Tag Archives: breast cancer

Is It Rational for Breast Cancer Patients to Have Bilateral Mastectomies?

Warning: I am not writing about Angelina Jolie. I am not asking whether women like Jolie, with a strong family histories of breast cancer and known genetic mutations, should consider having bilateral mastectomies. Women like Jolie face extremely high lifetime … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged ,

Has Mammography Created an Epidemic of Pseudo-Survivorship?

Karen Vogt’s breast cancer journey began like many others, with her breasts painfully squeezed into a mammography machine. At age 52, it was far from her first mammogram, but this scan would be the most consequential by far. It revealed … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

Which Cancers Do We Spend Most of Our Money On?

There has been lots written lately about the soaring cost of cancer care. You’re spending a lot on cancer recently in part because of many wonderful new treatments that come with a substantial price tag. But there has been less … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , ,

The Question Isn’t Whether We Are Overdiagnosing Cancer, But How Much

Medical experts now agree that as a result of aggressive screening programs, we have an epidemic of cancer overdiagnosis in the United States. With mammograms finding tiny cancers and PSA tests discovering unpalpable prostate cancers, we are now unearthing some … Continue reading

Posted in Medical Decision Making | Tagged , ,

If You Look for Cancer, You’ll Find It

What would you like first: the good news or the bad news? Let me start with the bad. Life expectancy among patients in the U.S. with thyroid cancer lags behind that in Korea. In fact, the vast majority of patients … Continue reading

Posted in Health & Well-being, Health Policy, Medical Decision Making, Uncategorized | Tagged , , ,

You Thought Innovation Was Hard, How about De-Innovation?

David Asch and I recently published an article in Health Affairs on the challenge of getting healthcare practitioners to stop doing things they are accustomed to doing, even when the evidence that those things are harmful becomes overwhelming. Here is … Continue reading

Posted in Health Policy, Medical Decision Making | Tagged , , , ,

How Effective Are Mammograms?

Mammograms have long been touted as a life-saving preventive test. But recently, people have been re-examining the relative harms and benefits of mammography. This re-examination became quite earnest when the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommended against beginning routine … Continue reading

Posted in Medical Decision Making | Tagged ,

Unnecessary Mastectomies Following Breast Cancer Diagnoses?

I spoke the other day to Melissa Dahl, a writer for New York Magazine. She wrote a really nice piece on what medical professionals call “contralateral prophylactic mastectomy” – when a woman with breast cancer chooses not only to remove … Continue reading

Posted in Medical Decision Making | Tagged ,

What Mammograms Teach Us About Wildfires, Floods, and Tornadoes

In the wake of the horrific floods that struck Colorado recently, many people have debated whether global warming is to blame. The same goes for wildfires that hit that state this summer and for the massive tornado that struck in … Continue reading

Posted in Medical Decision Making | Tagged , , , ,

Beware of Cancer Metastasizing to Your Wallet

Joanne Reed’s breast cancer was discovered at an early stage, early enough that her doctors would be able to remove the tumor with surgery (either a mastectomy or a lumpectomy) and then, with a touch of chemo, she would face … Continue reading

Posted in Health Policy | Tagged , ,