Friday, July 17, 2009

Limited Benefits, High Costs of Cancer Screening

Yesterday's article from the New York Times "Forty Years' War - In Push for Cancer Screening, Limited Benefits" we learn that blanket screening of large numbers of people can come with a high cost.

...For example, Americans spend an estimated $4 billion annually on mammograms, according to Dr. David H. Newman, author of the book “Hippocrates’ Shadow: Secrets from the House of Medicine.” Some of those tests cause false alarms that lead to unnecessary follow-up surgery on normal breasts, at a cost of $14 billion to $70 billion over a decade, according to Dr. Newman, the director of clinical research in the department of emergency medicine at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center in Manhattan....

We need better, more accurate screening tools.

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