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Risky Breast Lumps; Bone Testing Lags in Prostate Cancer; Cancer Breathalyzer?

Benign breast lesions detected after a woman’s initial screening mammogram are more likely to become malignant. (European Breast Cancer Conference)

Younger adults who have never smoked are the group with the biggest increase in use of electronic cigarettes. (American Cancer Society, American Journal of Preventive Medicine)

The FDA issued draft guidance aimed at getting more premenopausal women enrolled in clinical trials of new drugs and biologic agents for breast cancer.

Only one-fourth of men with prostate cancer had testing for bone health and integrity after androgen deprivation therapy, which causes loss of bone mineral. (Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network)

Updated results from a randomized trial supported single-agent nivolumab (Opdivo), as opposed to nivolumab-ipilimumab (Yervoy) combination therapy, as adjuvant therapy for resected melanoma, and adding nivolumab to neoadjuvant chemotherapy significantly improved pathologic complete response in resectable non-small cell lung cancer, Bristol Myers Squibb announced in separate statements.

Amgen announced that its investigational KRAS inhibitor sotorasib met the primary endpoint of objective response in a phase II clinical trial of previously treated advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

Minority patients with cancer, as compared with white patients, show increased risk of coronavirus infection, higher rates of hospitalization for COVID-19, and lower use of telehealth during the ongoing pandemic. (ASCO Quality Care Symposium)

Introduction of a pay-for-performance program in oncology practices increased prescriptions for cancer drugs supported by high-quality clinical evidence without significantly increasing the total cost of cancer care. (Penn Medicine, Journal of Clinical Oncology)

More than 100 patient organizations worldwide have formed the World Patients Alliance to increase patient involvement in shaping healthcare policy.

Surgery for benign breast disease does not interfere with breastfeeding. (American College of Surgeons)

Within a week after infusion of CAR T-cell therapy, changes in circulating DNA may identify which patients with large B-cell lymphoma will benefit from the treatment. (University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center)

Immune checkpoint inhibitors used to treat multiple types of cancer may aggravate systemic inflammation that drives the development of coronary atherosclerosis. (JACC: CardioOncology)

A rapid and inexpensive breath test showed promise for head and neck cancer. (Flinders University, British Journal of Cancer)

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    Charles Bankhead is senior editor for oncology and also covers urology, dermatology, and ophthalmology. He joined MedPage Today in 2007. Follow

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President Trump’s risky behavior goes viral

President Trump’s COVID infection is causing havoc – to him and his family, numerous recent contacts, three U.S. senators now infected, the nation’s confidence and orderly processes, and our national and international security.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Trump's risky behavior goes viral

© getty: President Trump
President Trump’s risky behavior goes viral

We can never know for sure who is culpable. It doesn’t matter. With all the possible “what if”s and “if only”s, we must be clear that, to paraphrase James Carville, “it’s the virus.” Still, sound estimates place in the tens of thousands those whose lives our national inaction has sacrificed.


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We and many other mental health professionals and behavioral scientists have written much about the personality and resulting dangerousness of President Trump’s behavior. Pollsters have observed that even among those who support and intend to vote for Trump, many see his personality and character as substantially flawed.

His denial, false reassurances, incompetence, and hucksterism instead of sober attention to the profound challenges facing us have led to a fifth of the world’s COVID-19 deaths with just 1/24th of the world’s population and, as noted above, an enormous number of avoidable deaths. Indeed, denial and suppression of facts from the president and his team, including those providing his care, now exacerbate the political, governance and security impacts of his illness.

With the president’s illness, the cruel bite of the pandemic has turned on one who thought he might ignore it. Many have noted that pandemics respect no individual or group, including leaders in the UK and Brazil before President Trump. So it has now engulfed one who thought it might just go away, “like a miracle.”

But this too is an expression of the president’s dangerousness. The scorn for protections, wearing masks and distancing, manifest in the willful convening of enormous, maskless and crowded rallies or the mocking of former Vice President Biden for wearing a mask, have had their impacts.

Polls show a close relationship between the approval of President Trump’s handling of the pandemic and individuals declining to wear masks and saying they would refuse a vaccine. In addition to those who may have been directly affected by spreader events, these all have contributed to the huge number of cases and proliferation of virus that increase opportunities for infection in all our lives, and the willful dismissal of precautions in his coterie that likely led to his own.

The cruel indifference to others, noted in countless examples over the past four years, was manifest in maskless mingling with donors in Bedminster, Thursday, even after the clear indication of the need to avoid contacts conveyed by Hope Hicks’ positive test. Persistent questions about the timeline of his exposure, knowledge that he had been exposed, positive test, and the emergence of symptoms raise even the possibility of malfeasance in his possible exposure of former Vice President Biden on Tuesday night’s debate. The ability to deny or purposely distort reality – from inaugural crowds to “it will just go away” to current obfuscation of his clinical status