Sibiriak Posted December 1, 2017 Report Share Posted December 1, 2017 (edited) The article linked below is about breast cancer, not colon cancer, but it is an interesting read with important insights into issues surrounding cancer prevention, screening, and treatment. Our Feel-Good War on Breast Cancer http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/28/magazine/our-feel-good-war-on-breast-cancer.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0 [introduction:] I used to believe that a mammogram saved my life. I even wrote that in the pages of this magazine. It was 1996, and I had just turned 35 when my doctor sent me for an initial screening — a relatively common practice at the time — that would serve as a base line when I began annual mammograms at 40. I had no family history of breast cancer, no particular risk factors for the disease. So when the radiologist found an odd, bicycle-spoke-like pattern on the film — not even a lump — and sent me for a biopsy, I wasn’t worried. After all, who got breast cancer at 35? It turns out I did. Recalling the fear, confusion, anger and grief of that time is still painful. My only solace was that the system worked precisely as it should: the mammogram caught my tumor early, and I was treated with a lumpectomy and six weeks of radiation; I was going to survive. By coincidence, just a week after my diagnosis, a panel convened by the National Institutes of Health made headlines when it declined to recommend universal screening for women in their 40s; evidence simply didn’t show it significantly decreased breast-cancer deaths in that age group. What’s more, because of their denser breast tissue, younger women were subject to disproportionate false positives — leading to unnecessary biopsies and worry — as well as false negatives, in which cancer was missed entirely. Those conclusions hit me like a sucker punch. “I am the person whose life is officially not worth saving,” I wrote angrily. When the American Cancer Society as well as the newer Susan G. Komen foundation rejected the panel’s findings, saying mammography was still the best tool to decrease breast-cancer mortality, friends across the country called to congratulate me as if I’d scored a personal victory. I considered myself a loud-and-proud example of the benefits of early detection. Sixteen years later, my thinking has changed. Edited December 1, 2017 by Sibiriak Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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