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Diagnostic Tests

HEALTH
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.
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NATIONAL
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.
NATIONAL
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.
HEALTH
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.
BUSINESS
October 1, 2008 | From the Associated Press
The government approved a new genetic test for the flu virus Tuesday that will allow labs across the country to identify flu strains within four hours instead of four days. The time-saving test could be crucial if a deadly new strain emerges, federal health officials said. The new test also could help doctors make better treatment decisions during a conventional flu season. The test was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Applied Biosystems Inc. of Foster City, Calif.
BUSINESS
September 16, 2008 | From the Associated Press
Does a test that promises to detect ovarian cancer sooner really do so? Could other tests nearing the market prolong survival by getting patients the right care faster? A race is on for blood tests to better detect this intractable killer, but the Food and Drug Administration is probing whether to crack down on the first one to sell. It's a time of both hope and confusion. First, the question is whether testing giant LabCorp jumped the gun in selling OvaSure as an ovarian cancer screening test before researchers proved that it caught the tumor in an early, treatable stage without falsely alarming too many healthy women.
SCIENCE
September 13, 2008 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A new way to test for cervical cancer is more accurate than a pap smear and identifies more dangerous lesions, according to an Italian study published Tuesday. Researchers used the traditional test for the human papilloma virus that causes cervical cancer and combined it with another that indicated specific cancer-causing activity in cells. The test looked for a protein called P16INK4A, which indicates cell changes that show a woman probably has precancerous lesions, the team reported in the journal Lancet Oncology.
BUSINESS
August 30, 2008 | From the Associated Press
The Bush administration can prohibit meatpackers from testing their animals for mad cow disease, a federal appeals court said Friday. The dispute pits the Agriculture Department, which tests about 1% of cows for the potentially deadly disease, against Creekstone Farms Premium Beef, a Kansas meatpacker that wants to test all of its animals. Larger meatpackers opposed such testing. Their argument: If Creekstone Farms were to begin advertising that its cows have all been tested, other companies fear that they too would have to conduct the expensive tests.
SCIENCE
August 5, 2008 | Thomas H. Maugh II and Denise Gellene, Times Staff Writers
Men over the age of 75 should no longer be screened for prostate cancer because the potential harm from the test results -- both physical and psychological -- outweighs any potential benefit from treatment, a federal panel said Monday. Most oncologists already argue against treating most men in that age group for prostate cancer because they are more likely to die from some other cause than from their tumor.
HEALTH
July 28, 2008 | Shari Roan, Times Staff Writer
People with Alzheimer's face an awkward juncture in the near future. They'll be able to learn early on whether they have Alzheimer's disease -- even if they can't do much about it. With therapies to halt or slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease seeming ever more elusive, several blood tests currently in development could determine who has the disease even before symptoms develop or become severe.
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