A Late Happy New Year! May Smoking Cessation be your Resolution

HomeNewsA Late Happy New Year! May Smoking Cessation be your Resolution

February 15, 2012   I am physician and much of what we do is smoking related disease.  Treatment of emphysema and the diagnosis of lung cancer is a regular occurrence. In the 10 days before New Year’s Day I diagnosed lung cancer three separate times—all were incurable at the time of discovery—and on Christmas Eve we could do nothing to stop a woman from dying because of unrelenting bleeding in her windpipe, possibly an undiscovered tumor, bleeding into her lungs—may be it was tuberculosis but that is less prevalent and less likely.  So, I hope you can see why this season, more than ever, I am troubled by the multiple and overwhelming costs of the addiction to tobacco products.  So let me ramble a bit today about disease, cost, politics, and smoking cessation efforts. 

For More Information:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/02/12/1064005/-A-Late-Happy-New-Year-May-Smoking-Cessation-be-your-Resolution

Feb 17, 2012
Why All Hospital Campuses Should be Smoke-Free
Read the full story Feb 17, 2012
Tobacco Added in to the Cocktail Mix
Read the full story Feb 16, 2012
Smokeless Tobacco May Have Led to Outfielder Tony Gwynn’s Cancer
Read the full story Feb 16, 2012
Electronic Cigarette Explodes in Man’s Mouth
Read the full story

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Tobacco Added in to the Cocktail Mix

HomeNewsTobacco Added in to the Cocktail Mix

February 17, 2012   It’s a freezing cold weekday night and I find myself in a place called Barts – a discreet, prohibition-style cocktail bar in the heart of Chelsea, brimming with stuffed animals, quirky antiques and young professionals – many of them drinking cocktails made with tobacco liqueur. Tobacco as an ingredient in drinks isn’t completely new, but it is rare. Back in 2003, a group of Floridian cocktail makers began making tobacco-spiked cocktails in an attempt to defy the smoking ban. One such drink was the ‘Nicotini’ made using vodka infused with tobacco leaves – its purpose being to recreate the effects of a cigarette. At the same time in New York, cocktail makers were trying to recreate the taste of cigarettes with drinks like the ‘Smokeless Manhattan’ made of port, Laphroaig whisky and orange bitters, which apparently tasted like a Marlboro Red.

For More Information:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2012/feb/17/tobacco-cocktails?newsfeed=true

Feb 17, 2012
Why All Hospital Campuses Should be Smoke-Free
Read the full story Feb 17, 2012
Tobacco Added in to the Cocktail Mix
Read the full story Feb 16, 2012
Smokeless Tobacco May Have Led to Outfielder Tony Gwynn’s Cancer
Read the full story Feb 16, 2012
Electronic Cigarette Explodes in Man’s Mouth
Read the full story

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Risk Of Heart Attack And Early Death Increases With Cellular Aging

Main Category: Genetics
Also Included In: Cardiovascular / Cardiology;  Smoking / Quit Smoking;  Obesity / Weight Loss / Fitness
Article Date: 18 Feb 2012 – 0:00 PST

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Every cell in the body has chromosomes with so-called telomeres, which are shortened over time and also through lifestyle choices such as smoking and obesity. Researchers have long speculated that the shortening of telomeres increases the risk of heart attack and early death. Now a large-scale population study in Denmark involving nearly 20,000 people shows that there is in fact a direct link, and has also given physicians a future way to test the actual cellular health of a person.

In an ongoing study of almost 20,000 Danes, a team of researchers from the University of Copenhagen have isolated each individual’s DNA to analyse their specific telomere length – a measurement of cellular aging.

“The risk of heart attack or early death is present whether your telomeres are shortened due to lifestyle or due to high age,” says Clinical Professor of Genetic Epidemiology Borge Nordestgaard from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen. Professor Nordestgaard is also a chief physician at Copenhagen University Hospital, where he and colleagues conduct large scale studies of groups of tens of thousands of Danes over several decades.

Lifestyle can affect cellular aging

The recent “Copenhagen General Population Study” involved almost 20,000 people, some of which were followed during almost 19 years, and the conclusion was clear: If the telomere length was short, the risk of heart attack and early death was increased by 50 and 25 per cent, respectively.

“That smoking and obesity increases the risk of heart disease has been known for a while. We have now shown, as has been speculated, that the increased risk is directly related to the shortening of the protective telomeres – so you can say that smoking and obesity ages the body on a cellular level, just as surely as the passing of time,” says Borge Nordestgaard.

One in four Danes has short telomeres

The study also revealed that one in four Danes has telomeres with such short length that not only will they statistically die before their time, but their risk of heart attack is also increased by almost 50 per cent.

“Future studies will have to reveal the actual molecular mechanism by which the short telomere length causes heart attacks,” says Borge Nordestgaard, and asks, “Does one cause the other or is the telomere length and the coronary event both indicative of a third – yet unknown – mechanism?”

Another possible prospect of the study is that general practitioners could conduct simple blood tests to reveal a person’s telomere length and thereby the cellular wear and age.

Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click ‘references’ tab above for source.
Visit our genetics section for the latest news on this subject. The study “Short Telomere Length, Myocardial Infarction, Ischemic Heart Disease, and Early Death” is scheduled for the March issue of the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology published by the American Heart Association. The March issue will mail on 16 February 2012, and the journal article is also available online.
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Why All Hospital Campuses Should be Smoke-Free

HomeNewsWhy All Hospital Campuses Should be Smoke-Free

February 17, 2012   A nurse shouldn’t smell like she just smoked an entire pack of cigarettes. If my nose wrinkles at the foul odor of stale smoke on one of the hospital caregivers, imagine how the patient struggling with nausea must feel as the same nurse leans over them to listen to their chest. Twenty years ago, hospitals started banning smoking inside their buildings, so why is it that both staff and patients still smoke just outside the front doors, in the gardens and off of the loading docks? It is remarkable to look back at the 1950s and see cigarette ads in magazines that read, “What cigarette do you smoke, Doctor? The brand named most was Camel.”

For More Information:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-c-senelick-md/hospital-smoking_b_1270481.html

Feb 17, 2012
Why All Hospital Campuses Should be Smoke-Free
Read the full story Feb 17, 2012
Tobacco Added in to the Cocktail Mix
Read the full story Feb 16, 2012
Smokeless Tobacco May Have Led to Outfielder Tony Gwynn’s Cancer
Read the full story Feb 16, 2012
Electronic Cigarette Explodes in Man’s Mouth
Read the full story

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Varenicline For Smoking Cessation Also Makes Drinking Less Enjoyable

Main Category: Alcohol / Addiction / Illegal Drugs
Also Included In: Smoking / Quit Smoking
Article Date: 16 Feb 2012 – 2:00 PST

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Varenicline is an effective smoking-cessation medication that may also reduce drinking. However, the means by which it might reduce drinking is unclear. A study of the effects of varenicline on subjective, physiological, and objective responses to low and moderate doses of alcohol among healthy social drinkers has found that varenicline may reduce drinking by increasing alcohol’s aversive effects.

Results will be published in the May 2012 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and are currently available at Early View.

“Varenicline was first approved in the USA for treatment of nicotine dependence in 2006,” said Emma Childs, research associate at the University of Chicago as well as corresponding author for the study. “Smokers who use varenicline are approximately two to three times more likely to remain abstinent six months or more after their quit date. After it was approved, several patients treated with varenicline also reported reductions in their drinking, so investigators began to assess if this was an actual effect and how it might be produced.”

“Since there is a high comorbidity between nicotine and alcohol dependence, a single medication that could decrease the use of both substances would be ideal,” added Hugh Myrick, associate professor of psychiatry as well as vice chair of the Psychiatry Practice Plan at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Childs and her colleagues assessed 15 healthy participants (8 males, 7 females) during six randomized sessions: three sessions each with 2 mg varenicline and placebo, followed three hours later by a beverage containing placebo, a low dose of alcohol (0.4g/kg), or a high dose of alcohol (0.8g/kg). Measures included subjective mood and drug effects such as stimulation and drug liking, physiological measures such as heart rate and blood pressure, and the results of eye-tracking tasks before and after drug and alcohol administration.

“We found that varenicline increased the unpleasant effects of alcohol and decreased drug liking,” said Childs, “thus we think that varenicline may reduce drinking by altering the effects of alcohol.”

“There are generally two ways that a medication may help reduce alcohol use,” observed Myrick. “First, the rewarding aspects of alcohol could be reduced. An example of a medication that works by reducing reward is naltrexone, which blocks opiate receptors and therefore reduces the rewarding aspects of dopamine in the ventral striatum. Second, the aversive aspects of alcohol could be increased. In other words, the medication would cause symptoms leading to a decrease in alcohol use. Disulfiram, or Antabuse, is a medication that works by causing aversive effects if alcohol is consumed. Varenicline may work in a similar fashion.”

“Our findings shed light on the mechanism underlying why people consume less alcohol when they have taken varenicline,” said Childs. “The pleasurable effects of alcohol, for example feeling ‘buzzed’ and talkative, are associated with greater consumption and binge drinking. Some people lose control of their alcohol consumption during a drinking episode, for example they may aim to only have one or two drinks but end up drinking say four or five. If varenicline counteracts these positive effects by producing unpleasant effects, then as a result people may consume less alcohol during a drinking episode.”

“Varenicline may find a nice niche in those individuals who are both nicotine and alcohol dependent,” noted Myrick, “who we know represent a large portion of alcohol-dependent individuals.”

Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click ‘references’ tab above for source.
Visit our alcohol / addiction / illegal drugs section for the latest news on this subject. The University of Chicago
Medical University of South Carolina
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Smoking Zaps Healthy Bacteria In The Mouth, Welcomes Pathogens

Main Category: Smoking / Quit Smoking
Also Included In: Infectious Diseases / Bacteria / Viruses;  Dentistry
Article Date: 17 Feb 2012 – 1:00 PST

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According to a new study, smoking causes the body to turn against its own helpful bacteria, leaving smokers more vulnerable to disease.

Despite the daily disturbance of brushing and flossing, the mouth of a healthy person contains a stable ecosystem of healthy bacteria. New research shows that the mouth of a smoker is a much more chaotic, diverse ecosystem – and is much more susceptible to invasion by harmful bacteria.

As a group, smokers suffer from higher rates of oral diseases – especially gum disease – than do nonsmokers, which is a challenge for dentists, according to PurnimaKumar, assistant professor of periodontology at Ohio State University. She and her colleagues are involved in a multi-study investigation of the role the body’s microbial communities play in preventing oral disease.

“The smoker’s mouth kicks out the good bacteria, and the pathogens are called in,” said Kumar. “So they’re allowed to proliferate much more quickly than they would in a non-smoking environment.”

The results suggest that dentists may have to offer more aggressive treatment for smokers and would have good reason to suggest quitting smoking, Kumar said.

“A few hours after you’re born, bacteria start forming communities called biofilms in your mouth,” said Kumar. “Your body learns to live with them, because for most people, healthy biofilms keep the bad bacteria away.”

She likens a healthy biofilm to a lush, green lawn of grass. “When you change the dynamics of what goes into the lawn, like too much water or too little fertilizer,” she said, “you get some of the grass dying, and weeds moving in.” For smokers, the “weeds” are problem bacteria known to cause disease.

In a new study, Kumar’s team looked at how these bacterial ecosystems regrow after being wiped away. For 15 healthy nonsmokers and 15 healthy smokers, the researchers took samples of oral biofilms one, two, four and seven days after professional cleaning.

The researchers were looking for two things when they swabbed subjects’ gums. First, they wanted to see which bacteria were present by analyzing DNA signatures found in dental plaque. They also monitored whether the subjects’ bodies were treating the bacteria as a threat. If so, the swab would show higher levels of cytokines, compounds the body produces to fight infection.

The results of the study were published in the journal Infection and Immunity.

“When you compare a smoker and nonsmoker, there’s a distinct difference,” said Kumar. “The first thing you notice is that the basic ‘lawn,’ which would normally contain thriving populations made of a just few types of helpful bacteria, is absent in smokers.”

The team found that for nonsmokers, bacterial communities regain a similar balance of species to the communities that were scraped away during cleaning. Disease-associated bacteria are largely absent, and low levels of cytokines show that the body is not treating the helpful biofilms as a threat.

“By contrast,” said Kumar, “smokers start getting colonized by pathogens – bacteria that we know are harmful – within 24 hours. It takes longer for smokers to form a stable microbial community, and when they do, it’s a pathogen-rich community.”

Smokers also have higher levels of cytokines, indicating that the body is mounting defenses against infection. Clinically, this immune response takes the form of red, swollen gums – called gingivitis – that can lead to the irreversible bone loss of periodontitis.

In smokers, however, the body is not just trying to fight off harmful bacteria. The types of cytokines in smokers’ gum swabs showed the researchers that smokers’ bodies were treating even healthy bacteria as threatening.

Although they do not yet understand the mechanisms behind these results, Kumar and her team suspect that smoking is confusing the normal communication that goes on between healthy bacterial communities and their human hosts.

Practically speaking, these findings have clear implications for patient care, according to Kumar.

“It has to drive how we treat the smoking population,” she said. “They need a more aggressive form of treatment, because even after a professional cleaning, they’re still at a very high risk for getting these pathogens back in their mouths right away.

“Dentists don’t often talk to their patients about smoking cessation,” she continued. “These results show that dentists should take a really active role in helping patients to get the support they need to quit.”

For Kumar, who is a practicing periodontist as well as a teaching professor, doing research has changed how she treats her patients. “I tell them about our studies, about the bacteria and the host response, and I say, ‘Hey – I’m really scared for you.’ Patients have been more willing to listen, and two actually quit.”

Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click ‘references’ tab above for source.
Visit our smoking / quit smoking section for the latest news on this subject. Written by Maureen Langlois.
Kumar’s collaborators include Chad Matthews and Vinayak Joshi of Ohio State’s College of Dentistry as well as Marko de Jager and Marcelo Aspiras of Philips Oral Healthcare. The research was sponsored by a grant from Philips Oral Healthcare.
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Do Smoking Bans Make People Smoke Less At Home? Probably

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Academic Journal
Main Category: Smoking / Quit Smoking
Article Date: 17 Feb 2012 – 0:00 PST

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A study of four European countries with smoke free legislation, published online in Tobacco Control, revealed that smoking bans do not encourage smokers to smoke more at home. According to the researchers, who base their findings on two waves of the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (ITC Project) Europe Surveys, smoking bans may actually encourage smokers to smoke less at home.

The first survey was conducted in 2003-2004, before the smoking ban in public places was enforced in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany and the Netherlands, excluding Scotland, before legislation was enacted. The second survey was conducted after legislation was enacted in 2008-2009.

Around 4,634 smokers (depending on when bans were enacted) in the four countries with smoke-free legislation participated in the surveys, as well as 1,080 smokers in the UK. The UK acted as a comparison country before the smoking ban had come into force.

Before a ban was enacted, the majority of smokers had at least partial restrictions on smoking at home, even though the proportions differed considerably among the four countries. France and Germany had the highest levels of restrictions.

Two of the leading factors linked to choosing to restrict smoking at home was the presence of a young child in the household and supporting a smoking ban in bars.

The researchers found that after the ban came into place, the number of smokers who quit smoking at home increased considerably among all countries by the time of the second survey: 38% in Germany 28% in the Netherlands 25% in Ireland 17% in France The team found that the increase was irrespective of whether the ban allowed for some exceptions or was comprehensive.

Smokers were more likely to ban smoking at home if they supported smoking bans in bars, planned to quit the habit, or when there was a birth of a child.

In the UK, the number of smokers who banned smoking at home also increased by 22% between the two surveys. The second survey was conducted only a few months before the smoking ban came into force.

After the researchers took into account several demographic and smoking history variables, they found that the number of current smokers banning smoking at home rose considerably in Germany, France, the Netherlands and Ireland, but did not considerably rise in the UK.

According to the current theory, public smoking bans either increase the amount of smoking at home as individuals try to compensate “the displacement hypothesis” or encourage smokers to adopt the same ban at home – the social diffusion hypothesis.

The researchers explain:

“Opponents of the workplace or public smoking bans have argued that smoke-free policies – albeit intended to protect non-smokers from tobacco smoke – could lead to displacement of smoking into the home and hence even increase the second hand smoke exposure of non-smoking family members and, most importantly, children.”

Findings from the study support the theory that banning smoking in public places may encourage smokers to ban smoking at home.

Written by Grace Rattue
Copyright: Medical News Today
Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today

Visit our smoking / quit smoking section for the latest news on this subject. “Towards smoke-free rental cars: an evaluation of voluntary smoking restrictions in California” Georg E Matt et al.
Tob Control doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2011-050231 Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

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posted by Bobby LaGuardia on 17 Feb 2012 at 9:06 am

I dont smoke but allow smokers to smoke freely in my home. When you pay our rent or mortgage you can decide that!

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UM Tobacco Ban Yields Only 3 Referrals Since Becoming Mandatory Jan 1

HomeNewsUM Tobacco Ban Yields Only 3 Referrals Since Becoming Mandatory Jan 1

February 13, 2012   The University of Maine’s Tobacco-Free Campus Initiative has been a mandatory policy since the beginning of the semester. But since Jan. 1, the ban has caused only three referrals for cigarette use, according to David Fiacco, director of Community Standards, Rights and Responsibilities.

“We think it’s going very well,” said Dean of Students Robert Dana. “There’s been another substantial decline in smoking-related behaviors.” The updated policy introduced stricter enforcement and mandatory compliance. Dana said more students and faculty have been asking for help quitting tobacco products. “That was sort of the plan from the public health perspective,” Dana said. “We expected people probably would be fully invested in the change process. “We hoped that people would come forward if they needed some help,” he continued. “It seems to be working.”

For More Information:
http://mainecampus.com/2012/02/13/um-tobacco-ban-yields-only-3-referrals-since-becoming-mandatory-jan-1/

Feb 17, 2012
Why All Hospital Campuses Should be Smoke-Free
Read the full story Feb 17, 2012
Tobacco Added in to the Cocktail Mix
Read the full story Feb 16, 2012
Smokeless Tobacco May Have Led to Outfielder Tony Gwynn’s Cancer
Read the full story Feb 16, 2012
Electronic Cigarette Explodes in Man’s Mouth
Read the full story

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Smokeless Tobacco May Have Led to Outfielder Tony Gwynn’s Cancer

HomeNewsSmokeless Tobacco May Have Led to Outfielder Tony Gwynn’s Cancer

February 16, 2012   In 20 seasons, Tony Gwynn proved to be one of the most prolific hitters in baseball. Now he steps up to a much more formidable opponent—cancer. Gwynn has had four procedures to remove a cancerous tumor from the right side of his mouth. The Hall of Fame outfielder strongly believes that his tumors resulted from a lengthy history of smokeless tobacco use. Gwynn reportedly started while playing rookie ball to calm his nerves, but soon he became addicted. He claims to have used one and a half cans each day. Recently, to prohibit young baseball fans from starting to use tobacco, Major League Baseball and the players union agreed that players wouldn’t carry smokeless tobacco in their pockets when fans are present at the ballparks or use it during interviews or team functions. Many health organizations and several congressmen have pushed for a full ban.

For More Information:
http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2012/feb/16/smokeless-tobacco-may-have-led-to-gwynns-cancer/

Feb 17, 2012
Why All Hospital Campuses Should be Smoke-Free
Read the full story Feb 17, 2012
Tobacco Added in to the Cocktail Mix
Read the full story Feb 16, 2012
Smokeless Tobacco May Have Led to Outfielder Tony Gwynn’s Cancer
Read the full story Feb 16, 2012
Electronic Cigarette Explodes in Man’s Mouth
Read the full story

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After A Cancer Diagnosis, Many People Continue To Smoke

Main Category: Smoking / Quit Smoking
Also Included In: Lung Cancer;  Colorectal Cancer
Article Date: 24 Jan 2012 – 4:00 PST

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A new analysis has found that a substantial number of lung and colorectal cancer patients continue to smoke after being diagnosed. Published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the study provides valuable information on which cancer patients might need help to quit smoking.

When a patient receives a cancer diagnosis, the main focus is to treat the disease. But stopping smoking after a cancer diagnosis is also important because continuing to smoke can negatively affect patients’ responses to treatments, their subsequent cancer risk, and, potentially, their survival. Elyse R. Park, PhD, MPH, of the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Boston, led a team that looked to see how many patients quit smoking around the time of a cancer diagnosis, and which smokers were most likely to quit.

The investigators determined smoking rates around the time of diagnosis and five months after diagnosis in 5,338 lung and colorectal cancer patients. At diagnosis, 39 percent of lung cancer patients and 14 percent of colorectal cancer patients were smoking; five months later, 14 percent of lung cancer patients and 9 percent of colorectal cancer patients were still smoking. These results indicate that a substantial minority of cancer patients continue to smoke after being diagnosed. Also, although lung cancer patients have higher rates of smoking at diagnosis and following diagnosis, colorectal cancer patients are less likely to quit smoking following diagnosis.

Factors and characteristics that predicted continued smoking differed by cancer type. Lung cancer patients who continued smoking tended to have Medicare or other public health insurance, have a lower body mass index, have low emotional support, not have received chemotherapy, not have had surgery, have had prior heart disease, and have smoked a high number of cigarettes per day at some point during their lives. Colorectal cancer patients who continued to smoke tended to be male, have completed less education, be uninsured, not have had surgery, and have once smoked a high number of cigarettes per day.

“These findings can help cancer clinicians identify patients who are at risk for smoking and guide tobacco counseling treatment development for cancer patients,” said Dr. Park.

In an accompanying editorial, Carolyn Dressler, MD, of the Arkansas Department of Health in Little Rock, noted that Dr. Park’s research highlights the critical importance of physicians and other caretakers to address tobacco cessation, particularly at the time of diagnosis. “Most clinicians acknowledge the importance of addressing tobacco cessation in their patients; however, few do it,” she wrote. “We know enough now to implement effective cessation programs to identify and help cancer patients quit at the time of diagnosis and support them to prevent relapse. By doing so, we maximize patients’ response to therapy, their quality of life, and their longevity.”

Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click ‘references’ tab above for source.
Visit our smoking / quit smoking section for the latest news on this subject. Article: “A snapshot of smokers following lung and colorectal cancer diagnosis.” Elyse Park, Sandra Japuntich, Nancy A. Rigotti, Lara Traeger, Yulei He, Robert Wallace, Jennifer Malin, Jennifer C. Pandiscio, and Nancy L. Keating. CANCER; Published Online: January 23, 2012 (DOI: 10.1002/cncr.26545).
Editorial: “Oncologists Should Intervene.” Carolyn M. Dresler. CANCER; Published Online: January 23, 2012 (DOI: 10.1002/cncr.26538).
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