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“If the screening is not too invasive, why not?” asked her daughter, Dorothy Altemus. “I want her to have the best quality of life possible.”

But a growing chorus of geriatricians, cancer specialists and health system analysts are coming forth with a host of reasons: Such testing in the nation’s oldest patients is highly unlikely to detect lethal disease, hugely expensive and more likely to harm than help since any follow-up testing and treatment is often invasive.

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