are a small population of cells in a tumor that can self-renew and grow indefinitely. They resist most treatments and are thought to be responsible for relapse,” says the study’s senior author, Alan P. Fields, Ph.D., the Monica Flynn Jacoby Professor of Cancer Studies at Mayo Clinic in Florida. Via News Medical.

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UnitedHealth-Mayo venture Optum Labs adds partners

An ambitious health care research initiative launched last year between Optum and the Mayo Clinic has landed seven new partners with interests in public health, pharmaceuticals and the biosciences. The addition of groups that include pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and the University of Minnesota Nursing School is a sign that newly formed Optum Labs, based in Cambridge, Mass., is working to swiftly assemble the pieces for what it describes as an open center for research and innovation. Via Star Tribune.

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Heart Disease Risks – Dr. Rekha Mankad and Dr. Sharon Mulvagh Link

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