Posts Tagged ‘age’

Should Medicare Cover Lung Cancer Screening?

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014


logo1267406_mdA recent study to be published in  the Annals of Internal Medicine and reported by Science Digest concluded that medicare beneficiaries should not be excluded from screening. In the study researchers analyzed the benefits and harm of screening by age and found that even though smoking is the most important risk factor for lung cancer there was a reduction in lung cancer mortality in high risk populations who were randomly assigned to low-dose computed topography (LDCT) verses chest radiography. Age was found to be the most important factor for lung cancer following smoking. Subsequently, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended annual lung cancer screening with LDCT for people aged 55 to 80 who had ever smoked.

A second study of the data compared screening outcomes among Medicare-eligible people with those under the age of 65. Findings showed that both cancer prevalence and positive predictive value of lung cancer screening with LDCT were higher in the 65 plus group than in the under 65 group.  Researchers recommend sharing the age related findings with data with those in the high risk group (smoking and age factors).

Is it Possible to Predict Deaths from Prostate Cancer Before Age 50?

Friday, April 26th, 2013


A new report in the British Medical Journal concluded that nearly 50% of all prostate cancer deaths can be predicted before the age of 50. . Researchers reviewed data on over 21,000 men aged 27 to 52 between 1974 and 1984 who were taking part in a long term study in Sweden.   A previous study found that the PSA level at age 60 is strongly predictive of the risk of death from prostate cancer by age 85. .

In this study they focused their study on men close to age 40, mid-to-late forties (45-49) and early to mid fifties (51-55), ] All gave a blood sample, and a smaller group were invited to provide a second blood sample about six years later. Of this group 4922 or 72% comp0lied.

They found that within 30 years, 44% of prostate cancer deaths happened among those in the top 10% of PSA levels between the ages of 45-49. Individuals in this group were at over 10 times greater  risk of death when compared to those with the lowest PSA levels. They also found the risk of developing metastatic prostate cancer within 15 years is close to three-fold higher for men in the top PSA level at age 45-49 and close to ten fold higher at age 51-55. This suggests that initiating PSA screening after age 50 would leave a significant proportion of men with an elevated risk of later being diagnosed with incurable prostate cancer. They also found a low metastatic cancer risk for those with the lowest PSA level and said screening intervals of less than five years for these men is unnecessary. They concluded that PSA levels are informative of current risk of prostate cancer and also predictive of future risk of prostate cancer.They said screening p0rograms can “reduce the risk of over diagnosis while still enabling early cancer detection for me at the highest risk of death from prostate cancer.”  And the best way is to determine the risk by a single PSA test before age 50.

Breast Cancer Outcomes Influenced by Depression

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011


Recent research published in Psychology and Health concluded that certain factors such as marital status, having children in the home, income level, and age affect the probability of depression among breast cancer survivors that in turn, affects the likelihood of failure to adhere to the medical regimes causing potential complications. The researcher studied who is more likely to be distressed following a breast cancer diagnosis and when depressive symptoms are most likely to occur during the course of treatment. During the year following treatment single women and women with children in the home were more likely to be depressed and these women may need additional support during this period.
Women of different income levels seemed to have similar levels of increased depression during treatment but these symptoms decreased in women of higher incomes in the year following treatment. Younger cancer survivors had more depression during treatment than older women but reported levels similar to the older women following treatment. The researcher believes that identifying these factors that influence depression in cancer survivors is an important part of the prognosis since this can influence the treatment regime and outcome of the disease.