Sunday, April 30, 2006

Should I Be Tested for Cancer? : Maybe Not and Here's Why Should I Be Tested for Cancer? : Maybe Not and Here's Why: "The cost of medical malpractice soars as patient lawsuits proliferate, and healthcare providers react with rounds of 'defensive testing' that boost insurance costs. Add to those trends 'early detection' as the watch(buzz)word associated with the most dreaded of diseases, cancer, and you have Americans possessing health coverage routinely undergoing test after test. What of the downside of testing healthy people? Welch, a specialist in cancer detection, challenges common knowledge about everyday screenings, such as mammograms and PSA (prostate specific antigen) tests, citing patient anecdotes and research data on the most commonly diagnosed cancers in this readable, thought-provoking book. He argues that of the two basic cancer-prevention strategies--health promotion (diet, exercise, etc.) and early detection--the latter is the easier sell, and he notes that most tested people never develop cancer; screenings tend to miss the fastest-growing, most deadly cancers; and cancer-free patients with abnormal screenings often endure seemingly endless, sometimes risky testing that leads to unnecessary treatment. Accessibly written, Welch's perspective provides needed balance to current emphasis on testing. "
Very wise book by Dr Gilbert Welch. It's likely to put a wrench into the cancer industry's mass screening programs, which have been " designed to save lives". This is the other side of disease-mongering - test-mongering. More grist to the medical industry's wheels !

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