FL Podiatrist Appointed to Diabetes Advisory Council

Gov. Charlie Crist appointed Dr. Melvin Price of Bradenton to the Diabetes Advisory Council. Price, 54, is a podiatrist with Manatee County Rural Health Services.

Price has previously served as Chair of the Florida Department of Health Medical Quality Assurance Board of Podiatric Medicine. He also plays the saxophone for ProjectSRQ.

Source: Bradenton.com [10/11/10]

Women’s Health Screening

By Therese Goode, PA-C
American Academy of Physician Assistants

There’s an old adage that says “prevention is the best medicine.” Eating well balanced meals, getting adequate sleep, and regular exercise are some common and practical ways to maintain good health and prevent disease. Another important component of disease prevention is periodic screening. For women, two important screening tests are the Papanicolau (PAP) test and mammography. The PAP test screens for cervical cancer, mammograms screen for breast cancer. Both tests provide opportunities to detect cancer earlier, allowing for appropriate intervention and treatment. The PAP test and mammograms save thousands of lives every year. Recently, there has been some debate among the experts regarding when screening should begin, appropriate screening intervals, and when screening should be discontinued.

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) Committee on Practice Bulletins revised their recommendations for cervical screening (PAP testing) in November 2009. The new guidelines call for beginning PAP testing three (3) years after first sexual intercourse or by age 21 years. The previous guidelines recommended beginning PAP testing by age 18. The 2009 ACOG recommendations no longer support annual PAP testing for all women. New guidelines have been created for age appropriate testing based on risk factors and previous PAP results. ACOG guidelines remained the same for discontinuing cervical screening at age 65 or 70 years for women who have at least three (3) consecutive negative PAP results and no abnormal test results in the previous ten (10) years.

Late in 2009, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended changing the screening guidelines for mammograms. The USPSTF guidelines suggested starting screening mammograms at age 50, instead of age 40. The USPSTF also recommended changing screening from yearly to ever other year. The Task Force supported stopping screening mammograms after age 74. It is important to mention, ACOG and the American Cancer Society (ACS) do not agree with these USPSTF recommendations. ACOG and ACS continue to support annual mammograms, starting at age 40.

What is a woman to do when even the experts can’t agree? Talking with your Healthcare Provider can help you sort out the appropriate screening intervals for YOU. Your doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant is familiar with your personal health history, your family history, and your previous test results. The experts offer GUIDELINES for screening. Your Healthcare Provider and you will determine your individual health screening needs. It is important to remember that annual gynecologic exams are recommended even if cervical screening is not performed at each visit.

For more information, Therese Goode is located at Riverlandings OB/GYN 5460 63rd Street East Suite B, Bradenton, FL 34203. The phone number where she can be reached is (941) 316-8200.