The Takeaway: What Wasn’t Said at the Florida Debate (Hint: Much of Anything About Older Americans)

Many political commentators felt disappointed by last night's <strong>Republican presidential debate</strong> in Florida. Moderator <strong>Brian Williams</strong> seemed to stop the candidates whenever serious policy talk got underway in favor of fluff questions about electability, horse race hoopla and a seemingly random barrage of hypotheticals (<em>what if Fidel Castro died?</em> <em>what would you have done about Terri Schiavo?</em>). But in a state where about 40 percent of the population is 50 or older, and one in six citizens is 65+, the candidates spent surprisingly little time talking about issues of import to <strong>older Americans</strong>.

PSA Tests: Controversial Study Says They Don’t Save Lives

When the blood test for prostate cancer was introduced 26 years ago, it was seen as a way to save lives. But research since then has questioned this conclusion and a large new study, published last week, adds more doubt to the issue. The  long-term study of 76,000 men ages 55 to 74 found that routine prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing did not prevent deaths from prostate cancer. However, some prostate cancer experts immediately criticized the study, and even one of the …

Is 75 Too Old For Routine Screening Tests?

If you’re 75 or older, you don’t need routine screening for breast, colorectal and prostate cancer. If you’re a woman age 65 or older, you don’t need to be tested for cervical cancer (the Pap test or Pap smear). These are the current guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force, but a new study finds that many older Americans are being routinely screened for these diseases — something experts say is unnecessary,  costly for our health care system, and …

The Takeaway: Ample Exercise, Good Fats Tied To Earlier Menopause; Dark Side of Prostate Cancer Screening

A new Japanese <a href="http://journals.lww.com/menopausejournal/Abstract/publishahead/Associations_of_physical_activity_and_diet_with.98959.aspx">study</a> shows women <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44864464/ns/health/#.TpbEo5yG_gh">are more likely to hit menopause early</a> if they exercise avidly or eat a diet high in good fats. And looking closer at the downsides of prostate cancer screening tests.

The Takeaway: Perry/Romney Badminton Continues; Gov’t Shutdown Looms; Prostate Patients on Medicare Do Worse

Not Flip-Flopping! Oh, goodness-accusations of ‘flip-flopping’ (that infamous insult from presidential campaigns of yore) featured prominently in last night’s GOP debate in Florida, as presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and Rick Perry accused each other of being inconsistent on Social Security, gun rights and health care. The debate-which included seven other GOP candidates and focused on character and credibility as much as political issues-gave birth to another clash (surprise, surprise) between Romney and Perry over Social Security. The two men quibbled over whether …

The Takeaway: Calculating Risks from Prostate Cancer Treatments, Pot Dispensaries and Obama’s Jobs Plan

Prostate Cancer + Treatment = Sexual Dysfunction? Medical Marijuana = Less Crime? Payroll Tax Cut = Bad News for Social Security?