By H. Gilbert Welch
Getting established to notice melanoma early is without doubt one of the most sensible how one can remain healthy--or is it? during this vigorous, conscientiously researched booklet, a nationally well-known specialist on early melanoma detection demanding situations one in every of medicine's most generally authorized ideals: that the easiest safety opposed to melanoma is to consistently try and trap it early. learn this booklet and you may think carefully approximately universal melanoma screening checks akin to overall physique scans, mammograms, and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) exams. Combining sufferer tales and stable info on universal cancers, Dr. H. Gilbert Welch makes the case that trying out fit humans for melanoma is known as a double-edged sword: whereas those checks can help, they generally have strangely little impression and are often even destructive. Bringing jointly a physique of little-known scientific examine in a fascinating and available sort, he discusses intimately the pitfalls of screening checks, displaying how they could leave out a few cancers, how they could result in invasive, pointless remedies, and the way they could distract medical professionals from different very important concerns. Welch's conclusions are strong, counterintuitive, and demanding: the early detection of melanoma doesn't constantly keep lives, it may be challenging to understand who rather has early melanoma, and there are a few cancers larger left undiscovered. may still I Be established for melanoma? is the single e-book to obviously and easily lay out the professionals and cons of melanoma trying out for most of the people. it's imperative interpreting for the thousands of american citizens who many times face screening assessments and who intend to make better-informed judgements approximately their very own well-being care.
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Additional info for Should I Be Tested for Cancer?: Maybe Not and Here's Why
I told him that many older men have elevated PSAs (because of enlarged prostate glands) and yet don’t have prostate cancer. But the only way they can ﬁnd out that they don’t have cancer is to have a prostate biopsy (a procedure no one enjoys—more on that later). I also mentioned that some people have indeterminate biopsy results: they won’t be told they have cancer, but they also won’t be told they do not. ” I was stunned. I was talking about the ambiguities of PSA screening for prostate cancer; she thought immediately of Pap smear screening for cervical cancer.
The dark stripes on top of the columns represent the mortality rate for the target cancer (the same information shown in the ﬁrst graph, although the perspective has changed). The larger, lightly shaded area underneath is the mortality rate from causes other than the target cancer. The two together—that is, the entire height of the column—is the rate of death in general: overall mortality. What do you make of this graph? You may be struck ﬁrst by the fact that the biggest difference is between the two studies themselves.
The idea behind cancer screening is familiar: if you “catch” cancer before symptoms appear, it will be easier to treat. At least two conditions are assumed by this statement: (1) that tests can ﬁnd early cancers, and (2) that early treatment works better than late treatment. Let’s focus on the ﬁnding part ﬁrst. In the last two decades our ability to ﬁnd things has increased exponentially. Today we can detect subtle changes in the body’s chemistry that suggest cancer simply by drawing a vial of blood (tests for such antigens as PSA, alpha fetoprotein for liver cancer, and CA 125 for ovarian cancer).
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