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The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • Jan 21, 2013 (Issue 1408)
Colonoscopy remains the preferred method of colorectal cancer screening. Many patients consider cleansing the bowel in preparation for colonoscopy the most unpleasant part of the procedure, but inadequate bowel preparation significantly lowers the diagnostic yield.
Treatment Guidelines from The Medical Letter • Dec 01, 2012 (Issue 124)
Use of screening tests to identify cancers before they cause symptoms can lead to earlier therapy and may improve outcomes. Screening tests for some common cancers are reviewed below.
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • Sep 05, 2011 (Issue 1372)
In the absence of randomized studies demonstrating an impact on mortality, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has found the evidence insufficient to recommend a routine whole-body examination for melanoma and other skin cancers.
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • Feb 23, 2009 (Issue 1306)
The incidence of oral cancer appears to be increasing, especially in younger patients. Risk factors include use of tobacco and alcohol, and exposure to human papillomavirus. ViziLite Plus (Zila Pharmaceuticals) is a combination device that uses fluorescent light and toluidine blue tissue staining to help dentists identify abnormal changes in the mucous membranes of the oral cavity. Originally developed for detecting abnormal growths on the uterine cervix, in 2001 it received FDA clearance for "identification, evaluation, and monitoring of oral mucosal abnormalities in a patient population at...
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • Nov 03, 2008 (Issue 1298)
The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has recently concluded that available evidence is insufficient to assess the balance between potential benefits and harms of using the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) to screen men < 75 years old for prostate cancer and has recommended against screening men > 75 years old.
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • Nov 19, 2007 (Issue 1274)
Direct-to-consumer advertisements are urging women to be tested for mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which are the most common known causes of an inherited predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer. Clinically important BRCA mutations have been found in about 2% of Ashkenazi Jewish women, and are estimated to occur in about 1 in 300 to 500 women in the general non-Jewish US population. The prevalence appears to be lower in non-whites.
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • Jul 02, 2007 (Issue 1264)
Recent publicity about symptoms of ovarian cancer will prompt many questions from patients about testing for the disease. Early-stage epithelial ovarian cancer is potentially curable, with survival rates of 90-95%, but about 75% of women have advanced or metastatic disease at diagnosis. Between physical examination and exploratory surgery, 2 tests are commonly used.1Transvaginal ultrasound (TVUS) images the ovaries better than transabdominal ultrasound. In a study in which 25,327 asymptomatic women were screened with TVUS annually from 1987 to 2005, 364 patients had exploratory surgery, and...
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • Jun 04, 2007 (Issue 1262)
MoviPrep (Salix) is a new polyethylene glycol (PEG)-based bowel cleansing preparation approved for use in adults prior to colonoscopy. It contains ascorbic acid, which acts as an additional cathartic and flavoring agent, and requires a lower volume of fluid (3 L compared to the traditional 4 L) than most other PEG products. HalfLytely is an FDA-approved 2-L PEG product, but it must be taken with bisacodyl.
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • May 22, 2006 (Issue 1235)
Last year, a Medical Letter article reviewing colonoscopy preparations warned that oral sodium phosphate preparations, such as Fleet Phospho-Soda solution and Visicol tablets, could cause significant electrolyte disturbances and, rarely, renal failure (Med Lett Drugs Ther 2005; 47:53). A subsequent report documented acute phosphate nephropathy and renal failure in 21 patients who had used sodium phosphate before colonoscopy (GS Markowitz et al. J Am Soc Nephrol 2005; 16:3389). Seventeen of these patients were women and 14 were taking an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor or...
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • Feb 14, 2005 (Issue 1202)
Currently available techniques for colorectal cancer screening include fecal occult-blood testing, flexible sigmoidoscopy, double contrast barium enema (DCBE) and traditional optical colonoscopy. Optical colonoscopy requires bowel cleansing and sedation, and involves some risk, but is generally accepted as the best available method for detection of lesions and offers the advantage that polyps can be removed when they are identified. A less invasive screening tool, computed tomography (CT) colonography, also known as virtual colonoscopy (VC), offers an additional option.