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A pitch for less screening

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New American College of Physicians guidelines says that many patients “could be screened less often for certain cancers to minimize their risk of receiving unnecessary follow-up tests or treatment for tumors that are unlikely to become harmful,” Reuters reported.

Following these recommendations would obviously mean a considerable drop in income for some providers.

“Less frequent screening for some malignancies, as well as starting tests later in life and ending them earlier in old age, may make sense for some adults without a family history or other risk factors for cancer.”

“The notion of high-value screening is a sensible way for doctors and patients to decide whether a particular test for cancer makes sense,” Dr. Richard Schilsky, chief medical officer for the American Society of Clinical Oncology, told Reuters.

He wasn’t involved in the ACP recommendations.

“No screening test is perfect, and most people who get screened don’t have the disease. Most people who do have the disease won’t benefit from screening because the disease is so aggressive that they would have died anyway, or because it is so slow-growing they would never have symptoms,” Dr, Schilsky said.

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