How many tests is the right amount to have? How many tests do you need on a regular basis to maintain your health?
If you are not battling some condition the answer may be far less then is normally being called for.
Over the past year there have been a number of reports that we are being over tested. And without any additional benefit.
Here are a few of the latest cautions about over testing.
This one concerns colonscopies as reported in Reuters.
Close to one-quarter of colonoscopies performed on older men in the U.S. may be uncalled for based on screening guidelines, a new study from Texas suggests.
Even for screening tests that are universally recommended for middle-aged adults, the balance of benefits and risks eventually points away from screening as people age. Any cancers that are caught might never have shown up during a patient’s lifetime if the person is too old or the cancer too slow-growing. Read More …
This one concerns PSA testing as reported in The Wall Street Journal
A test for prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, a protein made in the prostate, can give an early warning sign of cancer. But PSA tests also give many false alarms, prompting men to have more than one million unnecessary biopsies every year. And when prostate cancer is found, more than 80% of men opt for surgery, radiation or hormone therapy that sometimes leaves them incontinent or impotent, even though their cancer probably wasn’t life-threatening. Read More …
This one concerns over testing in general from Choose Wisely
United States specialty societies representing more than 500,000 physicians developed lists of Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question in recognition of the importance of physician and patient conversations to improve care and eliminate unnecessary tests and procedures.
These lists represent specific, evidence-based recommendations physicians and patients should discuss to help make wise decisions about their health and decide on the most appropriate care based on their individual situation. Read More …
It is important to be our own best advocates. Understand what tests you need and what tests are not necessary for your health.
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Arnold Brod, Publisher
Photo Source – Nemo