Health News Review
  • Aug 26 2013

    TV station should stop promoting questionable screening tests at MN State Fair

    This is the third year I’ve written about questionable screening test promotions presented by Minneapolis TV station KARE-11 at the Minnesota State Fair. In 2011: What kind of informed decision-making place took place before Fair goers were lured in for prostate cancer screening? In 2012:  What kind of informed decision-making place took place before Fair [...]

  • Jul 29 2013

    Cautions on cancer screening, overdiagnosis and overtreatment

    Several noteworthy articles in journals today. In JAMA, a breast cancer specialist, a prostate cancer specialist, and an esophogeal cancer specialist co-authored a Viewpoint article, “Overdiagnosis and Overtreatment in Cancer: An Opportunity for Improvement.” Excerpt: “In March 2012, the National Cancer Institute convened a meeting to evaluate the problem of “overdiagnosis,” which occurs when tumors [...]

  • Jul 11 2013

    Shared decision-making for prostate cancer screening? Fuhgeddaboudit!

    The news, unfortunately, is that there’s nothing new here. “Shared decision-making uncommon for PSA tests,” Reuters Health reports. Excerpts: “Most men have not discussed the potential advantages and disadvantages of prostate cancer screening with their doctor, according to a new study. Guidelines from groups including the American Urological Association and American College of Physicians call [...]

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  • Jun 6 2013

    False claims about colonoscopy in response to NYT story

    The following is a guest post by Dr. Richard Hoffman, one of our expert editors on ————————– The New York Times story, “The $2.7 Trillion Medical Bill: Colonoscopies Explain Why U.S. Leads the World in Health Expenditures,” about how the exorbitant costs associated with colonoscopy contribute to the high costs of American medicine has [...]

  • Jun 2 2013

    Colonoscopy: case study in 1st of NYT series on how economic incentives raise health care costs

    Noteworthy from the New York Times:  “The $2.7 Trillion Medical Bill: Colonoscopies Explain Why U.S. Leads the World in Health Expenditures.” Key excerpt: “While several cheaper and less invasive tests to screen for colon cancer are recommended as equally effective by the federal government’s expert panel on preventive care — and are commonly used in [...]

  • May 22 2013

    Doc complains, gets “misleading” bus ads promoting screening banned

    On a BMJ blog, Dr. Margaret McCartney writes about her irritation after seeing ads on the side of buses in Glasgow (where she lives) promoting screening tests but not divulging that this was to recruit people into clinical trials.  She and her daughter took photos of the ads, and she shared those with me:   [...]

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  • May 14 2013

    News story shines light on hospitals promoting questionable screenings

    Kudos to Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News, and the Washington Post for publishing the story, “Hospitals promote screenings that experts say many people do not need.” It’s a story that is reported infrequently, even though it could be reported any time in almost any city in the US – the practice is that widespread. The [...]

  • May 8 2013

    If you cover health care news – 5 tests you must take now

    On the Croakey blog from Australia, Dr. Tim Senior, a general practitioner working in Aboriginal health, provides advice for anyone reporting on medical tests (or indeed anyone wanting to understand the media’s reporting of screening and test issues). He was motivated by something he read in the paper: Last week, the Sydney Morning Herald went [...]

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  • May 3 2013

    “Radical change” – American Urological Association stops recommending routine PSA tests

    On Twitter, Liz Szabo of USA Today asks, “Is this the end of the PSA?” She was referring to new clinical guidelines released by the American Urological Association. She reported: “In a major break from the past, a leading medical group is advising men to think carefully before getting getting screened for prostate cancer. The [...]

  • Apr 25 2013

    Two noteworthy breast cancer stories: “The Feel-Good War” and guidelines didn’t change practice

    The New York Times Sunday magazine piece, “Our Feel-Good War on Breast Cancer,” is by Peggy Orenstein who begins: “I used to believe that a mammogram saved my life. I even wrote that in the pages of this magazine. It was 1996, and I had just turned 35 when my doctor sent me for an [...]

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