The medical industry has been promoting to get regular check up and screening to detect cancer early. The message is that it will improve the chance of cancer cure. Does it really?
When it comes to cancer screening and detection, there remains a lot of opinion, debate from different health care bodies and professionals. Sometimes, it is the loudest voice that becomes the message and that voice may not necessarily be serving the public.
Medical research has not been able to provide clear answer to the questions that people have about their health.
For example, breast cancer screening. When should women have their screening? At the age of 40 years old or 50 years old? Do women have the do the screening every year, or every other year? Which diagnostic tools are better at detecting breast cancer; mammogram or ultra sound or both? The debate goes on.
In the case of prostate cancer screening, experts are disagreeing with each other when the prostate cancer screening save lives. The research results are just so conflicting.
The medical community can’t get their message right. Most of the time, recommendations on treatments will be based on personal preference, assumptions and believes based on experience. And anecdotal experience is common in the medical practice. Yes! Even the doctors are doing this.
There is no answer to this dilemma. There is an urgent need to have better screening test to tell whether the cancer is an aggressive form or which cancer does not need treatment. However, this has yet to come.
Dr J Leonard Lichtenfeld, MC, MACP, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the National Office of the American Cancer Society wrote a very good blog on this topic. Check it out.
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