A Mammogram at Age 50 or 40? The Debate Continues

Six years ago a federal panel of medical experts said women didn’t need to start getting routine mammograms until they were 50 — not 40, as other medical groups had long advised — and then only every two years. The announcement set off a heated debate, and most older women ended up ignoring the advice. This week, the panel released a proposed updated version of those 2009 recommendations, and not much has changed. Including the debate. The panel, the U.S. …

If You Smoke, a Lung Scan May Save Your Life

If you are age 55 to 80 and either a current or former heavy smoker, getting an annual lung CT scan could cut your risk of death from the nation’s leading cancer killer, according to final guidelines issued this week by a federally appointed panel of experts. Lung cancer kills 160,000 Americans a year, more than the total number of deaths from breast, prostate and colon cancer combined. Catching the cancer early by detecting it on a CT scan could …

I Can’t Believe What I’m Hearing: New Guidelines For Older Ears

It just seems like common sense: Screening older adults for hearing loss is a cheap, effective, harmless way to determine if their hearing ability has worsened and might be helped with a hearing aid. And yet the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force won’t recommend routine hearing exams for those 50 and older. They won’t even commit to recommending that doctors ask about any hearing problems in older adults. Does this make sense? The task force is a panel of medical …