Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

NCI Announces Guide to Communicating Data to Lay Audiences


Logo of the United States National Cancer Inst...

Image via Wikipedia

NCI Announces Guide to Communicating Data to Lay Audiences.

(Via the Blog Health Information Literacy – for health and well being)

The following was posted on the NCI Cancer Patient Educators’ Listserv [CA-PATIENT-ED@LIST.NIH.GOV]

Communicating data to lay audiences is difficult, but the National Cancer Institute’s newly releasedMaking Data Talk: A Workbook can help you present scientific and health data in engaging and effective ways.

 The workbook, based on the groundbreaking book Making Data Talk: Communicating Public Health Data to the Public, Policy Makers, and the Press written by NCI communication researchers, provides key information, practical suggestions, and examples that can be applied to many public health issues.

Making Data Talk: A Workbook is available to download or order a print copy. The content provides:

·         Recommendations about selecting and presenting data, including tips for using visual symbols
·         An introduction to the OPT-IN (Organize, Plan, Test, Integrate) framework which guides public health practitioners on how to present health data to lay audiences.
·         Practice exercises using real-world examples to reinforce key concepts and help you apply what you have learned
Chapters in the workbook include:
·         You CAN Make Data Talk and Be Understood
·         Use Communication Fundamentals to Your Advantage
·         Help Lay Audiences Understand Your Data
·         Present Data Effectively
·         Use OPT-In Framework to Make Your Data Talk
·         Show What you Know: Communicating Data in Acute Public Health Situations
·         Show What You Know: Communicating Data in Health Policy or Program Advocacy Situations

Order your print copy of the workbook or download the online version today.

Other NCI publications include

ntroductory Information

  • What Is Cancer?
    Definition of cancer, a brief explanation of the origins of cancer in cells, basic cancer statistics, and links to other NCI cancer-related resources.

NCI Publications

  • What You Need To Know About™ Cancer Index
    This booklet series has information on many types of cancer. Each booklet tells about possible risks, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment, and each has lists of questions to ask the doctor.
  • NCI Fact Sheets
    Nearly 200 frequently updated fact sheets on a wide array of cancer topics. Fact sheets address risk factors, prevention, support, treatment, and more.
  • Chemotherapy Side Effects Fact Sheets
    Chemotherapy fact sheets with clear medical advice from doctors and nurses, and practical tips from patients to help you manage side effects.
  • Radiation Therapy Side Effects Fact Sheets
    Radiation therapy fact sheets that help patients understand their treatment and manage side effects. The fact sheets (also available in audio) have patient testimonials, tips from healthcare providers, and questions to ask providers.
  • NCI Publications Locator
    An online system for finding, viewing, and ordering NCI reports, publications, and other materials. Can be searched by topic, audience, and language.
  • Ordering National Cancer Institute Publications
    A fact sheet that describes NCI policy on distribution of publications, including quantity, cost, method of payment, shipping and handling, and refunds.

NCI Health Communications Publications

  • Making Data Talk: A Workbook
    This workbook provides key information, practical suggestions, and examples on how to effectively communicate health-related scientific data to the public, policy makers, and the media.
  • Pink Book – Making Health Communication Programs Work
    This book, a revision of the original 1989 Making Health Communication Programs Work, is a guide to creating successful health communications programs using tested strategies and methods.
  • Theory at a Glance: A Guide for Health Promotion Practice
    This monograph describes influential theories of health-related behaviors, the processes of shaping behaviors, and the effects of community and environmental factors on behavior. It makes health behavior theory accessible and provides tools to solve problems and assess the effectiveness of health promotion programs.
  • Clear & Simple: Developing Effective Print Materials for Low-Literate Readers
    This guide outlines a process for developing publications for people with limited-literacy skills. It features proven principles and a discussion of the real-life issues faced in developing low-literacy materials. NIH Publication 95-3594

Cancer Literature in PubMed

Other Resources

  • Education and Training for Health Professionals
    This is a collection of cancer education and training offerings from NCI and NIH for health professionals. Courses are available in a variety of formats such as online self-study, video, webinars, and animated tutorials.
  • Understanding Cancer Series
    This Web site contains graphic-rich tutorials for educational use by life science teachers, medical professionals, and the interested public. Each tutorial is also available in PDF and PowerPoint formats that may be downloaded from the Web.
  • Inside Cancer: Multimedia Guide to Cancer Biology
    This Web site uses animations, narration, and interviews to explain how cancer develops and to discuss cancer causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.
  • Visuals Online
    An NCI database of cancer-specific scientific and patient care-related images, as well as general biomedical and science-related images and portraits of NCI directors and staff.
  • CancerSPACE
    CancerSPACE (Cancer: Simulating Practice and Collaborative Education) is a unique educational tool created to help clinics improve their process for cancer screening. It is designed for use in training the staff of community health centers.
  • PDQ®
    An NCI database that contains the latest information about cancer treatment, screening, prevention, genetics, supportive care, and complementary and alternative medicine, plus clinical trials.
  • NCI Dictionary of Genetics Terms
    A dictionary of more than 100 genetics-related terms written for healthcare professionals. This resource was developed to support the comprehensive, evidence-based, peer-reviewed PDQ cancer genetics information summaries.
  • Professional Resources for Cancer Patient Education
    Information about the Cancer Patient Education Network, the cancer education grants program, and a listserv for cancer patient educators.
  • EPEC™-O | Education in Palliative and End-of-Life Care for Oncology
    EPEC™-O (Education in Palliative and End-of-Life Care for Oncology) and EPEC™-O with American Indian and Alaska Native Cultural Considerations are free comprehensive multimedia curricula in CD-ROM format for health professionals caring for persons with cancer.
  • Evaluating Health Information on the Internet
    This fact sheet contains information to help people decide whether the health information they find on the Internet or receive via e-mail from a Web site is likely to be reliable.
  • Prevention Communication Research Database
    This database offers a searchable collection of audience research conducted or sponsored by HHS agencies and concerning prevention issues such as physical activity, healthy eating, tobacco use, and substance abuse.
  • ASCO® Abstracts
    Search ASCO’s comprehensive database of abstracts to find the results of the latest clinical cancer research.
  • Links to Other Web Sites
    Links to other federal government Web sites and to NCI partners.

November 17, 2011 Posted by | Educational Resources (Health Professionals), Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Health Education (General Public) | , , , | Leave a comment

Proteomics Research Heading Towards Personalized Treatments For Cancer, Diabetes And Inflammatory Diseases

Proteomics Research Heading Towards Personalized Treatments For Cancer, Diabetes And Inflammatory Diseases

From the March 27, 2011 Medical News Today Item

NeoProteomics Inc., a biomarker development and software company, has secured an exclusive option agreement with Case Western Reserve University. The deal has potential to enhance various forms of treatment of cancer, diabetes, and inflammatory diseases. Proteomics is the scientific next step in vital research of protein structures of biological systems. NeoProteomics, founded in 2006 in Cleveland near Case Western Reserve’s School of Medicine, focuses on biomarker identification and validation and seeks to spearhead the development of unique and improved analysis tools…..


March 29, 2011 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Community oncology: Ensuring the best standards of care

Community oncology: Ensuring the best standards of care



European Society for Medical Oncology

From the February 21, 2011 Eureka news alert

Receiving a cancer diagnosis is a devastating experience. Still under the shock of the bad news, patients must make many choices including who to turn to for advice and treatment, with the possibility to choose among a comprehensive cancer center, a university hospital or a community oncology hospital.

“When my oncologist informed me about my blood results, and told me the diagnosis (Plasmocytoma), I was disoriented. As a patient I was looking for detailed answers to my many questions and I wanted time,” explains Inge from Germany. “My doctor at the community oncology center explained everything to me: type of cancer, life expectancy, different treatments available and so on. To make it short, he helped me to understand what was going on with me. I was given a phone number to call at any time. The constant support of the whole team was essential to my recovery.”

The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) recently created a new working group dedicated to Community Oncologists. The group aims to represent professionals working outside academic institutions or comprehensive cancer centers, who treat patients with a wide range of tumors and whose practice needs and access to resources are very specific.

Dr Robert Eckert from Internistische Gemeinschaftspraxis und Onkologische Schwerpunktpraxis in Wendlingen, Germany, who chairs the ESMO Community Oncology Working Group, explains that the first step will be to conduct surveys in as many European countries as possible in order to identify the special needs of Community Oncologists. “This will be a challenging task because the situation varies greatly across Europe. So far, we have been able to show for a number of countries that Community Oncologists are interested in practice-oriented tools, primarily in guidelines and score calculators. They need to be able to access reliable, up-to-date information quickly at the point of care in their practice, which reflects their challenge of treating a wide spectrum of malignant diseases.”

Once common needs are established, the Working Group will collaborate closely with the ESMO Leadership to develop educational activities and products, in order to meet Community Oncologists’ needs.

Dr Michalis Karamouzis, from St Savvas, Anticancer Oncologic Hospital in Athens, Greece and also a member of the new working group, explains some of the challenges of a young community oncologist: “According to my experience in Greece, Community Oncologists are doing very challenging work as they see most of the patients, not only those involved in clinical trials, but patients with all sorts of tumors, frequently with difficult tumors, patients with bad performance status, all sorts of complicated cases, including those who need supportive or palliative care.”

The way in which the treatment of cancer patients is organized –and patients’ preferences– also varies largely among European countries.

In Italy, Dr Sergio Crispino, Chair of the Italian Association of Hospital Oncology Chiefs (Collegio Italiano dei Primari Oncologi Medici Ospedalieri – CIPOMO) explains that “Many patients are treated in non-academic units. At present, in Italy, general hospitals contribute substantially to clinical research and have very advanced standards and treatments.”

In Italy the patient’s choice between a university hospital or a community setting would also depend on the region the patient lives in and the kind of cancer he has. “We cannot generalize. Patients are usually guided in their choice by family doctors,” explains Dr Crispino. “In the future, my personal view is that community oncology will grow because we are standardizing treatments so the quality of care will be similar in all centers. The development of oral drugs and gentler treatments will also contribute to this growth.”

The challenge today is to be able to provide quality care for patients from diagnosis until the end of treatment, be it in hospitals, hospices or at home. This can be done by adhering strictly to guidelines be they national, regional or international, ensuring efficiency and appropriateness of treatment.

“Also important for a community oncology center is to be able to work connected to a regional system and to participate in research, noted Dr Ulrich Stein from Hamburg, who has worked both in France and Germany.

“The important thing is that community oncologists should not work alone. They should be part of a network and participate in a common reflection and also work with others in clinical research. In France, community oncologists work closely with university hospitals or big cancer centers and are in contact with larger teams. National and international guidelines are followed and ensure that patients receive quality treatment.”

“Nowadays patients have access to a lot of information about cancer and about the quality of hospitals and clinics, thanks to the Internet. They will find out where the best centers are for their type of cancer. In France, for example, a patient may go to a big university hospital for surgery by a professor who specializes on a specific kind of tumor, then decide to go to a community oncology center for chemo and radiotherapy. Proximity may be an issue in some regions: some patients may want a community center closer to home, while others are willing to travel 80 km to be treated at a university center,” explains Dr Stein.

Dr Stein believes that ESMO’s new working group can help by making sure community oncologists are kept up to date with the latest treatments and by offering expert opinion on recent research. “By informing about what is going on in oncology, ESMO can help professionals learn from each other’s experiences in Europe and beyond.”

Dr Eckert also highlights the need for a real cross-border healthcare for Europe’s increasingly mobile population. “I have had to follow patients coming from other countries. In some cases the cooperation with cancer centers abroad was very easy, but in other places it was extremely difficult to access patients’ records.”

Dr Eckert concludes: “Our challenge is to form an enthusiastic group of doctors. We need to establish what the situation is in our countries and then work to answer the specific needs of our professionals. At the end of the day, the objective of the ESMO Community Oncology Working Group is to strive to ensure the best standard of care for all cancer patients, everywhere in Europe, inside and outside dedicated cancer centers.”

“It is essential that there’s a link between university hospitals and community oncology settings, between research and practice,” notes Rolf Stahel, Chair of the ESMO Educational Committee, ‘forefather’ of the Community Oncology working group. “This is the only way we can guarantee that the important results of research are brought as quickly as possible to cancer patients, which is the ultimate goal of all who work in the oncology community.”




February 21, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Public Health | , , | Leave a comment


%d bloggers like this: