The Mammograms or Not in Women 40-49 Controversy

As usual Dr. Kenny Lin, a former USPSTF member and prolific writer of “common sense” articles writes on how emotions rule rather than evidence and data when it comes to how people feel about breast cancer Check out his article: Countering the too neat narrative on screening mammography.

Here are a couple of snippets for those of you who don’t want to check out the whole article.

“The petition itself is riddled with misrepresentations and errors. For example, it states: “The draft recommendations give mammograms for women ages 40-49 a “C” grade, meaning most women in this age group, according to the Task Force, do not need an annual exam.” Not so. Actually, the Task Force is telling physicians and patients to weigh the benefits (a 1 in 2000 chance over 10 years of avoiding death from breast cancer) against the harms (a 6 in 10 chance of a false positive test result, unnecessary biopsy, and/or unnecessary treatment during the same time period).”

“To those who say, as if to brook no further argument: “Screening mammography in young women saves lives, that’s all there is to it,” I respond, no, that is not all. That too-neat narrative is only a small part of the story. And it’s past time that the full story is told.”

As usual Dr. Lin cuts through the emotion and gives a factual analysis of the evidence.

USPSTF “Strong” Recommendations for Preventative Services.

This article is the second in a series on the USPSTF recommendations to health care providers and U.S. residents on recommendations for preventative care services.  The previous article listed 16 “D” recommendations, i.e. things you should not do in an attempt to prevent health problems.  In that article I selected the most relevant “D”: recommendations,…

16 USPSTF “D” Recommendations: What Not to Do For Prevention

The USPSTF United States Preventative Services Task Force is the group tasked with making recommendations to the U.S. health care system and citizens concerning what to do and what not to do to prevent illness.  I’m going to post over the next few weeks a series of annotated lists highlighting selected USPSTF recommendations. We will…

SGR is History- Finally!

I started to write a post about the house and the senate finally coming up with a way to get rid of the regularly occurring threat to implement major Medicare payment decreases mandated by the SGR.  Last night, appropriately at nearly the last minute the Senate passed the house bill to repeal the SGR and…

Bill Maher’s Illogical Thoughts on Vaccinations

I’m visiting my mother-in-law and so Friday night we watched Real Time with Bill Maher and I enjoyed watching satire of the news from the left side.  I recently visited my Dad and endured Fox Network’s Justice w/Judge Jeanine so Maher seemed like a Rhode’s Scholar in comparison to Ms. Pirro.  Much of what Mr. Maher…

Should Getting Old Be an Indication for Statin Therapy

I’ve been skeptical of the most recent American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology recommendations for statin use for prevention of coronary heart disease and stroke since they were released in Nov. 2013. Using the new calculator age over 60 for men or 70 for women, even with near prefect values for other risk…