Weighing The Cost And Benefits Of Screenings and MRIs
The New York Times offers two stories examining medical advances for determining disease and injuries and whether that has improved health or just increased health costs.
The New York Times: Considering When It Might Be Best Not To Know About Cancer
After decades in which cancer screening was promoted as an unmitigated good, as the best — perhaps only — way for people to protect themselves from the ravages of a frightening disease, a pronounced shift is under way. Now expert groups are proposing less screening for prostate, breast and cervical cancer and have emphasized that screening comes with harms as well as benefits (Kolata, 10/29).
The New York Times: Sports Medicine Said To Overuse A Popular Scan
M.R.I.’s can be invaluable in certain situations — finding serious problems like tumors or helping distinguish between competing diagnoses that fit a patient’s history and symptoms. They also can make money for doctors who own their own machines. And they can please sports medicine patients, who often expect a scan. But scans are easily misinterpreted and can result in misdiagnoses leading to unnecessary or even harmful treatments (Kolata, 10/28).