Archive for 2003

Benchmarks articles from the selected year appear below. To view articles from previous years, use the links to the left, and select the year you wish to see.

Telemedicine: Transporting Cancer Expertise to All Corners of the World

Telemedicine: Transporting Cancer Expertise to All Corners of the World

If you lived in a poor, Southern Texas border town, where could you go to get help if you had a rare form of cancer? The answer isn’t Bethesda, Md., or even San Antonio. It’s Laredo. Thanks to a new National Cancer Institute (NCI) program that harnesses the power of the telecommunications revolution, smaller towns like Laredo and remote ones like Rapid City, S.D., can tap into the resources of major cancer centers.

This issue of BenchMarks brings information on TELESYNERGY, an integrated telecommunications system of computers, microscopes, cameras, and other equipment that can transmit X-rays and other medical images or a live exam of a patient to distant sites where clinicians can discuss the case as if they were in the same room. The system allows U.S. specialists from big cities to consult on cases all over the nation and abroad. It also allows clinicians and patients, particularly those in underserved areas, to participate in clinical trials.

Jennifer Michalowski interviewed the creators of the TELESYNERGY system for our main story on this exciting technology. You’ll also find photos, audio clips, and an animation pertaining to the interview. The accompanying story presents a broader picture of cancer research supported by NCI that employs telemedicine.

A Sampling of Telemedicine Research at NCI

Telemedicine: Transporting Cancer Expertise to All Corners of the World

Telemedicine has the capability to bring state-of-the-art healthcare to isolated areas, enabling the delivery of medical services to sites that are at a distance from the provider. Technologies used in telemedicine include videoconferencing, the Internet, streaming media, satellite, telephone landline, and wireless communications.

Understanding Cancer Statistics

Ductal Carcinoma In Situ, per 1000 Mammograms

This issue of BenchMarks offers a variety of information on cancer statistics and what they mean. The video button will bring you an archived Webcast of the National Cancer Institute’s September 2, 2003, Science Writers Seminar, “New Cancer Statistics: Making Them Relevant to Your Readers.” The seminar presents the just-released cancer statistics from the “Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975-2000″ and discusses how screening and treatment affect cancer trends and how to find state and county statistics.

BenchMarks’ main feature is an interview with Martin Brown, Ph.D., chief of NCI’s Health Services and Economics Branch. Dr. Brown measures, through surveys, how widely screening and treatment advances are used in various populations and how this use influences cancer statistics. Soundbites from the interview appear in “Audio Clips.” “Photos/Stills” depicts results from several surveillance surveys. Accompanying Dr. Brown’s interview is a primer that describes various cancer statistics and guides viewers to where they can be found. It also includes links to the latest annual report.