KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Debate Continues Regarding Certain Medical Tests

News outlets report on how discussion continues to swirl around the use of the so-called "PSA velocity" test and mammography guidelines.

NPR: Doctors Debate Criteria For Prostate Biopsy
Doctors call it "PSA velocity," the change in the level of a chemical in the blood called prostate-specific antigen. In recent years, many doctors have come to rely on it as the best indicator for when it's time for an initial biopsy to check for prostate cancer. But PSA velocity has come under challenge (Knox, 3/7).

Los Angeles Times: The Debate Over Prostate Cancer Tests
Men of a certain age have heard the pitch many times: If they care about their health, they really should get their PSA checked. The simple blood test, men are told, can help uncover hidden cases of prostate cancer and potentially save their lives (Woolston, 3/7).

Los Angeles Times: The Change In Mammogram Guidelines
The question seemed simple enough: Should women in their 40s be advised to get routine mammograms in the hopes of catching breast cancers while they are still small and, presumably, easier to treat? But the more an expert panel of doctors, nurses and preventive health specialists studied the data, the harder it was to come up with an answer (Aschwanden, 3/7).

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