Friday, March 22, 2013

Too many screening tools

Now the big 'hoo haw' in the medical world is preventative care. You know they want people to have annual physicals and get certain screening tests - mammograms, PSA, and colonoscopies. I personally think a bit of prevention goes a long way.

But we can't focus on that and test everyone to death (bad choice of words there?) can we? I mean its bad enough that I go to my PCP for a physical and I get sent for blood tests. I used to get annual chest x-rays because I have had a thingy in my lungs but after thirty years of annual commemorative pictures, they have changed protocols and said I no longer need those.

I also still get annual visits with the radiation oncologist and breast surgeon, three times a year with the medical oncologist, twice a year with the endocrinologist and four times a year with someone in rheumatology which is more than the average bear. Because with my medical history, they need to be sure but I am not so sure about the rest of the population. How many tests do they need? I question this.

Last year medical organizations came out about tests we generally do not need. I blogged about these somewhere in my blog but can't find them... I have to get to work, I don't have hours to dig through my blog so trust me it is there.

Now medical research is busy adding new screening tests. Some British researchers have found a link between lifestyle and developing rheumatoid arthritis. They found:

they found that smoking, obesity and having diabetes all increased the risk. It was also found that drinking a small amount of alcohol and being in a higher social class were associated with a reduced risk of developing the disease.

Read more at: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-03-links-lifestyle-rheumatoid-arthritis.html#jCp
 "... they found that smoking, obesity and having diabetes, all increased the risk. It was also found that drinking a small amount of alcohol and being in a higher social class were associated with a reduced risk of developing the disease."

Their recommendation, as a result, is to develop a screening tool to identify patients with a higher risk and who could be given advice on  how to reduce their risk. (I'm not signed up for any special social class so how would I know if I am at a lower risk?) Not helpful.

So let me review this. The movement these days is to reduce unnecessary tests and research is creating more tests. Sounds like a vast conspiracy to me.
they found that smoking, obesity and having diabetes all increased the risk. It was also found that drinking a small amount of alcohol and being in a higher social class were associated with a reduced risk of developing the disease.

Read more at: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-03-links-lifestyle-rheumatoid-arthritis.html#jCp
they found that smoking, obesity and having diabetes all increased the risk. It was also found that drinking a small amount of alcohol and being in a higher social class were associated with a reduced risk of developing the disease.

Read more at: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-03-links-lifestyle-rheumatoid-arthritis.html#jCp
they found that smoking, obesity and having diabetes all increased the risk. It was also found that drinking a small amount of alcohol and being in a higher social class were associated with a reduced risk of developing the disease.

Read more at: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-03-links-lifestyle-rheumatoid-arthritis.html#jCp

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