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Cancer Medicine Surgery

Media medicine actually gets it right for a change

Granted, it is the print media, rather than the bubble-headed TV doctors that I railed against a couple of days ago, but even so I had a hard time believing this article in the Washington Post when it was forwarded to me.

Compare:

Washington Post article
Part 1 and Part 2 of Early Detection of Cancer, by me.

It’s like a distilled version of what I wrote and excellent–dare I say it around here these days?–framing of a complex medical/scientific issue for a lay audience. Remember, as you read this, the term “overdiagnosis,” which I should have discussed. Also remember that I (and the authors of this article) are in no way saying that early diagnosis has gone too far. Rather, the point is that there is a balance that must be struck between decreasing mortality and morbidity from cancer due to early diagnosis and increasing overdiagnosis to the point where no lives are saved but many are subjected to unnecessary testing and surgery that do not help them.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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