Medical Care: More is Not Always Better

8232If some medical care is good, more must be better. Right?

Unfortunately, this is often not the case. In fact, the opposite can be true—some measures of health are worse in areas where people receive more health services.

Join leaders in research and health policy at UCSF who highlight situations in which the overuse of medical care may result in harm and in which less care is likely to result in better health. It’s time to challenge the implicit belief, on the part of both clinicians and patients, that more is better.

See what you should know about risks and benefits of cancer screening, “routine” examinations, alternative medicine, drug prescriptions, cardiac testing and end-of-life care.

Bottom line for consumers – choose wisely, change the question from Why don’t you do that test? to Why did you do that test?, and challenge the belief that more is better.

Check out all the latest programs in High Value Medical Care: Why Sometimes Less is More:

High Value Medical Care: Why Sometimes Less is More

We Don’t Always Get High Value Medical Care: Examples from Cataract Surgery and Telemedicine

Cardiac Screening – Why Sometimes Less is More

Too Many Tests and Treatments: Why More is Not Always Better For Seniors

Radiation Safety and Medical Imaging

Antibiotics – When Less is More

Vitamins and Supplements: Less is More

Cancer Screening: When Less is More

Periodic Health Examination – Why Sometimes Less is More

Can We Talk? Communicating Through the Cancer Journey

25296As our series on cancer continues, we take a look not at the symptoms of the disease but at the way we talk about the disease. The words we choose and the tone we employ can greatly impact the way patients, caregivers, medical professionals, and families move through the cancer journey.

In this unique look at conversations about cancer, professor Wayne Beach of San Diego State University shares audio and video examples of how communication occurs among those affected in the context of cancer diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. Deborah Mayer, an advanced practice oncology nurse from the University of North Carolina follows with a look at the different meanings of the word “cancer,” the discomfort of difficult conversations, and the challenge of expressing basic fears.

Watch Communicating Through the Cancer Journey: Can We Talk? — Overthrowing the Emperor of all Maladies: Moving Forward Against Cancer Series — Exploring Ethics online now or click here to view the entire series.

Oncology from Top to Bottom

If you are looking to work in the medical field, cancer is something you will be forced to face on a regular basis — especially considering that the incidences of cancer are rising, and currently the likelihood of contracting cancer in your lifetime is 1 in 2.

The latest video from the Foundations for Future Healthcare Providers series takes a look at oncology, specifically cancers within the gastrointestinal tract.

Dr. Andrew Ko, from the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center, specializes in gastrointestinal cancers and says that there are many different types, just about as many different types of gastrointestinal cancers as there are different gastrointestinal organs. The most dangerous and most prevalent of these gastrointestinal cancers is colorectal cancer, which is ranked #3 in incidence and in cancer-related mortality amongst all cancers in general.

Find out more about just how different and deadly these types of cancers are in “Oncology from Top to Bottom: A Survey of Cancers through the Gastrointestinal Tract

See what else you can learn from the Foundations for Future Healthcare Providers series!

Skin Cancer Treatment and Prevention

Have you been wearing sunscreen this Summer? Sunburns might not be so bad, but the damage done to your skin can turn into something much more deadly.

Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer and is the number one cause of death from skin disease. It accounts for 5% of all cancer cases in men and 4% of all cancer cases in women.

According to medical oncologist Gregory A. Daniels, MD, PhD, the Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology at UC San Diego School of Medicine, the lifetime probability of developing Melanoma, is 1 in 36.

Unfortunately, the incidences of this disease are increasing. One hundred years ago, Melanoma was not a common problem. At that time, Daniels says the probability of developing Melanoma was more like 1 in 1,000 or even 1 in 1,500.

Watch “Skin Cancer Treatment and Prevention – Research on Aging” to find out why incidences of Melanoma are increasing and what you can do to treat or prevent this disease.

Watch other videos presented by the Stein Institute for Research on Aging!

Breast Cancer Prevention and Treatment – A Surgeon's Perspective

If you or someone you love is concerned about or dealing with breast cancer, don’t miss “The Latest in Breast Cancer Prevention and Treatment” from UC San Diego’s Stein Institute for Research on Aging.

In her informative talk, Dr. Anne Wallace, chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery and director of the UC San Diego Breast Care Unit, gives an overview of the risk factors for breast cancer and discusses how you and your doctor can manage those risks. She also gives a surgeon’s perspective on breast cancer screening and new treatments on the horizon.

Watch “The Latest in Breast Cancer Prevention and Treatment” online now or premiering tonight, November 8, at 8pm on UCSD-TV.