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Welcome back a new study is revealing a scary trend in this country the number of Americans getting routine cancer screenings.
Has dropped over the past decade.
A common test is seeing the drop often include.
-- mammograms for breast cancer pap test for cervical cancer and colonoscopy.
For colon and rectal cancer.
So why are more Americans skipping these lifesaving test.
Doctor Bob Leahy is the chairman of the department of medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center.
-- he joins us now with more thank you for joining us thank you Heather it's great to be here so why don't more people skipping these screenings well.
I think it's a question of economy for one thing.
I think these tests are costly and there's also secondarily a confusion among physicians is what to do what to scan.
What tests and how often they should be perform.
For example let's take breasts and mammography.
A lot of physicians are confused about that.
Mammography should be done after age fifty and up to -- 74.
On a yearly basis.
It should be done before the age of fifty -- forty.
If you in fact have a first degree relative like a mother or grandmother -- had breast cancer or you have particularly dense breasts that's just one example.
The insurance companies are not readily willing.
Or perhaps able to pay for people to get it breast screenings -- other one is colonoscopy.
It's recommended that you have a colonoscopy for the average person every ten years say if you're the age of forty.
Five years for flexible up -- OC one -- skippy to detect.
Tumors of the Colin and that's one area that's actually made its mark over the past ten years or something like 53%.
On people and 50% is the cutoff 53% of the people did get -- do colonoscopy east and preventive screening for colon cancer.
Documentary -- life and death -- if doctors themselves and experts themselves are confused as to which screenings are necessary wind and and who she get them.
How do we have I mean who should we look to for guidance.
It's well the American Cancer Society guidance.
There's also the proper health screening facility.
Or authority in Washington.
That -- sets policy.
But there's a lot of confusion out there as to how often and I don't know if this is driven by the insurance industry about how often one should be tested for things for example my patients if -- the age of say forty should have a pap test every year and that's one area that's dropped something like 70% over the past ten years women simply do not get perhaps -- cervical screening for cervical cancer.
Other areas are confusing like hepatitis C screening.
Even diabetes screening is something that the average physician would do for his patients at least once you're -- hemoglobin a one C.
Finally doctor -- -- that the risk and the benefits mean what are the risk are there any of these screenings that we should get and then obviously the benefits early detection well.
Early detection is clearly a major benefit the risks are very very minor.
Some of the concern is of course radiation from having frequent.
There are such things called digital mammograms vs radio logical mammograms.
And digital mammograms happened to be in right now there are people after getting virtual colonoscopy with CT scans.
There are far more risks to radiation in those procedures say -- in a regular colonoscopy with a flexible kaleidoscope.
Or for example to get a -- mammogram digitally.
That was that is with a digital readout it's much more applicable and safer.
Where very concerned about the confusion that surrounds a lot of this testing.
A clear example is the PSA or prostate tests which many men don't get as many physicians are confused about actually ordering.
Such -- -- check with your doctor that would probably be the best advice that's actually Greinke semi seductively heat up for joining us we appreciate it thank you -- for having me good.
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