Medical Notes this week…

The best screening test available for prostate cancer, the PSA test, has a lot of shortcomings. most men who are flagged with an elevated PSA level do not have prostate cancer… yet they often undergo a biopsy to be sure. Now scientists at the University of Michigan have developed a urine test that’s extremely accurate at finding prostate cancer… with few false negatives. the test, called “my prostate score,” looks for specific genetic changes that are shed into the urine by prostate tumors. It may be used as a secondary test to confirm PSA test results. 

Spanking a child may be as bad for their mental health as being abused or neglected. A study in the “Journal of Pediatrics” shows that behavioral problems at age five could be predicted by a group of so-called “adverse childhood experiences” by age three… events that include physical or emotional abuse, parental death, neglect… or spanking. In fact, those events were indistinguishable in predicting later problems.

And finally… we’ve heard about dogs that can sniff out cancer. Now we know they can sniff out COVID-19, too. A review in the “Journal of Osteopathic Medicine” adds to the consensus that trained dogs can effectively screen people who may be infected with Covid-19. what’s more, they can do it more quickly and more accurately than conventional tests. A third of dogs’ brains are devoted to interpreting smells, so they can detect molecules in a concentration of one in a quadrillion, compared to human’s one in a billion. 

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