Trending News Today: Variation in Genetic Testing Rates Seen for Patients with Breast Cancer

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

Patients with breast cancer may be missing out on genetic tests that could pinpoint the ideal treatment regimen, despite current practice guideline recommendations, Reuters reported. According to the article, the researchers surveyed 5080 women treated for early-stage breast cancer by 377 surgeons in Georgia and Los Angeles between 2013 and 2015. Overall, approximately 35% of patients had an elevated risk of carrying a genetic mutation, but just 27% of women in the study received genetic testing, the article reported. According to the researchers, roughly one-third of surgeons said they often or always delayed surgery to obtain genetic testing. Altogether, 17% of the variation in genetic testing rates could be explained by surgeons’ practice patterns, the study found.

A new study suggests a simpler method for screening for cervical cancer risk in women aged 30 and over, NPR reported. According to the article, the study compared the HPV test with traditional Pap smear screening among 19,000 Canadian women over 4 years. While neither method was foolproof, the study found that women who originally had the Pap smear were more than twice as likely to have abnormal cells, the article reported. The researchers noted that even if the guidelines do change for women over 30, the Pap smear is still important for women ages 21-29.

Pfizer increased prices on almost 100 drugs this week, the second round of increases for the company this year, The Hill reported. According to the article, many of the drug prices have increased by double-digit percentages this year. Among the drugs who have seen price hikes are Viagra and Norvasc blood pressure pills, the article reported. Pfizer said in a statement that the company decreased the prices for some of its drugs and kept prices the same for most products.