Osteoporosis is routinely treated with bisphosphonates to prevent fractures. A new study suggests that osteopenia should be treated too. But questions remain. Bisphosphonate drugs have been shown to increase bone density and prevent fractures in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis (remember Sally Field in those ads for Boniva?) but what about… read more "Osteopenia: When Does Decreased Bone Density Become a Disease Requiring Treatment?"
A new stool DNA test was recently approved by the FDA for colon cancer screening. My first reaction was “Yay! I hope it’s good enough to replace all those unpleasant, expensive screening colonoscopies.” But of course, things are never that simple. I wanted to explain the new test for our… read more "Recent Developments and Recurring Dilemmas in Cancer Screening: Colon, Lung, Thyroid"
The issue of PSA screening has been in the news lately. For instance, an article in USA Todayreported the latest recommendations of the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF): doctors should no longer offer the PSA screening test to healthy men, because the associated risks are greater than the benefits. The story… read more "Prostate Cancer Dilemmas: To Test or Not to Test, To Cut or Not to Cut"
Dr. H. Gilbert Welch has written a new book Over-diagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health, with co-authors Lisa Schwartz and Steven Woloshin. It identifies a serious problem, debunks medical misconceptions and contains words of wisdom. We are healthier, but we are increasingly being told we are sick. We… read more "Overdiagnosis"
You’ve all heard the dramatic testimonials in the media: “I had a PSA test and they found my prostate cancer early enough to treat it. The test saved my life. You should get tested too.” The subject of screening tests is one that confuses the public. On the surface, it… read more "PSA – To Screen or Not to Screen"