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Top 10 cancer news stories of 2017

ACS staff who write for work hard every day to bring the public the latest news and information about cancer topics. They monitor scientific journal articles, government health and cancer reports, and studies from our own American Cancer Society researchers to deliver the news people need about ways to lower their risk from cancer, and ways to cope with the disease.

These writers and editors have chosen the 10 most significant stories that made headlines on this year. They are:

Just a little bit of walking may help you live longer
Even a little bit of exercise can go a long way toward improving your health. A study led by American Cancer Society researchers found that older people benefitted from walking at an average pace, even if they walked for less than two hours a week. Read more.

U.S. tobacco companies forced to tell the truth about cigarettes
Major U.S. tobacco companies – the makers of most cigarettes sold in the U.S. – have begun running court-ordered ads that admit they purposefully designed their products to be addictive, even though they knew their health effects were deadly. Read more.

Birth control pills are still linked to cancer risk
Newer forms of birth control contain less hormone drugs than older forms, and it was hoped they’d also cause less of an increase in breast cancer risk. But a study in the New England Journal of Medicine shows the risk is still about the same. Even so, our expert says this is not cause for alarm. Read more.

Rates of colon and rectal cancer are increasing among young adults
The rate at which new colon and rectal cancer cases are diagnosed is dropping among older adults, but increasing among younger adults – those under age 50. We explore the reasons behind the increase, and what can be done about it. Read more.

Few people are getting recommended screening for lung cancer
Lung cancer screening could save thousands of lives each year, if everyone eligible got the tests. But American Cancer Society researchers have found that very few people actually do. Lung cancer screening is recommended for people at high risk – mostly current and former smokers. Read more.

Younger kids can get 2 HPV vaccination shots instead of three
The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine series is safe and effective, and it can prevent several types of cancer. Now boys and girls who get the vaccine between ages 9 and 14 can get two doses instead of three, making it that much easier. The recommended age to start the HPV vaccine is 11 or 12 to get the best protection. Read more.

Observation may be a good choice for prostate cancer treatment
A study led by the Minneapolis VA Health Care System shows men who have surgery for early-stage prostate cancer live no longer than those who choose observation, which means watching the cancer carefully over time to make sure it’s not getting worse. What’s more, surgery often left men with side effects that needed treatment. Read more.

Many women missing out on genetic counseling for breast cancer treatment decisions
Genetic testing can give women with breast cancer crucial information in deciding what type of surgery or other treatment to get. But a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that only about half of women who could benefit from genetic testing are receiving it. Read more.

Costs continue to increase for cancer drugs in the U.S.
Cancer treatment is expensive – so expensive that people sometimes go without filling prescriptions, just to save money. A study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology looked at the costs of cancer drugs over time and found steep increases, even when generic versions went on the market. Read more.

Work life has its challenges for cancer survivors
Working as a cancer survivor is a desire for some and a necessity for others. Some people feel well enough to work during treatment, while others may need a little time off – or a lot. We offer tips on ways to avoid pitfalls and make the transition easier. Read more.

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