‘Medical Overtesting’ Can Cause Big Problems


According to Rosemary Gibson, co author of The Treatment Trap, and innumerable medical pundits, Americans are being subjected to far too many medical tests.

For example, nearly two thirds of women who have had hysterectomies and half of women over 65 without a cervical cancer background report taking recent pap tests despite the recommendation against them by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

For men, PSA screening leads to an estimated $12 billion a year in prostate cancer care. This includes radiation, biopsies and prostatectomies — much of it unnecessary.

Many experts say MRI scans are notoriously misleading, but these tests lead to more than $80 billion a year in treatments, painkillers, surgery and spinal injections which often do not fix the problem.

Here are “ten tests to avoid,” according to a detailed article in the March 2014 AARP Bulletin:

1. Nuclear stress tests and other imaging tests after procedures. 2. Yearly electrocardiogram or exercise stress tests. 3. PSA to screen for prostate cancer. 4. PET scan to diagnose Alzheimer’s. 5. X-Ray, CT scan or MRI for lower back pain. 6. Yearly PAP tests. 7. Bone density scan for women before age 65 and men before age 70. 8. Follow-up ultrasounds for small ovarian cysts. 9. Colonoscopy after age 75. 10. A yearly physical.

Want to obtain a far more detailed lowdown on the subject? Buy, beg borrow or steal a copy of the aforementioned issue of the AARP Bulletin, or find it online. They have done a masterful job of collecting, compressing and revealing key information for all of us.