About MeI am a physician and behavioral scientist. My research and writing explore the quirks in human nature that influence our lives -- the mixture of rational and irrational forces that affect our health, our happiness, and the way our society functions. (more...)
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Tag Archives: cancer screening
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
All too often the most powerful illusions seduce us through truthful whisperings. Let’s start with an obvious truth: Living a long and happy life after a cancer diagnosis is better than living a short miserable one.
The American Urological Association (the AUA) is outraged that the Unites State Preventative Services Task Force doesn’t support, has even “disparaged,” PSA screening. Dr. John Lynch, a member of its Board of Directors, even appealed to prostate cancer survivors to lobby against the Task Force’s recommendation, painting a dire picture of life without this controversial screening test:
Dr. Timothy Wilt, a member of the United States Preventive Services Task Force, stood in front of the American Urological Association audience and explained why the task force could not recommend that men undergo routine PSA screening. At most, he explained, the test had been shown to benefit one out of 1000 men.