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Cancer screening: Any guarantees?

Posted Jul 31 2009 11:47am

The health industry is constantly changing. It seems every month, new technology makes it easier to diagnose and treat serious conditions.

As high-tech as medicine is becoming, an old-fashioned truth still applies: There are no guarantees. For instance, if a prostate biopsy shows there is no cancer, does that mean the patient will be prostate cancer-free the rest of his life?

Doctors must decide which patients need costly and sometimes invasive screening and diagnostic tests. It must be frustrating that doctors can’t always reassure these patients. The New York Times explains the pros and cons of cancer screening:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/17/health/17screening.html?_r=1&ref=health

The article also links to the National  Institutes of Health and a description of several cancer screening tests:

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/screening

Considering the range of opinion on this issue, I try to keep it simple. First, I do some research on men’s health issues for my age group. Then I trust my doctor to guide me through the screenings and tests. I try not to get too stressed with possibilities or probabilities.

Posted in Men and doctors Tagged: cancer screening, diagnostic tests, high-tech medicine, invasive screening tests, prostate biopsy
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