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Preventive Services Task Force

NEWS
January 27, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / for the Booster Shots blog
Researchers with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Thursday that percentages of Americans receiving recommended screenings for breast cancer, cervical cancer and colorectal cancer in 2010 did not reach targets -- with racial and ethnic populations lagging noticeably behind. The team's study , which was published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, was the first to examine disparities in Asian and Hispanic groups, according to a CDC release.  Data was collected from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey . Overall, 72.4% of women ages 50 to 74 followed the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation to get a mammogram every two years . Healthy People 2020 , a government effort to improve health that sets goals for following screening guidelines, set a target of 81%. Eighty-three percent of women followed cervical cancer screening recommendations ; the Healthy People 2020 target was 93%.  For colorectal cancer screening , 58.6% of Americans complied with recommendations.
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NEWS
November 20, 2012 | By Karin Klein
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is calling for doctors to test most people ages 15 to 64, whether they fall in high-risk groups or not, for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. I see only one thing wrong with this proposal: We should have started doing it years ago. Decades ago. Admittedly, it's in more recent years that medicine has learned that treatment for HIV is more successful when it starts earlier rather than later. But long before we had any effective treatments for HIV infection, it was clear that if people knew they had AIDS, they could and usually would take steps to avoid infecting others, through safer-sex measures and the like.
NEWS
November 27, 2012 | By Jon Bardin
More than a quarter of new HIV infections in the U.S. occur among people ages 13 to 24, according to a new report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What's more, about 60% of those young people with HIV don't know they have the virus. The release represents the most recent analyses by the CDC. It was timed to coincide with World AIDS Day, which is Dec. 1. According to the CDC, about 12,200 young Americans became infected with HIV in 2010, with African Americans representing more than half of those newly infected.
NEWS
February 22, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Colon cancer is the third deadliest cancer in the U.S.; it is expected to kill more than 51,000 Americans this year, according to the American Cancer Society. Physicians have long assumed that removing precancerous polyps during patient colonoscopies reduces the numbers of such deaths. Now researchers have proved it. In a large, multi-decade study of more than 2,600 patients who had precancerous polyps removed during colonoscopies between 1980 and 1990, scientists at the Memorial Sloan-Ketting Cancer Center in New York and colleagues at other institutions found that removing the polyps reduced deaths from colon cancer in the group by 53%.  An article detailing their results was published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
NEWS
October 19, 2011 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times / for the Booster Shots blog
An independent federal panel and several other leading medical groups are proposing new guidelines for cervical cancer screening -- in the same month that the federal panel made news by recommending against routine PSA tests to screen for prostate cancer. Among the recommendations: that women over age 21 should undergo Pap smears to test for cervical cancer only once every three years, according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. This syncs somewhat with a new set of proposed guidelines from the American Cancer Society, the American Society for Clinical Pathology and the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology, also released Wednesday.
NATIONAL
November 18, 2009 | Noam N. Levey
A core tenet of the healthcare overhaul President Obama is pushing through Congress is that medical care can be improved -- and costs contained -- if the country relies more on experts to determine which procedures and treatments work best. But Monday's mammography report by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force delivered a swift and stark reminder that few ideas are more explosive in healthcare. The expert panel -- which recommended that women in their 40s should no longer get annual mammograms to screen for breast cancer -- sparked an outcry from those who say that the federal government is more interested in saving money than in improving women's health, even though the panel did not consider costs in its analysis.
HEALTH
October 6, 2011 | By Shari Roan and Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is set to recommend that middle-aged men skip routine screening for prostate cancer, according to reports circulating Thursday. The task force, which sets disease prevention policies for the federal government, is scheduled to issue its new recommendations Tuesday, according to the Santa Monica-based Prostate Cancer Foundation. But the New York Times and a weekly newsletter known as the Cancer Letter reported Thursday that the task force would change its position on the widely used PSA test to recommend that men under age 75 forgo it. The chairwoman of the task force, Dr. Virginia Moyer of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, could not be reached for comment Thursday.
NEWS
October 17, 2010
Medical experts say women, beginning in their mid-60s, should be screened for osteoporosis on a regular basis. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends bone-density testing every two years. But that's just a guess. No one really knows how often screenings should occur. Research presented Sunday suggested that women 67 and older with normal bone-mineral-density scores may not need to be screened for another 10 years -- a finding that could release thousands of women from the costs and inconvenience of repeated bone-mineral scans over the course of several decades.
HEALTH
July 22, 2002 | JANE E. ALLEN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
All Americans over the age of 50 should be screened for colorectal cancer, regardless of whether they are at high risk, according to new federal recommendations that don't advocate any particular diagnostic technique. People who have a family history or who suffer from diseases like ulcerative colitis should be screened earlier for colorectal cancer, the No. 2 cause of cancer death in this country (behind lung cancer) and the fourth most common cancer.
NEWS
July 5, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Mammograms should be recommended to women based on several individual risk factors, such as age, family history and breast density, doctors said in a study published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine. But how many women know their breast density? Under legislation proposed in California, every woman who has a mammogram would also receive information on her breast density. Studies have confirmed that having more high-density tissue, which has less fat, raises breast cancer risk while having more low-density tissue lowers it. The proposed legislation, Senate Bill 173, is opposed by several medical groups, however.
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