Current Lecture


Thursday, November 1, 2018

5:30 - Pre-reception
6:00-7:30 - Lecture with Q&A
Reception immediately following in the Virginia Hospital Center atrium

John T. Hazel, MD Conference Center at Virginia Hospital Center (Zone B)
1701 N. George Mason Drive, Arlington, VA 22205

Tickets are free. Parking is available in the Gold Lot for a nominal fee.

Andrew Wolf, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Virginia

Andrew Wolf, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Virginia

Prostate Cancer Screening: a Paradigm for Prioritizing Patient Preferences


Screening for disease is one of the main reasons people visit their health care providers, and being diagnosed with late-stage cancer is one of the biggest health-related fears we harbor. So why involve patients in the decision whether to screen for cancer? Isn’t this the doctor’s job? Guest lecturer Andrew Wolf, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Virginia and author of national prostate, colon, breast, and lung cancer guidelines, will explain why it is vital for patients to know what they’re getting into for many of the now “routine” screens that patients -- and their doctors -- often take for granted. Dr. Wolf will focus on prostate cancer screening as a paradigm, but many of the same concerns apply to the other cancers for which screening is routine, particularly breast cancer and, for smokers, lung cancer screening.

Dr. Wolf’s lecture will address both the benefits, as well as the risks, burdens, and uncertainties involved in cancer screening that are often not considered by either health care providers or their patients. He will introduce the concepts of “overdiagnosis” and “overtreatment” – finding and treating early cancers through screening that were never destined to become symptomatic or harm the patient but nevertheless lead to treatment with its incumbent risks and harms. He will emphasize the importance of integrating patient values into the screening decision, and will describe strategies for doing this in the context of the office visit.

 As a practicing internist, Dr. Wolf will sprinkle patient vignettes throughout his lecture to “keep it real,” and will provide examples of decision aids that have been developed to make patients more informed consumers before they make a decision as “routine” as cancer screening that could dramatically alter their lives – for better or worse.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this lecture, participants will be able to:

  1. Discuss the risks, burdens, and uncertainties, in addition to the benefits, of cancer screening,

  2. Understand the concepts of over-diagnosis and over-treatment, as they relate to cancer screening

  3. Appreciate the importance of integrating patient values into decision making related to cancer screening

  4. Utilize decision aids either as a provider or a patient to facilitate cancer screening decisions.