ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
60°
Overcast
H 63° L 52°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    60°
    Current Conditions
    Overcast. H 63° L 52°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    74°
    Afternoon
    Partly Cloudy. H 83° L 62°
  • clear-day Created with Sketch.
    79°
    Evening
    Sunny. H 83° L 62°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg news on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg traffic on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg weather on demand

00:00 | 00:00

Which cancer tests do you really need?

Not all cancer screening tests are helpful, and some are potentially harmful, according to a new Consumer Reports rating.

In the new report, Consumer Reports recommends only three of 11 common cancer screening tests, and then only for certain age groups.

Screenings for cervical, colon, and breast cancer are recommended.

Screenings for cancers affecting the bladder, lungs, skin, mouth, prostate, ovaries, pancreas, and testicles are not.

"The science of prevention and screening has changed," says John Santa, MD, MPH, director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center. He oversaw the project.

"Consumers need to know that some screening tests are terrific, some are not good, and some can harm you," Santa says.

"We are not talking about people at high risk," Santa says. "And of course they are not symptomatic. We're not talking about what you should do if you have a mole that is changing or if you feel a breast lump."

The full report is in the March issue of Consumer Reports.

Cancer Screening: CR Ratings

To develop the ratings, Santa and his team looked at medical research, consulted medical experts, surveyed more than 10,000 readers, and talked with patients about screening tests.

They looked closely at recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. This independent panel provides guidelines on health care based on evidence. Much of Consumer Reports' recommendations follow the task force guidelines to the letter.  But, their recommendations sometimes differ from those of organizations such as the American Cancer Society (ACS). Here, details on the three recommended tests:

  • Cervical cancer. Women 21 to 30 should have a Pap smear to test for cervical cancer every three years. Women 30 to 65 can wait five years if they have had testing for human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus that causes the cancer. Those 65-plus can skip screening if they were screened regularly earlier. Those under 21 can also skip the test, as experts know the cancer is not common at those ages. 
  • Colon cancer. Those 50 to 75 should get screened regularly, and older people should discuss the pros and cons with their doctor and decide. Options include a colonoscopy, which examines the entire colon, every 10 years, or a sigmoidoscopy, which looks at the lower third, every five years plus a stool test every three years, or an annual stool test. As far as other guidelines, no groups suggest screening younger than 50 unless high risk. The ACS also doesn't say to specifically stop at age 75.
  • Breast cancer. Women 50 to 75 need a mammogram every two years. Those 40 to 49 or 75 and older should talk with their doctor about pros and cons. These guidelines do split with those of the ACS, though. The cancer society recommends yearly mammograms after age 40 and as long as healthy.

The other eight tests were not recommended for those not at high risk - because the cancers are uncommon, the test's effectiveness is not proven, or the test can't detect the disease at a curable stage. And even though some of the tests aren't really recommended by anyone, this list is a valuable reminder for people who may feel they need to seek them out.

On the "avoid" list, screenings for:

  • Bladder cancer. The test looks for blood or cancer cells in the urine.
  • Lung cancer. The test is a low-dose CT scan. The ACS only recommends this for high-risk people (such as older individuals who've smoked for years.
  • Skin cancer. The test is a visual exam of your skin to spot signs of the deadly skin cancer melanoma. The ACS says a skin exam by a doctor should be included as part of the routine check-up.
  • Oral cancer. This visual exam of the mouth is done by a dentist or other health care professional. The ACS suggests this as part of your normal routine oral care.
  • Prostate cancer. The blood test is known as the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test.  The ACS says to discuss PSA tests with your doctor, but doesn’t recommend widespread screening of everyone.
  • Ovarian cancer. Tests include a blood test to look for a protein linked with the cancer, and a transvaginal ultrasound. This test is generally not recommended by anyone for the general public.
  • Pancreatic cancer. Tests are abdominal images or genetic tests. This test is also generally not recommended by anyone for the general public.
  • Testicular cancer. The test is a physical exam of the testicles. ACS does recommend this as part of routine care; the task force doesn't.

Cancer Tests: Perspectives

The new ratings drew mixed reactions.

Otis Brawley, MD, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, says the report helps to put screening into its proper perspective. "There has been a significant amount of over-promising and over-promoting," he says.

He frowns on aggressive campaigns that have included mammogram parties or group colonoscopies.

"A lot of screening is being done by organizations that can profit from it," he says.

"The truth is, certain tests do have some significant benefit, and every test has some limitations," he says. "In the spirit of informed decision-making, people need to understand both the potential for benefit and the potential for harm."

As mentioned, the recommendations on breast cancer screening from Consumer Reports and the American Cancer Society are different, but Brawley calls these differences ''minimal."

"We recommend women in their 40s get a mammogram on an annual basis, but we also recommend those women get information on the limitations," he says.

These include missing some cancers and ordering additional tests when no cancer turns out to be there.

Some doctors took issue with the decision to use the task force recommendations as the basic source.

"I'm disappointed they followed the task force guidelines, because we feel they are inadequate to protect women," says Debra Monticciolo, MD, chair of the American College of Radiology's Quality and Safety Commission and vice chair of radiology at Scott & White Healthcare in Temple, Texas.

"Right now, we can't cure breast cancer, so we really need to find cancers early," she says. Research has found the best way to do that is by yearly mammograms beginning at age 40, she says.

The recommendation to avoid PSA tests refutes evidence that they work, say Dipen Parekh, MD, a professor and chair of urology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine's Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

"There is no question the decline in the incidence of advanced prostate cancer is due in large part to PSA screening," he says.

However, the recommendation for women at low risk for ovarian cancer not to seek screening is a good one, says J. Matt Pearson, MD, assistant professor and a gynecologic oncologist at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine's Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The lifetime risk of ovarian cancer in the general population is low. When you screen for a cancer that is not common, he tells women, "you are more likely to find a benign abnormality that pushes you toward [unneeded] surgery."

Cancer Tests: Making the Decision

Santa recommends educating yourself about cancer screening tests, then talking to your doctor about whether the benefits outweigh the risks for you.

"Don't go to a mobile van, don't go to a mammogram party," he says.

"Don't believe a billboard on the highway that tells you to get a PSA test when it comes from a hospital that has a robotic prostate cancer surgery program."

Cancer Prevention: Lifestyle, Lifestyle, Lifestyle

"If you are serious about preventing cancer, you don't smoke, you exercise, and you try to get to a normal weight," Santa says. Obesity has been linked with about 4% of men's new cancers and 7% of women's, he says.

Getting to a normal weight may especially lower the risk for uterine and esophageal cancers.

Regular exercise can reduce colon and breast cancer risk.

Smoking is linked with lung cancer as well as cancers of the larynx, oral cavity, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas.

SOURCES: John Santa, MD, MPH, director, Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center.J. Matt Pearson, MD, assistant professor and  gynecologic oncologist, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center,  University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.Consumer Reports March, 2013: "Save your Life."Dipen Parekh, MD, urologic oncologist; professor and chair, urology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine's Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.Otis Brawley, MD, chief medical officer, American Cancer Society.Debra Monticciolo, MD, chair of the American College of Radiology Quality and Safety Commission; professor of radiology, Texas A & M University; vice chair of radiology, Scott & White Healthcare, Temple, Texas.

© 2013 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

  • Two days after the FBI Director confirmed that an investigation was underway into election meddling by Russia and any ties to the Trump Campaign, the Republican Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee announced that U.S. Intelligence had legally monitored actions of the Trump transition, and maybe even some communications of Mr. Trump himself. Here is what we know: 1. What is in this new information? House Intelligence Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) said he had been provided with raw intelligence intercepts which showed information related to President-Elect Trump and members of the Trump Transition team. Nunes would not identify who had provided him with the information, which he seemed to indicate came through regular channels, possibly by a whistle blower inside the U.S. Intelligence Community – it just wasn’t clear. But what was clear was that he took the information to President Trump and the White House before telling his committee, and Democratic members on that panel. Whoa. At presser, Nunes just revealed IC collected info about Americans associated w/ the Trump transition team—separate from Russia probe. — Eric Geller (@ericgeller) March 22, 2017 2. Nunes: It has nothing to do with Russia. One puzzling part of the dramatic announcement by Nunes was that the subject matter did not relate to the probe into election meddling by Russia in 2016, or ties between Russia and the Trump Campaign. If that indeed is the case, then the communications monitored by U.S. Intelligence must have been focused on some other foreign intelligence targets which were being monitored by the United States. Was it other nations that are on the radar of U.S. Intelligence? Certain foreigners who are the target of a criminal investigation? It wasn’t clear. Rep. Devin Nunes: The reports I've seen 'did not have anything to do with Russia or the Russia investigation” https://t.co/sCYhWJArgW — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 22, 2017 3. What is incidental collection? Is it legal? This is one of those bureaucratic phrases that sounds complicated, but really isn’t. First, incidental collection of an American during a wiretap of a foreigner is totally legal. In this situation (as described by Nunes), officials of the Trump Transition – or maybe even the President-Elect at the time – could have been in contact with foreign persons who are under surveillance. When that happens, that is known as “incidental collection.” While there are rules on how that is dealt with, just because a U.S. citizen appears on a wiretap involving a foreigner does not mean that U.S. Intelligence suddenly stops listening. Nunes said the intercepts showed that information with no intelligence value was circulated widely inside the Intelligence Community. Rep. Devin Nunes: The reports I've seen 'did not have anything to do with Russia or the Russia investigation” https://t.co/sCYhWJArgW — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 22, 2017 4. Democrats hit the roof. Democrats were outraged by the Nunes move, immediately saying that it raises questions about how Nunes could lead a bipartisan review of the election interference charges against Russia. The Top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (R-CA) expressed his displeasure in a statement, and at his own news conference. “You don’t take information that the committee hasn’t seen and present it orally to the press and the White House, before the committee has a chance to even vet whether it is significant.” Rep. Adam Schiff: “This is not how you conduct an investigation” https://t.co/J6dJQWqV9d https://t.co/IMLTAxmn5p — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 22, 2017 5. New calls for an independent probe on Russia. The dustup over the Nunes announcement opened a new door for Democrats to demand an independent investigation of the issue of Russian meddling in the 2016 elections, as Democrats have long been suspicious of Nunes, who was a member of the Trump Transition team. “Unfortunately, I think the actions of today throw great doubt into the ability of both the Chairman and the committee to conduct the investigation the way it ought to be conducted,” Schiff said at his own news conference. Schiff says Nunes needs to decide if he is Chair of independent oversight committee or surrogate for the White House https://t.co/5AaB4kTNjI — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 22, 2017 6. More partisan elbows from both sides. It didn’t take long for both parties to weigh in, for and against Nunes. “The unprecedented comments of Chairman Nunes are an act of diversion and desperation,” said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who labeled the Nunes brief of President Trump, “highly irregular conduct.” On the other side, the statements were just as pointed. “The Chairman’s statements today detailing the incidental collection and dissemination of the Presidential transition team’s communications is highly concerning,” said Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH). I used to deal with FISA SIGINT all the time. That's some seriously compartmented stuff, folks. I am still in shock about Nunes' disclosure. — John Schindler (@20committee) March 22, 2017 7. White House welcomes Nunes information. After taking all sorts of flak for claiming that he had been wiretapped by President Obama, President Trump and his aides found themselves with some new ammunition in their arguments about how U.S. Intelligence has treated Mr. Trump. Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that the Nunes information was a “startling revelation.” The President – who has routinely ignored questions about his Twitter wiretap claims – was more than happy to give a quote to the TV cameras, saying it made him feel vindicated. President Trump on if he feels vindicated by Rep. Devin Nunes’ comments: “I somewhat do” https://t.co/5WJCX615rG — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 22, 2017 This could well boil over again next week, when the House Intelligence Committee holds a second public hearing about Russia on Tuesday, March 28.
  • When Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler talks about the Latwon Goff investigation, one can hear the frustration in his voice. Goff made the list of Tulsa’s Most Wanted at the age of 16 for a string of armed robberies. He was caught, arrested, and convicted after entering guilty pleas on eight counts in February of 2015. But shortly after he turned 18, and under Oklahoma law as a youthful offender, he received a judicial review of his case. That’s when Tulsa District Judge Sharon Holmes, acting on the advice of the Office of Juvenile Affairs, ordered that his guilty pleas be expunged, that he be allowed to change those pleas to not guilty, and that the charges against him be dismissed. And that, according to Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler, came as something of a shock. “To just somehow think that he magically changed what was probably a lifetime of bad decisions, I just found it hard to comprehend that we can just take the word of somebody like that, and cut somebody like that loose without any monitoring,” he told KRMG Wednesday. Goff was arrested after a pursuit in Tulsa Wednesday on suspicion of two armed robberies earlier in the day. But police were already looking for him in connection with a murder in Dallas. Investigators there named him as a suspect in the killing of Jason Eli Edwards, 39, in February. That was just two months after Judge Holmes ordered his release. [CLICK HERE to see the online court records of Goff’s 2015 case] But apparently it didn’t take him even that long to find more trouble. He reportedly told Tulsa detectives he committed an armed robbery within four hours of his release from custody last December. Kunzweiler tells KRMG his office argued strenously against turning Goff loose. “Of course now, he’s accused of committing a horrible offense,” Kunzweiler said. “If he is in fact the person responsible for the death of that person, our system up here failed that family.” He added that he will work with prosecutors in Dallas to determine the best course of action now that Goff faces charges in both jurisdictions.
  • A Hollywood screenwriter has filed a federal lawsuit accusing Walt Disney Pictures off ripping off his idea for last year’s blockbuster film “Zootopia.” Gary L. Goldman, known for his work on “Total Recall” in both 1990 and 2012, “Minority Report” and “Big Trouble in Little China, alleged in the suit filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles that Disney copied a franchise he pitched to the studio in 2000 and 2009.  Disney denied the allegations in a statement, calling the lawsuit “riddled with patently false allegations.” “It is an unprincipled attempt to lay claim to a successful film he didn’t create, and we will vigorously defend against it in court,” Disney said. Goldman said in the lawsuit that he pitched Disney the idea for “Zootopia” about a society of animals exploring life in America. He included drawings in the suit that show a remarkable similarity between the animated characters he said he presented to Disney and the characters Disney used in the film. He also listed in the suit other films he contends Disney stole including “The Lion King,” “Toy Story” and “Monsters, Inc.” It’s unclear what kind of compensation Goldman may be seeking from Disney, but box office analyst comScore reported “Zootopia” made more than $341 million in domestic ticket sales.
  • A Michigan State University student has received dozens of phone calls after creating and sharing a dating resume. Joey Adams, 21, was inspired to make the resume after asking out a girl who eventually rejected him, the Lansing State Journal reported. 'She asked if I had a dating resume,' he said. 'I didn't have one, so she told me no.' Adams shared his dating resume online last week after a woman posted on the university's class of 2018 Facebook page saying her roommate needed a date for a formal. The resume included hobbies and what he looks for in a romantic partner. Adams said it started as a joke, but the resume rapidly gained popularity. Less than a week later, Adams has been featured on BuzzFeed and 'Good Morning America.' There's also been a growing push through social media to have Adams on 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show.' 'It's been a cool experience, and my mom is really loving it,' he said. Adams has since been invited to several formals in and around Lansing, some of which he plans to attend. The college junior says the phone calls are 'overwhelming,' especially during midterms week. 'I'm wishing things would go back to normal even though I know it won't happen soon,' he said. 'But for now I'm just having fun riding the wave.
  • We repeat, new emojis are on the way. Many people get very excited about new emoji, which in case you don't know, are the little smiley faces and other such pictographs people use in text messages. According to Emojipedia, they'll be released in June, but might take longer to show up on some operating systems, depending on when those are updated. Word is there will be 56 new ones, including a giraffe, a rock climber, a bearded man, a face with a monocle, and a face making the shush gesture with its finger, among others. What emoji do you think you need in your life? Send us an open mic on the KRMG app and tell us. Click here to see the full list of possible new emojis.