No Room for Privacy: Facebook Launches Friend-Spying Feature ‘Nearby Friends’.

A new feature introduced by Facebook to allow meeting the Facebook friends in real time when they are actually close by has had mixed reactions from its users.

Nearby Friends, an optional mobile application, taps steady stream of location information and makes it possible for friends to track each other in real time and meet up in real life.

  • For example, when you’re headed to the movies, ”Nearby Friends” will let you know if friends are nearby so you can see the movie together or meet up afterward,” says the Facebook newsroom.

When selected, it means one can have information about:

A list of approved Facebook friends who have selected this feature and their locations; number of friends nearby; list of friends with their locations, distance from your location and a time stamp of their visits.

The new application has options that allow you to share your general location with your customized Facebook friends, or close friends, depending upon the settings you select.

To avoid stalking, the location is shared only with people who have installed this feature on their mobile and who have agreed to share their location.

Initially, the feature, available on iOS and Android apps, will work only for a few locations.

A worrisome fact about this proximity sharing feature is that it has a ‘Location History’setting that needs to be left on for it to function properly. This feature continuously gathers details about your whereabouts in the background, even when you are not using this feature to check friends nearby.

  • When Location History is on, Facebook builds a history of your precise location, even when you’re not using the app. See or delete this information in the Activity Log on your profile,” reads the description under the Location History Setting.

Additionally, it says,

  • Location History must be turned on for some location feature to work on Facebook, including Nearby Friends. Facebook may still receive your most recent precise location so that you can, for example, post content that’s tagged with your location or find nearby places.”

Josh Constine, A TechCrunch reporter, sees a catch in this. He says that Facebook still collects location data when necessary whether or not you use the new feature.

When left on, your location coordinates are added periodically to your activity log. He adds,

  • It’s a bit sketchy that these maps don’t show up in the default view of Activity Log like most other actions.  It’s almost like Facebook is trying to discourage use of the Clear Location History button.”

However, the new feature will make your experiences better.

  • Location History helps us know when it makes the most sense to notify you (for example, by making sure we don’t send you a notification every time a Facebook friend who works with you is also in the office),” reported TechCrunch quoting the company.

However, it could be used for advertising in future, said a company spokesperson.

Assessment of volumetric growth rates of small colorectal polyps with CT colonography: a longitudinal study of natural history.



The clinical relevance and in-vivo growth rates of small (6—9 mm) colorectal polyps are not well established. We aimed to assess the behaviour of such polyps with CT colonography assessments.


In this longitudinal study, we enrolled asymptomatic adults undergoing routine colorectal cancer screening with CT colonography at two medical centres in the USA. Experienced investigators (PJP, DHK, JLH) measured volumes and maximum linear sizes of polyps in vivo with CT colonography scans at baseline and surveillance follow-up. We defined progression, stability, and regression on the basis of a 20% volumetric change per year from baseline (20% or more growth classed as progression, 20% growth to −20% reduction classed as stable, and −20% or more reduction classed as regression). We compared findings with histological subgroups confirmed after colonoscopy when indicated. This study is registered, number NCT00204867.


Between April, 2004, and June, 2012, we screened 22 006 asymptomatic adults and included 243 adults (mean age 57·4 years [SD 7·1] and median age 56 years [IQR 52—61]; 106 [37%] women), with 306 small colorectal polyps. The mean surveillance interval was 2·3 years (SD 1·4; range 1—7 years; median 2·0 years [IQR 1·1—2·3]). 68 (22%) of 306 polyps progressed, 153 (50%) were stable, and 85 (28%) regressed, including an apparent resolution in 32 (10%) polyps. We established immediate histology in 131 lesions on colonoscopy after final CT colonography. 21 (91%) of 23 proven advanced adenomas progressed, compared with 31 (37%) of 84 proven non-advanced adenomas, and 15 (8%) of 198 other lesions (p<0·0001). The odds ratio for a growing polyp at CT colonography surveillance to become an advanced adenoma was 15·6 (95% CI 7·6—31·7) compared with 6—9 mm polyps detected and removed at initial CT colonography screening (without surveillance). Mean polyp volume change was a 77% increase per year for 23 proven advanced adenomas and a 16% increase per year for 84 proven non-advanced adenomas, but a 13% decrease per year for all proven non-neoplastic or unresected polyps (p<0·0001). An absolute polyp volume of more than 180 mm3 at surveillance CT colonography identified proven advanced neoplasia (including one delayed cancer) with a sensitivity of 92% (22 of 24 polyps), specificity of 94% (266 of 282 polyps), positive-predictive value of 58% (22 of 38 polyps), and negative-predictive value of 99% (266 of 268 polyps). Only 16 (6%) of the 6—9 mm polyps exceeded 10 mm at follow-up.


Volumetric growth assessment of small colorectal polyps could be a useful biomarker for determination of clinical importance. Advanced adenomas show more rapid growth than non-advanced adenomas, whereas most other small polyps remain stable or regress. Our findings might allow for less invasive surveillance strategies, reserving polypectomy for lesions that show substantial growth. Further research is needed to provide more information regarding the ultimate fate of unresected small polyps without significant growth.

Source: Lancet

Ablative Therapy for Barrett Esophagus: Caveat Emptor.

Cancer can still occur after successful eradication of dysplasia with radiofrequency ablation.

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for patients with Barrett esophagus with high-grade dysplasia (HGD) has been clearly established as an acceptable and preferred treatment option for the majority of these patients. In the initial multicenter trial, RFA completely eradicated dysplasia in 91% of patients with HGD (JW Gastroenterol May 27 2009) and in 95% who were followed up for 2 years. Repeat RFA was performed in 55% of patients after the 1-year primary end point — mostly based on the discretion of the endoscopist rather than biopsy indication (JW Gastroenterol Nov 4 2011). No cancers were reported. The inference by some clinicians is that patients who have had successful ablative therapy can be considered cured and can be discontinued from surveillance. However, a new case report provides contrary evidence.

Three patients underwent successful RFA treatment of Barrett esophagus with HGD at tertiary academic centers; procedures were performed by nationally recognized experts in RFA. Two patients underwent endoscopic mucosal resection before RFA. The first patient had five post-RFA surveillance endoscopies during 2 years before subsquamous HGD was detected. The second patient had normal neosquamous epithelium at 3 months but subsquamous esophageal adenocarcinoma detected at 6 months. The third patient underwent two endoscopies at 3-month intervals, and at 9 months, a nodular area was noted and a subsquamous esophageal adenocarcinoma was detected.

Comment: This report emphasizes the ongoing risk for cancer following successful RFA treatment in patients with Barrett esophagus and HGD. These cases clearly demonstrate the need for meticulous surveillance. However, until the optimal surveillance schedule after ablative therapy is defined in national guidelines, experts currently recommend surveillance intervals of 3 months in year 1, 6 months in year 2, and 1 year thereafter. Quadrant biopsies should be taken every 1 cm in addition to separate biopsies of any visible lesions. Although RFA poses less risk than surgery, it is far from a cure.

Source: Journal Watch Gastroenterology


American Thyroid Association: Better communication among care team critical for optimal care, surveillance

Physicians who treat patients with thyroid cancer as part of a multidisciplinary treatment team need specific perioperative information, including results from clinical examination, biochemical testing, and cross-sectional and functional imaging tests, among other sources.

Communication between disciplines is critical, but the American Thyroid Association recognized that there was no universally accepted model for effectively sharing this data among the various care providers. The association’s Surgical Affairs Committee was tasked with identifying critical information that should be readily available to each member of the multidisciplinary team. The goal was to help physicians develop a management plan for each patient that will lead to a rational, risk-based approach to initial therapy, adjuvant therapy and follow-up studies.

The committee identified three distinct types of data that must be shared: preoperative evaluations, intraoperative findings and postoperative data, events and plans. The committee provided several data points in each category such as comorbid conditions and abnormal laboratory values that could influence decisions about adjuvant radioiodine ablation therapy in the preoperative category, extent of surgery and description of gross extrathyroidal extension from the intraoperative findings and vocal cord dysfunction and anticipated after-care plan from the postoperative findings.

“Accurate communication of the important findings of thyroidectomy is critical to individualized risk stratification, as well as to the short-term follow-up issues of thyroid cancer care that are often jointly managed in the postoperative setting,” committee member R. Michael Tuttle, MD, of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and colleagues wrote. “Moreover, true multidisciplinary communication is essential to providing optimal adjuvant care and surveillance

Source:Endocrine Today.