Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Top 10 Over-used Tests and What Should be Done Instead

1.      Nuclear stress tests after heart surgery, yearly EKG’s or exercise tests.  Much better to do non-invasive functional or anatomical tests like Calcium score CT scans (once), CardioRisk, Max pulse, ICD, Heart Rate variability tests.

2.      PSA for prostate screening and annual pap tests.  The former is no better than a digital rectal exam, and pap tests every 3 years is fine for most women, unless they are taking hormones.

3.      PET scan for Alzheimer’s. Asking a few questions is certainly cheaper and probably more accurate.

4.      Any Xray or MRI for low back pain unless the problem is severe, related to an injury or persistent over months.

5.      Bone density in women under 65 or men under 70.  At that age, by all means, before that, a vitamin D3 blood test will suffice.

6.      Follow-up ultrasounds for small ovarian cysts, unless of course symptoms change.

7.      Colonoscopy after age 75—no, but before that, yes.

8.      Yearly physical exams are out, but targeted check-ups are helpful.


Read more in The Treatment Trap by Rosemary Gibson

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