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How Tiny Are Benefits From Many Tests and Pills? Researchers Paint a Picture

Two Maryland researchers want people to question whether that test or exam their physician has ordered is really necessary, Kaiser Health News reports. Surprisingly, 3 of 4 physicians surveyed by the American Board of Internal Medicine said unnecessary tests and procedures are a serious problem in this country, Kaiser said.

The only question, then, is if 75 percent of physicians think their patients are getting too many tests and procedures, why are they ordering them? One of the most blatant examples of too much testing is that of mammography: did you know mammograms result in $4 billion a year on false-positive mammograms and breast cancer overdiagnosis among women ages 40 to 59 in the U.S.?

With this being breast cancer awareness month, many women are being urged to rush out and get mammograms. Yet, aside from false positives, when you get that X-ray does anyone tell you that 49 percent of women have high breast tissue density — and mammography's sensitivity for dense breasts is as low as 27 percent — meaning about 75 percent of dense-breasted women are at risk for a cancer being missed if they rely solely on mammography? Even with digital mammography, the sensitivity is still less than 60 percent, so if you don’t know your breast density, that “negative” mammogram may not mean a thing.

On the upside, while mammograms are portrayed as a form of "prevention,” some of the best REAL cancer prevention begins with avoiding sugar, optimizing your vitamin D levels, limiting your protein, avoiding unfermented soy, and engaging in regular exercise.
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