Concern Is Growing That The Elderly Get Too Many Medical Tests
...Is saying that more is not always better when it comes to medical tests," and that becomes particularly true in older Americans." A decade ago I would have disagreed. What's wrong with testing? Even if it results in a false positve, that will eventually be discovered and you're on your way, right? Testing isn't that invasive, besides, if it finds something wasn't the cost worth the benefit? I don't think that anymore.
"Too often these tests, some doctors and researchers say, trigger a cascade of expensive, anxiety-producing diagnostic procedures and invasive treatments for slow-growing diseases that may never cause problems, leaving patients worse off than if they had never been tested. In other cases, they say, treatment, rather than extending or improving life, actually reduces its quality in the final months."The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of experts that evaluates the risks and benefits of screening tests:
- Does not endorse PSA testing after age 75.
- Does not endorse colon screening after age 75.
- Does not recommend a repeat colonoscopy within 10 years if the previous one was normal.
- Says there is no evidence for or against mammography after age 74.
- Recommends most women stop getting Pap smears to detect cervical cancer after 65.