Tag Archives: cancer screening

Make Sure Your Doctor Is Treating You and Not Your Blood Tests

Shutterstock He came to the ER with chest pain, shortness of breath, and atrial fibrillation with a heart rate of almost 120 beats per minute. It wasn’t a heart attack, and it wasn’t some rare disease. He was emergently ill … Continue reading

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How to Tell Grandpa He Is Too Old for Another Colonoscopy

Shutterstock Cancer screening can save lives: Mammographies reduce the chance women will die of breast cancer; and colonoscopies reduce the chance people will die of colon cancer. But should my 93-year-old father receive a screening colonoscopy? The test is uncomfortable, … Continue reading

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Why Living in a Rich Country Can Give You Cancer

Shutterstock As a primary care physician, I have counseled thousands of patients to get cancer screening—blood tests to look for prostate cancer, mammograms to detect impalpable breast cancers, and colonoscopies to find precancerous colon lesions. I’ve even tried to find … Continue reading

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Out of Control Physicians: Too Many Doctors Doing Too Many Things to Too Many Patients

My father is 92 years old, and I am beginning to wonder whether the best thing for his health would be to stay away from doctors. That’s because well intentioned physicians often expose their elderly patients to harmful and unnecessary … Continue reading

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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

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Is There a Smart Way to Use the New Oncotype Prostate Cancer Test?

On May 8th, the makers of the oncotype DX Prostate Cancer Test presented results of a large study demonstrating that their test can help men decide whether their prostate cancer carries a low enough risk of progression to forgo surgical or … Continue reading

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Who Wants to Take a Pill to Prevent Breast Cancer?

On April 14, The United States Preventive Services Taskforce concluded that women with an elevated risk of breast cancer – who have never been diagnosed with breast cancer but whose family history and other medical factors increase their odds of … Continue reading

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Reason #73 That No One Wants a Colonoscopy

Imagine you are 17 years old again and applying to college. You have your heart set on Stanford, but know it’s a long shot. Your well-meaning aunt, aware of your interest in that fine Palo Alto institution, buys you a Stanford … Continue reading

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Why No Uproar Over Ovarian Cancer Screening Guidelines?

In September the United States Preventive Services Taskforce, a panel of medical experts, concluded that tests to screen for ovarian cancer do more harm than good. As a result, insurers will not be required by federal law to pay for … Continue reading

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Beware Overreaching Government Efforts to Detect Breast Cancer

JoAnn Pushkin’s breast cancer was diagnosed at an advanced stage because the density of her breasts obscured the tumor on her mammograms. That was shocking news to Pushkin, who only learned that her breasts were radiologically dense at the time … Continue reading

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