Too much cancer screening, too many heart tests, too many cesarean sections. A spate of recent reports suggests that many Americans are being overtreated.
New evidence and updated guidelines are recommending a step back and more thorough doctor-patient talks about risks and benefits of screening tests.
Just recently, a New England Journal of Medicine study suggested that too many patients are getting angiograms — invasive imaging tests for heart disease — who don’t really need them. Specialists convened by the National Institutes of Health said doctors are too often demanding repeat cesarean deliveries for pregnant women after a first C-section.
The American Cancer Society cast more doubt on routine PSA tests for prostate cancer not long ago. Other groups recommended against routine mammograms for women in their 40s, and for fewer Pap tests looking for cervical cancer.