Thyroid Cancer and Telemedicine During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced endocrinologists to utilize telemedicine to care for their patients. There is limited information on the experience of endocrinologists in managing patients with thyroid cancer virtually. We sent a 9-item questionnaire to endocrinologists and endocrine surgeons at our institution to better understand the barriers and benefits of caring for patients with thyroid cancer via telemedicine, as well as how we can incorporate telemedicine into our future care of patients with this malignancy. Among the 9 physicians who responded, the majority listed technological issues with the virtual platform as a challenge in caring for patients with thyroid cancer remotely. Additional barriers included difficulty in expressing empathy, decreased ability to coordinate care with the interdisciplinary team, and lack of the physical examination. Benefits included compliance with social distancing measures and convenience for patients with American Thyroid Association (ATA) low-risk thyroid cancer who presented for follow-up visits. Overall, physicians were satisfied or strongly satisfied with caring for patients with thyroid cancer remotely, especially low-risk patients on long-term follow-up. That said, they recommend that some patients be seen in person after the pandemic, including symptomatic patients and ATA high-risk patients. While the COVID-19 pandemic has allowed endocrinologists to manage patients with thyroid cancer remotely, the providers have faced challenges, some of which can be improved upon. Further studies will help determine how telemedicine affects patient outcomes, including satisfaction, disease progression, and survival, which will inform how we may incorporate this practice into our future care of patients with thyroid cancer.
Depressive Symptoms Predict Anti-tumor Necrosis Factor Therapy Noncompliance and Healthcare Utilization in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease [Letter]
Colorectal Cancer Screening Preferences among Black and Latino Primary Care Patients
Colorectal cancer (CRC) screening rates in the U.S. have historically been lower among blacks and Latinos than whites. The advent of a new stool-based test, Cologuard, calls for research to determine which CRC screening test minority individuals might prefer. Ninety black and Latino patients who had undergone screening colonoscopy were personally educated about four CRC screening tests and subsequently asked about their test preference, attributes that influenced preference, and strength of preference. Cologuard (31.1Â %) and colonoscopy (64.4Â %) were preferred over computerized tomographic colonography and fecal immunochemical tests. Preference was influenced by distinct test attributes. Individuals who selected Cologuard over colonoscopy were more likely to be >60 and have greater strength of test preference. There was an overriding preference for Cologuard and colonoscopy among black and Latino individuals who had undergone screening colonoscopy. To further improve CRC screening in these populations, patient preferences should guide recommendations.
Adenoma Prevalence and Distribution Among US Latino Subgroups Undergoing Screening Colonoscopy
BACKGROUND:Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading malignancy diagnosed among US Latinos. Latinos in the USA represent a heterogeneous amalgam of subgroups varying in genetic background, culture, and socioeconomic status. Little is known about the frequency of CRC precursor lesions found at screening colonoscopy among Latino subgroups. AIM:The aim was to determine the prevalence and distribution of histologically confirmed adenomas found at screening colonoscopy among average-risk, asymptomatic US Latinos according to their subgroup and socio-demographic background. METHODS:Cross-sectional analysis of pathological findings resulting from screening colonoscopy among average-risk, asymptomatic US Latinos aged â‰¥50 in two prospective randomized controlled trials at an academic medical center. RESULTS:Among the 561 Latinos who completed screening colonoscopy, the two largest subgroups were Puerto Ricans and Dominicans. The findings among both subgroups were: adenomas 30.6%, proximal adenomas 23.5%, advanced adenomas 12.0%, and proximal advanced adenomas 8.9%. These rates are at least as high as those found at screening colonoscopy among US whites. While Puerto Ricans were more likely than Dominicans to be born in the USA, speak English, be acculturated, have a smoking history, and be obese, there were no significant differences in adenoma rates between these subgroups. CONCLUSIONS:The prevalence of adenomas, advanced adenomas, and proximal neoplasia was high among both subgroups. These findings have implications for CRC screening and surveillance among the increasingly growing Latino population in the USA.
Predictors of quality of life in 102 patients with treated Cushing's disease
OBJECTIVE: To identify predictors for quality of life (QoL) in treated Cushing's disease (CD) and quantify patients' assessment of their disease status. CONTEXT: Significant reductions in QoL exist in CD patients despite treatment. Identifying predictors of QoL is paramount to the long-term management of these patents. DESIGN: A cross-sectional study was conducted of patients with treated CD. Patients completed a medical history questionnaire and three validated quality of life assessments: Cushing's QoL Questionnaire (CushingQoL), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and Nottingham Health Profile (NHP). PATIENTS: 102 patients (75.7% female, mean time since surgery 7.4 years) with treated CD were included. MEASUREMENTS: Patients were categorized by biochemical and self-identified disease status. Mean CushingQoL, anxiety and depression scores were compared by unpaired t-tests. Multiple linear regressions were performed on the whole cohort to assess for predictors of impaired QoL. RESULTS: Ninety-two per cent of the cohort met criteria for biochemical remission, but only 80.4% felt they had achieved remission. Among those with biochemical remission, those who also self-identified as being in remission had higher CushingQoL scores than those who self-identified as having persistent disease (P = 0.042). Anxiety (P = 0.032) and depression (P = 0.018) scores were lower, and CushingQoL scores were higher (P = 0.05) in patients who self-identified as being in remission compared to persistence. Recovery time, BMI, gender and age were also predictors for QoL. CONCLUSION: Our study identifies the discordance that can exist between biochemical and self-assessed disease status and demonstrates its impact on QoL in patients with CD. These findings highlight the importance of incorporating patients' disease perceptions in their management.