Thursday, December 5, 2013

Recent Evidence on Screening Procedures

A Family Practice journal’s editorial reports that evidence now states that testicular and breast self-exams are no longer recommended. PSA’s in men and mammograms for women younger than 50 have mixed benefits at best. But the most harm could come from genomic screening. What would you do with the information if you found out that at age 30 you have the gene that makes it likely that you will develop Alzheimer’s disease? Currently there are no early interventions “approved” to alter that gene, although in alternative medicine we have some nutritional approaches to try to alter gene expression. Some might take the information as a challenge, but others could develop crippling depression. My inclination is to focus on the factors we can do something about and act accordingly. See J Hickner, Will Screening Open Pandora’s Box? Journal of Family Practice 2013;62:465. Celebration of Health Association website

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