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Are Too Many Older People Screened for Cancer?
Date:12/12/2011

zards of certain procedures and treatments that might not save lives.

Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society, conceded some elderly Americans might be candidates for screening, but said "the overwhelming majority of folks over 75 should not be getting these screening tests, because we have no science that shows these tests are going to benefit these folks by making them live longer."

"This is an example of waste," he said. "We need to think about the rational use of health care and stop talking about the rationing of health care.

"Many docs are ordering these test purely to cover themselves" from a lawsuit, he added.

More information

For more information on cancer screening, visit the American Cancer Society.

SOURCES: Keith M. Bellizzi, Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor, Human Development and Family Studies, University of Connecticut, Storrs; Louise C. Walter, M.D., assistant professor, medicine, University of California, San Francisco; Otis Brawley, M.D., chief medical officer, American Cancer Society; Dec. 12/26, 2011, Archives of Internal Medicine


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