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21st Century Oncology

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At the 2012 TEDMED conference last week, the American Cancer Society's Chief Medical Officer Otis Brawley said it is time for oncology to enter the 21st century, reports Susan Young at the Technology Review Editors blog. Brawley said oncologists and pathologists are using 19th century methods to diagnose and treat cancer, adding that cancer researchers need to take a genomics-based approach so that patients aren't over-treated. He said that as many as 25 percent of breast cancers and 60 percent of prostate cancers could be monitored instead of being excised surgically. Genomic sequencing could aid in determining which cancers are dangerous and which ones can be left alone, Brawley added.

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