(1/1475) Merkel cell carcinoma and melanoma: etiological similarities and differences.

Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) of the skin and cutaneous malignant melanoma can now be compared epidemiologically through the use of population-based data not previously available for MCC. The results may provide new clues to etiology. In this study, United States data covered by the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program were from nine areas of the United States (approximately 10% of the population). In 1986-1994, 425 cases of MCC were registered. The annual age-adjusted incidence per 100,000 of MCC was 0.23 for whites and 0.01 for blacks; among whites, the ratio of melanoma to MCC was approximately 65 to 1. Only 5% of MCC occurred before age 50, unlike the lifelong risk of nodular and superficial spreading melanoma. Regional incidence rates of both cancers increased similarly with increasing sun exposure as measured by the UVB solar index. The most sun-exposed anatomical site, the face, was the location of 36% of MCC but only 14% of melanoma. Both cancers increased in frequency and aggressiveness after immunosuppression and organ transplantation (36 cases from the Cincinnati Transplant Tumor registry and 12 from published case reports) and after B-cell neoplasia (5 cases in this study; 13 from case series in the literature). The SEER data contained reports of six patients with both types of cancer; 5 melanomas before the diagnosis of MCC and 1 after diagnosis. MCC and melanoma are similarly related to sun exposure and immunosuppression, but they differ markedly from one another in their distributions by age, race, and anatomical site, especially the face.  (+info)

(2/1475) Rising incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma in the United States.

BACKGROUND AND METHODS: Clinical observations have suggested that the number of cases of hepatocellular carcinoma has increased in the United States. We analyzed data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) data base to determine the age-adjusted incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma from 1976 to 1995, data from the U.S. vital-statistics data base to determine age-adjusted mortality rates from 1981 to 1995, and data from the Department of Veterans Affairs to determine age-adjusted rates of hospitalization for the disease from 1983 to 1997. RESULTS: The incidence of histologically proved hepatocellular carcinoma increased from 1.4 per 100,000 population (95 percent confidence interval, 1.3 to 1.4) for the period from 1976 to 1980 to 2.4 per 100,000 (95 percent confidence interval, 2.3 to 2.4) for the period from 1991 to 1995. Among black men, the incidence was 6.1 per 100,000 for the period from 1991 to 1995, and among white men, it was 2.8 per 100,000. There was a 41 percent increase in the mortality rate from primary liver cancer and a 46 percent increase in the proportion of hospitalizations attributable to this disease during the periods studied. The incidence increased significantly among younger persons (40 to 60 years old) during the period from 1991 to 1995 as compared with earlier periods. CONCLUSIONS: An increase in the number of cases of hepatocellular carcinoma has occurred in the United States over the past two decades. The age-specific incidence of this cancer has progressively shifted toward younger people.  (+info)

(3/1475) Primary mediastinal malignancies: findings in 219 patients.

The purpose of this study was to determine the demographics, histology, methods of treatment, and survival in primary mediastinal malignancies. We did a retrospective review of the statewide New Mexico Tumor Registry for all malignant tumors treated between January 1, 1973 and December 31, 1995. Benign tumors and cysts of the mediastinum were excluded. Two hundred nineteen patients were identified from a total of 110,284 patients with primary malignancies: 55% of tumors were lymphomas, 16% malignant germ cell tumors, 14% malignant thymomas, 5% sarcomas, 3% malignant neurogenic tumors, and 7% other tumors. There were significant differences in gender between histologies (P < 0.001). Ninety-four percent of germ cell tumors occurred in males, 66% of neurogenic tumors were in females; other tumors occurred in males in 58% of cases. There were also significant differences in ages by histology (P < 0.001). Neurogenic tumors were most common in the first decade, lymphomas and germ cell tumors in the second to fourth decades, and lymphomas and thymomas in patients in their fifth decades and beyond. Stage at presentation (P = 0.001) and treatment (P < 0.001) also differed significantly between histologic groups. Five-year survival was 54% for lymphomas, 51% for malignant germ cell tumors, 49% for malignant thymomas, 33% for sarcomas, 56% for neurogenic tumors, and 51% overall. These survival rates were not statistically different (P > 0.50). Lymphomas, malignant germ cell tumors, and thymomas were the most frequently encountered malignant primary mediastinal neoplasms in this contemporary series of patients. Demographics, stage at presentation, and treatment modality varied significantly by histology. Despite these differences, overall five-year survival was not statistically different.  (+info)

(4/1475) Annual report to the nation on the status of cancer, 1973-1996, with a special section on lung cancer and tobacco smoking.

BACKGROUND: The American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), provide the second annual report to the nation on progress in cancer prevention and control, with a special section on lung cancer and tobacco smoking. METHODS: Age-adjusted rates (using the 1970 U.S. standard population) were based on cancer incidence data from NCI and underlying cause of death data compiled by NCHS. The prevalence of tobacco use was derived from CDC surveys. Reported P values are two-sided. RESULTS: From 1990 through 1996, cancer incidence (-0.9% per year; P = .16) and cancer death (-0.6% per year; P = .001) rates for all sites combined decreased. Among the 10 leading cancer incidence sites, statistically significant decreases in incidence rates were seen in males for leukemia and cancers of the lung, colon/rectum, urinary bladder, and oral cavity and pharynx. Except for lung cancer, incidence rates for these cancers also declined in females. Among the 10 leading cancer mortality sites, statistically significant decreases in cancer death rates were seen for cancers of the male lung, female breast, the prostate, male pancreas, and male brain and, for both sexes, cancers of the colon/rectum and stomach. Age-specific analyses of lung cancer revealed that rates in males first declined at younger ages and then for each older age group successively over time; rates in females appeared to be in the early stages of following the same pattern, with rates decreasing for women aged 40-59 years. CONCLUSIONS: The declines in cancer incidence and death rates, particularly for lung cancer, are encouraging. However, unless recent upward trends in smoking among adolescents can be reversed, the lung cancer rates that are currently declining in the United States may rise again.  (+info)

(5/1475) Cancer surveillance series: interpreting trends in prostate cancer--part I: Evidence of the effects of screening in recent prostate cancer incidence, mortality, and survival rates.

BACKGROUND: The prostate-specific antigen test was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1986 to monitor the disease status in patients with prostate cancer and, in 1994, to aid in prostate cancer detection. However, after 1986, the test was performed on many men who had not been previously diagnosed with prostate cancer, apparently resulting in the diagnosis of a substantial number of early tumors. Our purpose is to provide insight into the effect of screening on prostate cancer rates. Detailed data are presented for whites because the size of the population allows for calculating statistically reliable rates; however, similar overall trends are seen for African-Americans and other races. METHODS: Prostate cancer incidence data from the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program and mortality data from the National Center for Health Statistics were analyzed. RESULTS/CONCLUSIONS: The following findings are consistent with a screening effect: 1) the recent decrease since 1991 in the incidence of distant stage disease, after not having been perturbed by screening; 2) the decline in the incidence of earlier stage disease beginning the following year (i.e., 1992); 3) the recent increases and decreases in prostate cancer incidence and mortality by age that appear to indicate a calendar period effect; and 4) trends in the incidence of distant stage disease by tumor grade and trends in the survival of patients with distant stage disease by calendar year that provide suggestive evidence of the tendency of screening to detect slower growing tumors. IMPLICATIONS: The decline in the incidence of distant stage disease holds the promise that testing for prostate-specific antigen may lead to a sustained decline in prostate cancer mortality. However, population data are complex, and it is difficult to confidently attribute relatively small changes in mortality to any one cause.  (+info)

(6/1475) Cancer surveillance series: interpreting trends in prostate cancer--part II: Cause of death misclassification and the recent rise and fall in prostate cancer mortality.

BACKGROUND: The rise and fall of prostate cancer mortality correspond closely to the rise and fall of newly diagnosed cases. To understand this phenomenon, we explored the role that screening, treatment, iatrogenic (i.e., treatment-induced) deaths, and attribution bias (incorrect labeling of death from other causes as death from prostate cancer) have played in recent mortality trends. METHODS: Join point regression is utilized to assess the recent rise and fall in mortality and the relationship of total U.S. trends to those areas served by the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Cancer Registry Program. Incidence-based mortality (IBM) is estimated with the use of prostate cancer data from the SEER Program to partition (from overall prostate cancer mortality trends) the contribution of cases diagnosed since the widespread use of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing starting in 1987. IBM is also used to examine the contribution of stage at diagnosis to the recent prostate cancer mortality trends. RESULTS: IBM for cases diagnosed since 1987 rose above the pre-1987 secular (i.e., background) trend, peaked in the early 1990s, and almost returned to the secular trend by 1994. This rise and fall of IBM track with the pool of prevalent cases diagnosed within the prior 2 years. IBM for cases diagnosed with metastatic disease fell starting in 1991, while IBM for those diagnosed with localized/regional disease was relatively flat. CONCLUSIONS: The rise and fall in prostate cancer mortality observed since the introduction of PSA testing in the general population are consistent with a hypothesis that a fixed percent of the rising and falling pool of recently diagnosed patients who die of other causes may be mislabeled as dying of prostate cancer. The decline in IBM for distant stage disease and flat IBM trends for localized/regional disease provide some evidence of improved prognosis for screen-detected cases, although alternative interpretations are possible.  (+info)

(7/1475) Cancer surveillance series: recent trends in childhood cancer incidence and mortality in the United States.

BACKGROUND: Public concern about possible increases in childhood cancer incidence in the United States led us to examine recent incidence and mortality patterns. METHODS: Cancers diagnosed in 14540 children under age 15 years from 1975 through 1995 and reported to nine population-based registries in the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program were investigated. Age-adjusted incidence was analyzed according to anatomic site and histologic categories of the International Classification of Childhood Cancer. Age-adjusted U.S. mortality rates were calculated. Trends in rates were evaluated by use of standard regression methods. RESULTS: A modest rise in the incidence of leukemia, the most common childhood cancer, was largely due to an abrupt increase from 1983 to 1984; rates have decreased slightly since 1989. For brain and other central nervous system (CNS) cancers, incidence rose modestly, although statistically significantly (two-sided P = .020), largely from 1983 through 1986. A few rare childhood cancers demonstrated upward trends (e.g., the 40% of skin cancers designated as dermatofibrosarcomas, adrenal neuroblastomas, and retinoblastomas, the latter two in infants only). In contrast, incidence decreased modestly but statistically significantly for Hodgkin's disease (two-sided P = .037). Mortality rates declined steadily for all major childhood cancer categories, although less rapidly for brain/CNS cancers. CONCLUSIONS: There was no substantial change in incidence for the major pediatric cancers, and rates have remained relatively stable since the mid-1980s. The modest increases that were observed for brain/CNS cancers, leukemia, and infant neuroblastoma were confined to the mid-1980s. The patterns suggest that the increases likely reflected diagnostic improvements or reporting changes. Dramatic declines in childhood cancer mortality represent treatment-related improvements in survival.  (+info)

(8/1475) Glutathione S-transferase M1 and susceptibility to nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

Genetic polymorphisms for enzymes that metabolize tobacco smoke have been reported to determine susceptibility to several smoking-related cancers, including cancers of the lung, bladder, and head and neck. Glutathione S-transferase M1 (GSTM1) detoxifies benzo(a)pyrene and other carcinogens in tobacco smoke. Approximately 50% of Caucasians lack the GSTM1 gene. Because the most common type of nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC), squamous cell carcinoma, is related to smoking, we sought to determine whether GSTM1 is associated with risk for NPC. Cases (n = 83) were from a population-based study conducted from 1987 to 1993 at five cancer registries in the United States. Random-digit dialing controls (n = 114) were matched to the cases for age, sex, and registry. Subjects participated in a phone interview and blood draw. Absence of GSTM1 was associated with increased risk for NPC (odds ratio = 1.9, 95% confidence interval = 1.0-3.3 for all cases; and odds ratio = 1.7, 95% confidence interval = 0.8-3.5 for squamous cell cases). This relationship was not modified by smoking history, but stronger relationships between glutathione S-transferase and NPC were suggested among subjects who used alcohol more frequently than others, older subjects (50 or more years of age), and women relative to men. These data indicate that absence of GSTM1 moderately increases risk for NPC and add to growing evidence that GSTM1 is a determinant of risk for several smoking-related cancers.  (+info)