Cancer screening in the elderly: Don’t be stupid

“Cancer screening in the elderly: Don’t be stupid” By Kenneth Lin MD, KevinMD.

When should you stop cancer screening? The answer boils down to the patient’s predicted life expectancy compared to the number of years needed for a patient to benefit from a test. Yet cancer screening in patients with limited life expectancies happens all the time. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that one-third to one-half of surveyed Americans with a 9-year mortality risk of more than 75% reported receiving recent cancer screenings. 55% of men in this group had knowingly been screened for prostate cancer within the previous 2 years — a test that, if it works at all, requires a decade to show a mortality benefit. Think twice before reflexively doing things to elderly patients that can’t possibly help and, therefore, can only hurt.

More »

Be Sociable, Share!

Articles & Posts