Screening

Baby boomers and hepatitis C: What’s the connection?

Because those in the baby boom generation account for around 75% of hepatitis C cases, the CDC and USPSTF are recommending that all baby boomers should get screened for the hepatitis C virus.

Just do it… yourself: At-home colorectal cancer screening

Colonoscopy remains the best way to detect colorectal cancer, but there are at-home screening tests that do not involve the pre-test bowel clearing that many find uncomfortable.

How to feel better about yourself if you are depressed

Srini Pillay, MD

Contributor

Low self-esteem often accompany depression. The reasons for this appear to be rooted in a lack of coordination between different parts of the brain, creating a distortion in a person’s self-perception.

Screening mammograms: One recommendation may not fit all

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

Research shows that the risk of breast cancer, and its severity, is greater for women of certain racial and ethnic backgrounds. These factors have not yet been included in formal guidelines for screening mammograms, but women need to be aware of them.

New study once again casts doubt on PSA screening

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

The largest study to date of prostate cancer screening reinforces the existing evidence that the potential benefits of the test are outweighed by the harms of overtreatment for low-grade cancer that could be left untreated.

Knowing when to screen… and when to quit

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Medical screening tests can help detect problems before they become hard to treat. Many screening tests are recommended for adults or when a person has certain risk factors. But when should screening stop? A new study examines this issue for colonoscopies.

To PSA test or not to PSA test: That is the discussion

The recommended guidelines for whether men should have the prostate cancer screening test have changed in recent years. A man considering the test should talk with his doctor and understand all the pros and cons involved.

Postpartum depression: The worst kept secret

Postpartum depression carries an unfortunate stigma, as symptoms of depression affect nearly 20% of new mothers. Early detection is key to ensure the best health for not just women, but for their new infants and family members as well. Once diagnosed, there are several treatment options that can support new mothers during a time that can be both joyous and challenging.

Cervical cancer screening update: Not your mother’s Pap smear

Recent research supports the theory the human papilloma virus (HPV) plays a critical role in the development of abnormal cervical cells and cervical cancers. Based on this knowledge, experts believe that many women are being over-screened and treated for abnormal cells that are unlikely to ever become cancerous. Testing for strains of HPV associated with cervical cancer, along with the Pap smear, may do a better job preventing cervical cancer than the Pap smear alone. Guidelines are evolving and that yearly Pap smear may be unnecessary for many women.

Colon cancer screening: Is there an easier, effective way?

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

The preparations necessary for a colonoscopy can be as unpleasant as the test itself, if not more so. A new test can be completed at home and requires no special prep, but the test is more likely to return a false positive, requiring further testing. In addition, some of the research supporting this test was done by the company or co-inventors, so more research is needed.