ACPM Choosing Wisely recommendations published by Consumer Reports

Two of ACPM’s recommendations submitted earlier this year for the Choosing Wisely Initiative have been published in Consumer Reports to promote better understanding of the recommendations among a wider group of patients and physicians. The Choosing Wisely campaign is an initiative led by the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation to educate doctors and patients about unnecessary tests and procedures that are not effective and could cause harm.

The first ACPM recommendation published in CR is to avoid whole body scans to screen for cancer in patients without symptoms. ACPM recommends not getting whole body scans for cancer since it is a poor screening tool to detect tumors. Tumors are found in less than 2 percent of patients without symptoms. Additionally, whole body scans can lead to more tests and can cost up to $1,000 even with insurance. A patient can have a whole body scan if they already have cancer to see if it has spread or after a patient has suffered a major injury.

The second published recommendation is to avoid dietary supplements to prevent heart disease or cancer. Research shows that supplements including vitamin E or beta carotene do not help prevent cancer or heart disease. There isn’t enough evidence to show whether multivitamins help prevent cancer or heart disease. Research also shows that beta carotene can increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers and people who have been exposed to asbestos. In addition, one study showed that vitamin E may increase the risk of prostate cancer. ACPM recommends that that men over 55 should limit to no more than 22 International Units (IU) of natural vitamin E or 33 units of synthetic vitamin E a day.

ACPM Choosing Wisely recommendations published by Consumer Reports

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