Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Benefits and risks of screening for breast cancer

Virtually any test or procedure has both advantages and risks. What counts is to be informed to make fully informed choices appropriate decision for you.

No screening test is absolutely foolproof, but a good screening test reduces mortality in people with cancer.

Researchers are also trying to develop other positive aspects of screening, including improved quality of life and the use of less toxic treatment because of early detection of disease.
Benefits of regular screening

Early detection of cancer: In most cases, more cancer is detected, the better the chances of survival. Research indicates that women who have regular mammograms are more likely to survive cancer. Early detection may also help reduce the duration of treatment and convalescence. Studies have shown that breast tumors from women screened regularly by mammography are smaller and medium easier to treat.

Reduced anxiety due to the fact of "not knowing": Many people prefer to have regular tests for "verification", like a yearly review with the family doctor.
Risks of routine screening

False positive: When test results suggest the presence of cancer when it is not. False positive results can cause anxiety, stress and possibly other painful and unnecessary tests to disprove the initial results (that is to say for sure that you do not have cancer despite what could suggest the testing). For example, research has shown that screening for breast cancer in younger women can lead to many more false positive results. There are still doubts about whether regular mammograms for women under 50 years can save lives.

More information on screening for breast cancer during quarantine

False negative results: When cancer is actually present is not detected by the test. False negative results can take you, you or your doctor, to ignore other symptoms suggestive of cancer, thereby delaying diagnosis and treatment.

Overdiagnosis: Some cancers may never cause symptoms or decrease expectancy or quality of life. According to research, however, we know that most breast cancers are harmful and that the disease should be detected and treated as quickly as possible.

Increased exposure to toxic processes, such as very low doses of radiation during radiography.

No comments:

Post a Comment