Public Health News Roundup: October 2
Digital Screenings Most Effective at Detecting Breast Cancer
A new study in the journal Radiology shows digital mammography to be more effective than film mammography at early detection of breast cancer. Researchers analyzed 1.2 million screening mammograms—13 percent of which were digital—and found high-grade ductal carcinoma in situ at a greater rate in the digital screenings. Debra Monticciolo, MD, professor of radiology at Texas A&M College of Medicine and section chief of breast imaging, said the study confirms the effectiveness of digital imaging supported in earlier studies. Read more on cancer.
Reading Doctors Notes Empowers Patients, Improves Treatment
A new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine shows that patients who read their doctors’ notes feel more empowered in their treatments—and are therefore more compliant with their treatments. Approximately 14,000 patients had access to the notes of 105 physicians under the year-long OpenNotes program. “Although a limited geographic area was represented, the positive feedback and clinically relevant benefits demonstrate the potential for a widespread adoption of OpenNotes. Moreover, it is a powerful tool in helping improve the lives of patients,” according to release from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. OpenNotes is an RWJF program. Read more on access to health care.
Study: HPV4 Vaccine Safe, Only Minor Side Effects
The quadrivalent (HPV4) vaccine is safe for girls and young women, according to a study in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. Researchers looked at an array of potential side effects for the vaccine, also known as Gardasil, finding skin infections and fainting were the most common side effects. The drug is given to girls ages 9 and older to guard against cervical and other cancers. Read more on vaccines.