UK physician: US medical guidelines may be biased, overly aggressive

Dr. Sunita Sah noted differences in U.S. and U.K. guidelines for colon cancer screening, Science Daily reports.

What you should know:

1. In the U.K., physicians prefer less invasive tests than colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer. The most common screening procedure is stool testing.

2. She argued the United States' current guidelines most likely contribute to overdiagnosis, overtreatment and excessive healthcare costs.

3. Dr. Sah argued American fee-for-service models may contribute to overtreatment to maximize reimbursement.

4. U.S. guidelines have the potential for bias depending on the makeup of the panel that created them. For example, the American College of Gastroenterology recommends patients undergo colonoscopy to screen for colorectal cancer. ACG's panel was entirely gastroenterologists.

5. However, the U.S. Preventive Task Force — which had no gastroenterology representatives — recommended stool testing and sigmoidoscopy first, with colonoscopy as a last resort.

6. The European Society of Medical Oncology also recommends stool testing, criticizing the screening colonoscopy's effectiveness.

More articles on gastroenterology:
The top 5 procedures performed at ASCs
Surgeries are abandoning hospital campuses for ASCs — 12 statistics
The 5 healthcare companies that received an 'F' for gender, racial pay equity

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2019. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.


Top 40 Articles from the Past 6 Months