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Posts Tagged ‘ early detection ’

The False Reassurance of Overdiagnosis

September 23, 2012

A very insightful editorial appeared recently in the Archives of Internal Medicine.The article gave several examples of overdiagnosis in medicine, but I thought the authors did a particularly good job explaining the false hope of CT scanning to detect pulmonary emboli. Emboli occur most often when a blood clot in the...
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Is it Time for a Full-Body Skin Exam?

January 15, 2012

A study in the Archives of Dermatology surveyed family physicians, internists, and dermatologists on their practice of performing full body skin exams. As expected to those of us on the front lines, time was the more commonly listed constraint. But I want to mention a few other issues. First, this study...
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The Cardi-Ologists and Pediatricians Have Lost Their Minds

November 20, 2011

In a recent statement published by the journal Pediatrics, an advisory panel sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the NIH recommended universal cholesterol screening for all children ages 9 to 11. I’m sure they meant well, but this statement means important people in leadership positions have officially...
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It Just Takes a Minute to Erode Family Medicine with Unfunded Mandates

August 7, 2011

Thanks to everyone who wrote me back on some of the “simple” screening tests that “just take a few minutes” that well-meaning special interest groups want family physicians to give away their time to administer. And remember, the family physicians’ nurses are busy also, so if a special interest expects only...
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More on the Harms of the POEM Assumptions — the CA-125 Test

June 19, 2011

I received a heartfelt response to one of my posts about Dr. Oz. The response is a reply to that post and I re-post it here in its entirety. First, the thoughts of the writer, Mr. Graham; then, my response. From Mr. Graham: My wife died December 2, 2010 at our...
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The Limited Potential of Personalized Medicine

March 20, 2011

Have a simple blood test so your healthcare can be personalized. Sounds great, doesn’t it? This is the hope of the supporters of genomics, the emerging science analyzing the DNA structure of humans. Over 80 mutations have been discovered that are associated with obesity and diabetes. Each mutation accounts for no more...
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How Dr. Oz Increases Healthcare Costs – Example 1, Ovarian Cancer Screening

March 6, 2011

In a recent You Docs column in my local newspaper, a woman asked about new ways to detect ovarian cancer. She went on to state, “Each year I ask for an internal pelvic exam and a CA-125 test. My mom died from breast cancer and my sister from ovarian cancer.” The...
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How Your Are Scared Into Buying Unaffordable Healthcare by Irresponsible Journalism — Example 2, Prostate Cancer Detection

January 15, 2011

I received my Costco Connection magazine in the mail recently and noticed that it contained an article on prostate cancer. The subtitle was “Why your best shot at beating it is early detection.” I knew I was in for a rough ride. The article started with a common story-telling technique. It...
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How Your Are Scared Into Buying Unaffordable Healthcare by Irresponsible Journalism — Part I

January 8, 2011

My local newspaper is struggling with the growth of web-based news — as are so many papers nationwide — and shrinking as a result, but it still has its own health beat reporter. I’ve never met this reporter and the tone of her articles implies she is a nice and well-meaning...
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Early Detection Doesn’t Necessarily Prevent Bad Outcomes–Colonoscopies

December 11, 2010

A colleague of mine who is a family physician in Arlington, Texas, let’s call him Dr. Smith, was sued several years ago for medical malpractice. His patient had reached the age where routine screening for colorectal cancer is recommended. Dr. Smith performed flexible sigmoidoscopies (flex sigs) in his office, which is...
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