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Journal: CA: a cancer journal for clinicians


Answer questions and earn CME/CNE The revision of the eighth edition of the primary tumor, lymph node, and metastasis (TNM) classification of the American Joint Commission of Cancer (AJCC) for breast cancer was determined by a multidisciplinary team of breast cancer experts. The panel recognized the need to incorporate biologic factors, such as tumor grade, proliferation rate, estrogen and progesterone receptor expression, human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER2) expression, and gene expression prognostic panels into the staging system. AJCC levels of evidence and guidelines for all tumor types were followed as much as possible. The panel felt that, to maintain worldwide value, the tumor staging system should remain based on TNM anatomic factors. However, the recognition of the prognostic influence of grade, hormone receptor expression, and HER2 amplification mandated their inclusion into the staging system. The value of commercially available, gene-based assays was acknowledged and prognostic input added. Tumor biomarkers and low Oncotype DX recurrence scores can alter prognosis and stage. These updates are expected to provide additional precision and flexibility to the staging system and were based on the extent of published information and analysis of large, as yet unpublished databases. The eighth edition of the AJCC TNM staging system, thus, provides a flexible platform for prognostic classification based on traditional anatomic factors, which can be modified and enhanced using patient biomarkers and multifactorial prognostic panel data. The eighth edition remains the worldwide basis for breast cancer staging and will incorporate future online updates to remain timely and relevant. CA Cancer J Clin 2017. © 2017 American Cancer Society.

Concepts: Cancer, Breast cancer, Carcinoma in situ, Lung cancer, Cancer staging, Lymph node, TNM staging system, Ann Arbor staging


In this article, the American Cancer Society provides an overview of female breast cancer statistics in the United States, including data on incidence, mortality, survival, and screening. Approximately 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 40,610 breast cancer deaths are expected to occur among US women in 2017. From 2005 to 2014, overall breast cancer incidence rates increased among Asian/Pacific Islander (1.7% per year), non-Hispanic black (NHB) (0.4% per year), and Hispanic (0.3% per year) women but were stable in non-Hispanic white (NHW) and American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) women. The increasing trends were driven by increases in hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, which increased among all racial/ethnic groups, whereas rates of hormone receptor-negative breast cancers decreased. From 1989 to 2015, breast cancer death rates decreased by 39%, which translates to 322,600 averted breast cancer deaths in the United States. During 2006 to 2015, death rates decreased in all racial/ethnic groups, including AI/ANs. However, NHB women continued to have higher breast cancer death rates than NHW women, with rates 39% higher (mortality rate ratio [MRR], 1.39; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.35-1.43) in NHB women in 2015, although the disparity has ceased to widen since 2011. By state, excess death rates in black women ranged from 20% in Nevada (MRR, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.01-1.42) to 66% in Louisiana (MRR, 1.66; 95% CI, 1.54, 1.79). Notably, breast cancer death rates were not significantly different in NHB and NHW women in 7 states, perhaps reflecting an elimination of disparities and/or a lack of statistical power. Improving access to care for all populations could eliminate the racial disparity in breast cancer mortality and accelerate the reduction in deaths from this malignancy nationwide. CA Cancer J Clin 2017. © 2017 American Cancer Society.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Cancer, Breast cancer, Death, Medical statistics, Demography, United States, American Cancer Society


Liver cancer is highly fatal, and death rates in the United States are increasing faster than for any other cancer, having doubled since the mid-1980s. In 2017, it is estimated that the disease will account for about 41,000 new cancer cases and 29,000 cancer deaths in the United States. In this article, data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program and the National Center for Health Statistics are used to provide an overview of liver cancer incidence, mortality, and survival rates and trends, including data by race/ethnicity and state. The prevalence of major risk factors for liver cancer is also reported based on national survey data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Despite the improvement in liver cancer survival in recent decades, only 1 in 5 patients survives 5 years after diagnosis. There is substantial disparity in liver cancer death rates by race/ethnicity (from 5.5 per 100,000 in non-Hispanic whites to 11.9 per 100,000 in American Indians/Alaska Natives) and state (from 3.8 per 100,000 in North Dakota to 9.6 per 100,000 in the District of Columbia) and by race/ethnicity within states. Differences in risk factor prevalence account for much of the observed variation in liver cancer rates. Thus, in contrast to the growing burden, a substantial proportion of liver cancer deaths could be averted, and existing disparities could be dramatically reduced, through the targeted application of existing knowledge in prevention, early detection, and treatment, including improvements in vaccination against hepatitis B virus, screening and treatment for chronic hepatitis C virus infections, maintaining a healthy body weight, access to high-quality diabetes care, preventing excessive alcohol drinking, and tobacco control, at both the state and national levels. CA Cancer J Clin 2017. © 2017 American Cancer Society.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Cancer, United States, Cirrhosis, Hepatitis, Hepatocellular carcinoma, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B


Contemporary information on the fraction of cancers that potentially could be prevented is useful for priority setting in cancer prevention and control. Herein, the authors estimate the proportion and number of invasive cancer cases and deaths, overall (excluding nonmelanoma skin cancers) and for 26 cancer types, in adults aged 30 years and older in the United States in 2014, that were attributable to major, potentially modifiable exposures (cigarette smoking; secondhand smoke; excess body weight; alcohol intake; consumption of red and processed meat; low consumption of fruits/vegetables, dietary fiber, and dietary calcium; physical inactivity; ultraviolet radiation; and 6 cancer-associated infections). The numbers of cancer cases were obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Cancer Institute; the numbers of deaths were obtained from the CDC; risk factor prevalence estimates were obtained from nationally representative surveys; and associated relative risks of cancer were obtained from published, large-scale pooled analyses or meta-analyses. In the United States in 2014, an estimated 42.0% of all incident cancers (659,640 of 1570,975 cancers, excluding nonmelanoma skin cancers) and 45.1% of cancer deaths (265,150 of 587,521 deaths) were attributable to evaluated risk factors. Cigarette smoking accounted for the highest proportion of cancer cases (19.0%; 298,970 cases) and deaths (28.8%; 169,180 deaths), followed by excess body weight (7.8% and 6.5%, respectively) and alcohol intake (5.6% and 4.0%, respectively). Lung cancer had the highest number of cancers (184,970 cases) and deaths (132,960 deaths) attributable to evaluated risk factors, followed by colorectal cancer (76,910 cases and 28,290 deaths). These results, however, may underestimate the overall proportion of cancers attributable to modifiable factors, because the impact of all established risk factors could not be quantified, and many likely modifiable risk factors are not yet firmly established as causal. Nevertheless, these findings underscore the vast potential for reducing cancer morbidity and mortality through broad and equitable implementation of known preventive measures. CA Cancer J Clin 2017. © 2017 American Cancer Society.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Cancer, Lung cancer, The Canon of Medicine, Obesity, Tobacco, Tobacco smoking, American Cancer Society


In this article, the American Cancer Society provides an overview of female breast cancer statistics in the United States, including data on incidence, mortality, survival, and screening. Approximately 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 40,290 breast cancer deaths are expected to occur among US women in 2015. Breast cancer incidence rates increased among non-Hispanic black (black) and Asian/Pacific Islander women and were stable among non-Hispanic white (white), Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaska Native women from 2008 to 2012. Although white women have historically had higher incidence rates than black women, in 2012, the rates converged. Notably, during 2008 through 2012, incidence rates were significantly higher in black women compared with white women in 7 states, primarily located in the South. From 1989 to 2012, breast cancer death rates decreased by 36%, which translates to 249,000 breast cancer deaths averted in the United States over this period. This decrease in death rates was evident in all racial/ethnic groups except American Indians/Alaska Natives. However, the mortality disparity between black and white women nationwide has continued to widen; and, by 2012, death rates were 42% higher in black women than in white women. During 2003 through 2012, breast cancer death rates declined for white women in all 50 states; but, for black women, declines occurred in 27 of 30 states that had sufficient data to analyze trends. In 3 states (Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin), breast cancer death rates in black women were stable during 2003 through 2012. Widening racial disparities in breast cancer mortality are likely to continue, at least in the short term, in view of the increasing trends in breast cancer incidence rates in black women. CA Cancer J Clin 2015. © 2015 American Cancer Society.

Concepts: Cancer, Breast cancer, United States, Race, White American, White people, Hispanic and Latino Americans, Puerto Rico


Each year, the American Cancer Society publishes a summary of its guidelines for early cancer detection, data and trends in cancer screening rates from the National Health Interview Survey, and select issues related to cancer screening. In this 2018 update, we also summarize the new American Cancer Society colorectal cancer screening guideline and include a clarification in the language of the 2013 lung cancer screening guideline. CA Cancer J Clin 2018. © 2018 American Cancer Society.


This article is the American Cancer Society’s biennial update on female breast cancer statistics in the United States, including data on incidence, mortality, survival, and screening. Over the most recent 5-year period (2012-2016), the breast cancer incidence rate increased slightly by 0.3% per year, largely because of rising rates of local stage and hormone receptor-positive disease. In contrast, the breast cancer death rate continues to decline, dropping 40% from 1989 to 2017 and translating to 375,900 breast cancer deaths averted. Notably, the pace of the decline has slowed from an annual decrease of 1.9% during 1998 through 2011 to 1.3% during 2011 through 2017, largely driven by the trend in white women. Consequently, the black-white disparity in breast cancer mortality has remained stable since 2011 after widening over the past 3 decades. Nevertheless, the death rate remains 40% higher in blacks (28.4 vs 20.3 deaths per 100,000) despite a lower incidence rate (126.7 vs 130.8); this disparity is magnified among black women aged <50 years, who have a death rate double that of whites. In the most recent 5-year period (2013-2017), the death rate declined in Hispanics (2.1% per year), blacks (1.5%), whites (1.0%), and Asians/Pacific Islanders (0.8%) but was stable in American Indians/Alaska Natives. However, by state, breast cancer mortality rates are no longer declining in Nebraska overall; in Colorado and Wisconsin in black women; and in Nebraska, Texas, and Virginia in white women. Breast cancer was the leading cause of cancer death in women (surpassing lung cancer) in four Southern and two Midwestern states among blacks and in Utah among whites during 2016-2017. Declines in breast cancer mortality could be accelerated by expanding access to high-quality prevention, early detection, and treatment services to all women.


The American Cancer Society (ACS) publishes the Diet and Physical Activity Guideline to serve as a foundation for its communication, policy, and community strategies and, ultimately, to affect dietary and physical activity patterns among Americans. This guideline is developed by a national panel of experts in cancer research, prevention, epidemiology, public health, and policy, and they reflect the most current scientific evidence related to dietary and activity patterns and cancer risk. The ACS guideline focus on recommendations for individual choices regarding diet and physical activity patterns, but those choices occur within a community context that either facilitates or creates barriers to healthy behaviors. Therefore, this committee presents recommendations for community action to accompany the 4 recommendations for individual choices to reduce cancer risk. These recommendations for community action recognize that a supportive social and physical environment is indispensable if individuals at all levels of society are to have genuine opportunities to choose healthy behaviors. This 2020 ACS guideline is consistent with guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association for the prevention of coronary heart disease and diabetes as well as for general health promotion, as defined by the 2015 to 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.


Brachytherapy is a specific form of radiotherapy consisting of the precise placement of radioactive sources directly into or next to the tumor. This technique is indicated for patients affected by various types of cancers. It is an optimal tool for delivering very high doses to the tumor focally while minimizing the probability of normal tissue complications. Physicians from a wide range of specialties may be involved in either the referral to or the placement of brachytherapy. Many patients require brachytherapy as either primary treatment or as part of their oncologic care. On the basis of high-level evidence from randomized controlled trials, brachytherapy is mainly indicated: 1) as standard in combination with chemoradiation in patients with locally advanced cervical cancer; 2) in surgically treated patients with uterine endometrial cancer for decreasing the risk of vaginal vault recurrence; 3) in patients with high-risk prostate cancer to perform dose escalation and improve progression-free survival; and 4) in patients with breast cancer as adjuvant, accelerated partial breast irradiation or to boost the tumor bed. In this review, the authors discuss the clinical relevance of brachytherapy with a focus on indications, levels of evidence, and results in the overall context of radiation use for patients with cancer.


The prevalence of excess body weight and the associated cancer burden have been rising over the past several decades globally. Between 1975 and 2016, the prevalence of excess body weight in adults-defined as a body mass index (BMI) ≥ 25 kg/m2 -increased from nearly 21% in men and 24% in women to approximately 40% in both sexes. Notably, the prevalence of obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 ) quadrupled in men, from 3% to 12%, and more than doubled in women, from 7% to 16%. This change, combined with population growth, resulted in a more than 6-fold increase in the number of obese adults, from 100 to 671 million. The largest absolute increase in obesity occurred among men and boys in high-income Western countries and among women and girls in Central Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. The simultaneous rise in excess body weight in almost all countries is thought to be driven largely by changes in the global food system, which promotes energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods, alongside reduced opportunities for physical activity. In 2012, excess body weight accounted for approximately 3.9% of all cancers (544,300 cases) with proportion varying from less than 1% in low-income countries to 7% or 8% in some high-income Western countries and in Middle Eastern and Northern African countries. The attributable burden by sex was higher for women (368,500 cases) than for men (175,800 cases). Given the pandemic proportion of excess body weight in high-income countries and the increasing prevalence in low- and middle-income countries, the global cancer burden attributable to this condition is likely to increase in the future. There is emerging consensus on opportunities for obesity control through the multisectoral coordinated implementation of core policy actions to promote an environment conducive to a healthy diet and active living. The rapid increase in both the prevalence of excess body weight and the associated cancer burden highlights the need for a rejuvenated focus on identifying, implementing, and evaluating interventions to prevent and control excess body weight.