Monmouth County's Ask The Doctor May/June

nnecessarily for Common Cancers “A physician who for years has been ordering tests for their patients may find it very difficult to say, 'You've reached the point where you're not likely to live long enough [to benefit],’” he said. A Need for Informed Decision-Making It’s also likely that a subset of older adults with good health and longer life expectancy would benefit from continued screening, but it’s not yet clear exactly who those people are, said Dr. Moss. More research is needed in this area, she added. “When estimating the balance between benefits and harms, there’s often an upper age range. But that age range, the upper limit, is not fixed in stone as years go by,” said Dr. Kramer. More research is also needed into when and how to have conversations about stopping screening, added Dr. Moss. “There's a lot that we can learn from practice around lung cancer screening and prostate cancer screening,” she said. “Both of those screening tests are not really recommended for everyone who walks through the door. You're supposed to talk to your provider about whether or not it's appropriate for you, what your risks are, and what would the risks be of the test itself. “We’ve done some focus groups with older adults about how people would want to talk about stopping screening with their provider,” she explained. “And a lot of older adults are really willing to [have these conversations]. They want information that’s very targeted to them and their personal health risks.”


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