MinnPost spoke with Timothy Church, one of the authors of the new guidelines and a professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.
The PSA test should still not be used routinely, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended, but physicians should discuss its harms and benefits with men aged 55 to 69. Each man can then “incorporate his values and preferences into his decision.”
If Congress really wants to improve health care for the poor, it should push for paid sick leave for all workers.
Doctors use pelvic exams to find several gynecologic conditions, such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease, cervical polyps and ovarian cysts.
In December, Congress required health insurers to follow breast cancer screening guidelines from 2002 rather than two more recent ones.
The findings suggest a way of reaching the third of American adults for whom preventive colorectal screening is recommended, but who have never been screened or who are not up to date with it.
Not only is unnecessary screening wasting billions of dollars each year, it’s also leading to real harm.
Education is a major factor. In all 50 states, the study found, people with the least education are significantly more likely to die from colorectal cancer.
Minnesota has one of the lowest cervical-cancer incidence rates and death rates among all the states.
The number of thyroidectomies being done in the U.S. has also climbed dramatically — by 60 percent between 1996 and 2006.
The media hype prompts some researchers to declare that “it’s time once again for a tutorial in positive predictive values.”
The exam has become “more of a ritual than an evidence-based practice,” the American College of Physicians’ new guideline concludes.