USPSTF revises its grades

The USPSTF has revised their grading system for recommending periodic health examinations. In the past, only the quality of evidence was weighed. Now the magnitude of the benefit is incorporated. Here are the revised definitions for the rating grades:

The codes for the current USPSTF recommendations include A (strongly recommended, good evidence, and substantial benefit), B (recommended, fair evidence, and moderate to substantial benefit), C (no recommendation, fair to good ...

Read more...

A recent study has suggested that there has been increasing use of CT angiography in the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism:

A new study, published in the October 2004 American Journal of Roentgenology, shows that during a nine-month period in 1997 –1998, 81 patients underwent CT for suspected pulmonary embolism through the emergency department at University Hospitals of Cleveland. That number increased to 349 during the corresponding nine-month interval in ...

Read more...

Poor colon cancer screening rates

Colon cancer screening rates are still low:

Overall, 58 percent of men and 51 percent of women [aged 50 to 74 years -ed] in the study reported ever having undergone endoscopy, but only 35 percent reported being tested in the five years before 1997. Just 42 percent of men and 31 percent of women reported endoscopy for screening (rather than for disease diagnosis or follow-up).
It is recommended by most ...

Read more...

No surprise here

After many instances of media misinterpretation of cancer screening, comes this poignant study.

Morphine in hospice care

An article in Cancer suggests that too little morphine is used in hospice care. As was discussed previously, alleviation of pain and maximizing comfort is paramount in hospice situations. Interestingly, those who were given larger doses of morphine lived longer.

Screening for ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from a gynecologic malignancy, and there is continual interest whether the general population should be screened for this disease. A recent report has suggested a new blood test testing for early ovarian cancer. Here's how the media portrayed this:

BY THE TIME MANY WOMEN FIND OUT THEY HAVE OVARIAN CANCER, IT'S TOO LATE.

THAT'S BECAUSE THERE'S NEVER BEEN A ...

Read more...

Can’t get enough

More on screening MRIs for breast cancer. JAMA released a study examining screening MRIs for patients with the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutation (those who have this mutation have an 85 percent lifetime risk of developing breast cancer):

"This study of 236 BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers demonstrates that the addition of annual MRI and ultrasound to mammography and CBE significantly improves the sensitivity of surveillance for detecting ...

Read more...

Cheers

I don't often give the mainstream media many kudos when reporting medical news, but I'm happy to see MSNBC highlighting the appropriate context of a screening MRI for breast cancer. The story even made the MSNBC home page. Echoing what was written here, MSNBC reports:

If you're not at high risk for breast cancer, make sure you get a yearly mammogram. But at this point, MRI is not ...

Read more...

Screening for breast cancer

In a good news/bad news kind of article, it suggested that most women are receiving their mammograms by the age of 40, but aren't following-up as suggested:

A new study finds most women now follow the recommendation to receive their first screening mammogram at age 40, but there is widespread failure to return promptly for subsequent exams and several sub-populations of women still are not being screened by the ...

Read more...

Active euthanasia

What an incredible story today from Medpundit:

An elderly, "comfort care only" patient was transferred from her nursing home to the ER in the middle of the night because the nursing home didn't know what to do when she developed abdominal pain. She was much too frail to withstand surgery, and since she was "comfort care only," that wasn't an option anyways. The emergency room doctor who drew her ...

Read more...

Most Popular

Join 141,000+ subscribers

Get the best of KevinMD in your inbox

Sign me up! It's free. 
close-link
✓ Join 141,000+ subscribers 
✓ Get KevinMD's 5 most popular stories
Subscribe. It's free.
close-image