August 2007 MedBytes: Cancer

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Cancer has touched the lives of many Texans, and the 80th Texas Legislature made prevention and research of this devastating disease a priority with the passage of House Bill 14. Physicians can stay up to date on the latest developments in cancer research and guidelines for cancer screenings with the aid of online resources.

Texas Medical Association
In 1987, the Texas Medical Association,  www.texmed.org, established the Physician Oncology Education Program (POEP) with a grant from the Texas Cancer Council,  www.tcc.state.tx.us. With a mission to provide existing and future physicians with the knowledge and training necessary to reduce cancer morbidity and mortality, TMA offers the latest cancer news and alerts, continuing medical education modules and online courses, information on various forms of cancer as well as risk factors that contribute to cancer, and links to clinical tools, medical student scholarships, and the POEP Speakers' Bureau. To access the POEP page, click on Public Health and Science from the menu, select Education and Quality Projects, and click on Physician Oncology Education Program.

American Association for Cancer Research
Throughout its 100-year history, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) has focused on fostering an exchange of knowledge among researchers, offering training opportunities to the next generation of cancer researchers, and increasing the public's understanding of cancer. At  www.aacr.org, cancer researchers have access to the latest news in cancer research, links to AACR journals, and information about the annual meeting, conferences, awards, and membership. Click on the Scientists tab at the top of the page to be directed to travel grants and research funding, working groups and task forces, international initiatives, and more. Check out the site's interactive component by clicking on Virtual Conferences. Select a topic, and you can view an online slideshow of a past AACR meeting presentation and listen to speaker audio commentary. Give the presentation a few minutes to load, and click the Next button to scroll through each slideshow.

American Cancer Society
The Web site of the American Cancer Society, located at  www.cancer.org, is a navigable, one-stop resource for physicians and clinicians seeking the latest news on cancer research and studies, as well as screening guidelines and information on programs and statistics. From the home page, select the Professionals link on the left side of the screen. The Professionals segment of the site lets you explore cancer reference information on early detection, prevention, treatment, staging, clinical trials, and new research advances. Or you can choose a cancer topic for more specific information. The Research Program and Funding link directs you to cancer prevention studies, national and international research projects, and funding opportunities. The American Cancer Society Web site also is a helpful source of information on support services and healthy living guidelines for cancer patients and survivors.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Division of Cancer Prevention and Control of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site,  www.cdc.gov/cancer, is brimming with resources on preventive cancer screening, cancer control and detection programs, and data on cancer rates by state. The site can be daunting with so many topics to choose. A good starting point is the Resource Library, where you can download publications online or order printed versions. Here you'll also have access to scientific articles and a cancer legislation database. Next, click on the Preventive Cancer Screening and Vaccination link for guidelines related to various forms of cancer. Under the Featured Items heading, you can connect to a cervical cancer podcast created by the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. 

M.D.   Anderson   Cancer   Center
In its quest of "Making Cancer History," the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center,  www.mdanderson.org, designates a portion of its Web site for cancer professionals. The Clinical & Scientific Resources page contains practice guidelines, clinical trials at M.D. Anderson, a research report, and a link to the Research Medical Library. The Patient Referral page has information for physicians who wish to refer patients, as well as second-opinion pathology services. The Professional Education page features quick links to medical education, research training, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the School of Health Sciences, Complementary and Integrative Medicine Education Resources, and professional education calendars.

MedBytes is a quick look at new, or newly discovered, Web sites of interest to Texas physicians. The column also highlights features of the TMA Web site. If you know of some interesting medical sites or have questions about how to use the TMA Web site, email Crystal Conde . Publication of information about Web sites in this column is not to be considered an endorsement or approval by the Texas Medical Association of the sites or sponsors, or of any products or services involved.  

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