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Diagnostic Tests

November 17, 2009 | Judith Graham and Thomas H. Maugh II
A government panel's recommendation Monday that women under the age of 50 do not need regular mammograms set off a furious debate about the importance of the routine screening tool, leaving many women confused about how best to protect their health. In issuing its guidelines, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force concluded that risk of breast cancer is very low in women age 40 to 50 and that the risk of false positives and complications from biopsies and other invasive procedures is too high for the procedure to be used routinely.
August 9, 2009 | Thomas H. Maugh II
The abrupt shutdown of two aging nuclear reactors that produce a radioisotope widely used in medical imaging has forced physicians in the U.S. and abroad into a crisis, requiring them to postpone or cancel necessary scans for heart disease and cancer, or turn to alternative tests that are not as accurate, take longer and expose patients to higher doses of radiation. Because of limits on testing produced by the shortage, some patients will undergo heart or cancer surgeries that could have been prevented by imaging, and others will miss needed surgeries because of the lack of testing, said Dr. Michael Graham of the University of Iowa, president of SNM, formerly the Society of Nuclear Medicine.
August 8, 2009 | Bill Dwyre
The promoter of a mixed martial arts card March 7 in Tulare, Calif., confirmed Friday that one of the competitors was allowed to fight despite testing positive for Hepatitis C and having no test results on file for HIV. Al Joslin, who has promoted nine cards in California, said he learned of the situation about a week ago, when he was leaked a copy of a memo from the California State Athletic Commission. The commission is responsible for medical clearance of all MMA and boxing shows in the state.
June 23, 2009 | Thomas H. Maugh II
Researchers have identified a chemical in urine that is closely associated with appendicitis in children and are working to develop a simple test that could be used to diagnose the condition -- a test that would both increase the likelihood of performing surgery before the appendix bursts and prevent unnecessary surgery.
June 15, 2009 | Thomas H. Maugh II
Diabetes rates have climbed steeply in this country in the last two decades. Fortunately, scientists' knowledge of how best to manage the disease is advancing as well. Researchers gathered at the American Diabetes Assn. meeting last week in New Orleans to consider the latest developments, including a new test for diagnosing the disease and a better understanding of the risks of aggressive control of blood sugar.
June 15, 2009 | Rong-Gong Lin II
Darren James saw the news flash on his TV screen last week: A porn actress had tested positive for HIV. James, 45, felt a moment of shock, then sadness. "I feel really bad for this girl," he said. "One thing I can say, I just wish her well. It's the worst thing to get that call." It's the call James got in 2004 when the well-liked porn star known for his courteous nature on set found himself at the center of an HIV outbreak in the San Fernando Valley's multibillion-dollar porn industry.
April 18, 2009 | Noam N. Levey
With soothing walls of turquoise tile and a vase of orchids on the front desk, the Colon Health Center of Delaware has been selling an alternative to one of medicine's most unloved procedures -- the colonoscopy. Rather than insert several feet of tubing into patients' lower intestines, clinicians slide patients into a computed tomography, or CT, imaging machine that can quickly scan the abdomen for signs of cancer.
March 6, 2009 | Chicago Tribune
Cotton swabs tucked between their jaws and cheeks, bishops from the nation's largest Lutheran denomination sat in silence for three minutes Thursday as they underwent testing for HIV. Those few minutes of silence would serve to break another kind of silence, one that the bishops say has kept the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America from compassionately addressing the global AIDS crisis and welcoming AIDS victims into the pews. "We in the U.S.
November 11, 2008 | Lance Pugmire, Pugmire is a Times staff writer.
The man described as the "guru of sports doping" and an East Coast cancer detection expert said they're on the way to establishing a urine test for human growth hormone that could close a drug-testing loophole experts described Monday as a "widespread" problem in sports. Don Catlin, a Los Angeles-based worldwide doping expert who oversaw blood testing for HGH at the Beijing Olympics, and Dr.
November 3, 2008 | Anna B. Reisman, Reisman is a general internist in Connecticut.
In August, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a government-sponsored panel of medical experts, issued new recommendations regarding prostate cancer screening: Men ages 75 and over should no longer be screened for prostate cancer with the PSA blood test or digital rectal exam. An unexpected benefit may be an improvement in the doctor-patient relationship. The rectal exam can be one of the odder moments between a patient and his doctor.
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