April 12, 2012 - A new report by nine physician groups, the Consumers Union and the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation suggests many tests are overused in doctor's offices. Here's the top five they say are not always necessary: A CT scan or MRI scan after fainting especially if your behavior is normal. An annual cardiac stress test. A chest x-ray before outpatient surgery is not always necessary if you have a moderate to good functioning heart. A back scan within the first six weeks of lower back pain and repeat colorectal cancer screening should start at age 50. Doctors say reducing these tests will help save money in the health care system.
Also, new research finds breast cancer survival rates are lower in patients who have arthritis. Studies have suggested a potential relationship between metastatic breast cancer and autoimmune arthritis and has led researchers from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to perform a series of mouse model experiments that appear to confirm the connection. Doctors haven't pinpointed a reason for the link but think immune system cells that cause inflammation could be part of the puzzle.