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Diagnostic Tests

September 17, 2007 | From Times wire reports
Guidelines released Monday by the American College of Chest Physicians indicate that at present lung cancer screening with CT scanning and other methods is generally not warranted outside of studies. The researchers conclude that screening with CT imaging or certain sputum tests does not reduce lung cancer deaths, even in high-risk groups such as heavy smokers.
August 27, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
A reported boom in U.S. whooping cough cases is being questioned after health officials discovered a regularly used lab test misdiagnosed cases in suspected outbreaks in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Tennessee. The errors were reported Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a potentially fatal bacterial respiratory infection. Government health officials say cases have tripled in the United States since 2001.
July 30, 2007 | James Channing Shaw, Special to The Times
Two years ago, after returning from an Alaskan cruise, Jean, a widow in her mid-70s, mentioned a disturbing new health problem: During the trip, she had started having severe episodes of neck pain. Although I was not her doctor, I put on my physician hat and asked a few questions. It was difficult for Jean to pinpoint the location of the pain; it seemed to begin at the back of her tongue and spread across her neck.
July 16, 2007 | From Times wire reports
The number of newborns living in states that require genetic screening for more than 20 debilitating or fatal health conditions more than doubled in just two years, to about 90%. Thirty-eight percent of infants in 2004 were born in states that screened for at least 21 conditions, including cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia, according to a report released last Monday by the March of Dimes. As of June 1, the percentage rose to 87.5%, or about 3.6 million babies, the report said.
July 2, 2007 | Valerie Ulene, Special to The Times
Advertisements can be very persuasive -- whether they're promoting a snack food, a toy or even a medical test. If you've watched much television lately, you may have seen a commercial touting the benefits of a relatively new screening test for cervical cancer. Its message is unambiguous: "A Pap test isn't enough." The advertisement encourages women to get tested for human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus known to cause cervical cancer.
May 14, 2007 | From Times Wire Services
After rising steadily for decades, the proportion of U.S. women getting mammograms to screen for breast cancer has dropped, federal researchers report in a study published online today. The share of women older than 40 undergoing regular mammograms fell 4 percentage points from 2000 to 2005, the first significant decline since use of the breast X-rays started rapidly expanding in 1987, the study by the National Cancer Institute and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.
April 3, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
The nation's largest medical specialty group is challenging the widely accepted recommendation that women should routinely undergo mammograms in their 40s, saying the risks of the breast exams may outweigh the benefit for many women. The American College of Physicians, which represents 120,000 internists, plans to issue new guidelines today that instead urge women in their 40s to consult with their doctors individually about whether to get the breast X-rays.
March 19, 2007 | Elena Conis, Special to The Times
Honey, barley, beer, dates, toads, rabbit ears, rats and mice: No, it's not a list of ingredients for a witches brew but a short-list of the many items that have been employed through the ages to help women answer a burning question: Am I pregnant? The ancients devised endless creative ways to diagnose pregnancy. More than a thousand years ago in Greece, honey water and vaginal suppositories made of onions were used.
March 5, 2007 | Chris Woolston, Special to The Times
Is there a reliable way to check my antioxidant levels? A laser scan said I was running low. GAIL L. Riverside The products: When a fender oxidizes, it's called "rust." In your body, oxidation plays a key role in aging and disease. Antioxidants such as vitamin E, vitamin C and beta carotene can offer protection, but you may wonder if you have enough to keep the rust away. If you're concerned -- or just curious -- you can always try a high-tech palm reading.
March 2, 2007 | Francisco Vara-Orta, Times Staff Writer
A majority of Los Angeles County primary care practitioners are failing to advise their Latino patients -- who are at high risk for HIV infection -- to get tested, according to a UCLA study released Thursday. Only 41% of the 85 surveyed primary care providers -- including doctors, nurses and physician assistants -- had regularly offered advice about sexually transmitted diseases during the six-month period covered in the study, which was conducted in 2004 by the UCLA AIDS Institute.
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