Rethinking Breast Cancer Screening in Older Women
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Boston, MA (PRWEB) January 21, 2013
Doctors Health Press, a division of Lombardi Publishing Corporation, and publisher of various natural health newsletters, books, and reports, including the popular online Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin, is reporting on a new Yale University study finding that for older women, there is no evidence that breast cancer screenings lead to any benefits.
As Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin (http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/cancer-articles/rethinking-breast-cancer-screening-in-older-women) notes, Medicare spends over $1.0 billion a year on procedures such as mammography. The study researchers wanted to completely understand the money spent on breast cancer, including screening and treatment costs.
As the article “Rethinking Breast Cancer Screening in Older Women” reports, researchers at Yale University took an overall national view, including nearly 140,000 female Medicare beneficiaries who did not have breast cancer before 2006. These women were followed for two years to observe screening, breast cancer incidence, and associated cost.
The Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin article states that in regard to breast cancer screening, there was a big variation across regions in the U.S., ranging from $40.00 to $110.00 per Medicare beneficiary. Much of that variation was because of newer, more expensive screening technologies used by some clinics. The researchers found no proof that spending more on these screenings was actually benefiting women in these areas. There was no proof that more expensive technologies led to more detected tumors.
According to Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin, over $400 million of this screening money is being spent on women over the age of 75, for whom a special U.S. task force concluded there is not enough evidence to back up getting breast cancer screenings at all.
The article reports that the researchers conclude that more research needs to be done to determine which women benefit from screening, and how to deliver that effectively.
The Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin article concludes that while there is no doubt that such screening can save lives, for some women, breast cancer screening is likely to cause more harm than good. For them, the U.S. is unnecessarily spending millions of dollars.
(SOURCE: Gross, C., et al., “The Cost of Breast Cancer Screening in the Medicare Population,” JAMA Internal Medicine, published online January 7, 2013.)
Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin is a daily e-letter providing natural health news with a focus on natural healing through foods, herbs, and other breakthrough health alternative treatments. For more information on Doctors Health Press, visit http://www.doctorshealthpress.com.
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