Thursday, April 05, 2007
Living with the uncertainty
I read this article that new cancer tests could do more harm than good.
The new generation of screening programmes, scanning techniques and genetic tests, which will help diagnose people with the beginnings of life-threatening cancer, will pick up on more very small, latent and benign cancers. People could face a lifetime of anxiety and a decision about whether to undergo radical surgery loading pressure on the already stretched NHS, he says. "One of the things that may happen is that in our quest to develop better and better tests for early diagnosis of cancer we will end up detecting quite a lot of cancers that were never going to do anything in the lifetime of the individual ... we also need to find better ways to find out which cancers mean business and which cancers don't," he said.
Quotes from New cancer tests could do more harm than good says specialist by Polly Curtis of the Guardian newspaper.
My reaction to this, is that I would rather live with the uncertainty. It is a difficult decision to make.