« Study Finds Cancer Thrives In Liquid | Main | Treatment-induced Growth Factor Causes Cancer Progression »

April 3, 2007

Early detection of cancer, part 1: More complex than you think

Topics: Medical Science News

Orac at Respectful Innocence reminds us that in the course of a few days last week, two prominent political personalities from different parties, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow and Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards, announced that their cancers (breast cancer in the case of Edwards and colon cancer in the case of Snow), after having apparently been successfully treated two years ago had recurred and were now metastatic:

One of the issues that comes up whenever famous people announce that they have cancer is the question of early detection and why we don't detect tumors earlier. Indeed, Amy Alkon, a.k.a. The Advice Goddess, asked this very question in the comments of one of my posts linked above:

As for so many cancers -- can you talk about why they get as far as they do? Are there any advances being made in detection?

It's a common assumption (indeed, a seemingly common sense assumption) that detecting cancer early is always a good thing. Why wouldn't it always be a good thing, after all? It turns out that this is a more complicated question than you probably think, a question that even many doctors have trouble with, and in this post and a followup, ....

Orac does a good job at explaining why here ...

Posted by Richard at April 3, 2007 10:47 PM

Articles Related to Medical Science News: