August 22, 2012

SHUT UP AND MAKE ME PERFCET AGAIN:

Healthcare's Question of the Decade (Dan Munro, 8/20/12, Forbes)

From two studies conducted over 7-10 years (one here and one in Europe) there was NO benefit at all to PSA Screening and about 20% of men got either a false alarm and biopsy or were diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer unnecessarily. Up until 2009, about 30 million men received a PSA Test each year - at a cost of about $3 billion annually (just for the test). The effects of the surgeries are often horrendous - including incontinence, erectile dysfunction and impotence.

Earlier this year, Dr. Otis Brawley published his book How We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks About Being Sick In America. As a part of the release Dr. Brawley recounted the story of a woman named Helen who was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. As was fairly common in the early 1990′s - surgery was followed by high doses of chemotherapy - and a bone marrow transplant.  Quoting Dr. Brawley:

"The therapy Helen received was expensive and commonly given to women with breast cancer in the early 1990s. During this time, numerous women sued insurance companies who did not want to pay for the therapy and nearly a dozen states passed laws saying insurance companies had to pay for it."

"There was one really good reason why the health insurers did not want to pay for high dose chemotherapy and bone marrow transplant for breast cancer:  No study had ever been done to prove it beneficial."

"Even without evidence, some patients and their doctors had faith that it worked. The procedure was common because some doctors taught that the transplant was beneficial to patients. Truth be told, it was very beneficial to the doctors and hospitals offering it."

Posted by at August 22, 2012 5:15 AM
  

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