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Despite having a reputation for gray skies, Oregon has one of the highest rates of melanoma in the nation. OHSU is holding a ‘War On Skin Cancer’ event Saturday to help figure out why.
Public health authorities tell us that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the US, and the highest among non-smokers. But scientists have only been aware of radon as a health hazard since the early 1980s. So, just how big a health risk is radon? We take a look at the geologic conditions that account for radon’s presence in Oregon as well as the current health science, testing and mitigation thinking on the subject.
President Obama honored two of the Northwest’s leading scientists at a White House ceremony Thursday.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has cited a Portland chrome plating company for three violations of air pollution rules.
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The three-part PBS film "The Emperor of All Maladies" includes discussion of the cancer breakthrough drug Gleevec, developed by OHSU researcher, Brian Druker.
An advisory panel to the National Cancer Institute has recommended changing the names of some precancerous tumors in an effort to lower overdiagnosis and overtreatment.
The idea is that the word cancer can cause such trauma and fear that it leads to rash and unnecessary procedures. An example of a cancer the panel recommends downgrading is ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), what is sometimes called stage 0 breast cancer. Some women undergo mastectomies and chemotherapy to destroy tumors that likely would have never left the milk duct.
This sort of pulling back from cancer detection and treatment has been a hard sell for doctors, thanks in large part to their successes educating the public about cancer. For decades, the most persistent mantra about cancer was early detection. If cancers could be found at nascent stages, the reasoning went, more people could be saved. More and better screenings ensued. Until a few years ago, this was considered great news. Now, though, there's a growing belief among doctors and researchers that more detection hasn't led to greater survival rates and it may even cause more harm than good with some cancers. The most famous example of this change in thinking came in 2009 when the guidelines for mammograms were changed, having women start screening later and less frequently.
Last Friday, the Health Evidence Review Commission approved Guideline 12, a measure they say will open up care for more cancer patients under the Oregon Health Plan. The new guidelines did away with a stipulation that restricted treatment for patients with less than two years to live. Still, there are those who oppose the measure, arguing that legislating cancer treatment based on things like age and life expectancy is illegal under the Affordable Care Act.
Cancer treatments can leave physical and mental side effects that patients may not be prepared for.
Yew Trees/Cancer; Pine Mountain Observatory; Silver Falls State Park