Should I Be Tested for Cancer?: Maybe Not and Here's Why / Edition 1

Should I Be Tested for Cancer?: Maybe Not and Here's Why / Edition 1

by H. Gilbert Welch M.D. M.P.H.
     
 

ISBN-10: 0520248368

ISBN-13: 9780520248366

Pub. Date: 03/06/2006

Publisher: University of California Press

Getting Tested to detect cancer early is one of the best ways to stay healthy -- or is it? In this lively, carefully researched book, a nationally recognized expert on early cancer detection challenges one of medicine's most widely accepted beliefs: that the best defense against cancer is to try to catch it early. Read this book and you will think twice about common

Overview

Getting Tested to detect cancer early is one of the best ways to stay healthy -- or is it? In this lively, carefully researched book, a nationally recognized expert on early cancer detection challenges one of medicine's most widely accepted beliefs: that the best defense against cancer is to try to catch it early. Read this book and you will think twice about common cancer screening tests such as total body scans, mammograms, and prostate specific antigen (PSA) tests. Combining patient stories and solid data on common cancers, Dr. H. Gilbert Welch makes the case that testing healthy people for cancer is a double-edged sword: while these tests may help, they often have surprisingly little effect and are sometimes even harmful. Bringing together a body of little-known medical research in an engaging and accessible style, he discusses the pitfalls of tests in detail, showing how they can miss some cancers, how they can lead to invasive, unnecessary treatments, and how they can distract doctors from other important issues. Weleh's conclusions are powerful, counterintuitive, and disturbing: the early detection of cancer does not always save lives, it can be hard to know who really has early cancer, and there are some cancers better left undiscovered. Should I Be Tested for Cancer? is the only book to clearly and simply lay out the pros and cons of cancer testing for the general public. It is indispensable reading for the millions of Americans who repeatedly face screening tests and who want to make better decisions about their own health care.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520248366
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
03/06/2006
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
234
Sales rank:
1,289,717
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsix
Introduction: The conventional wisdom about cancer testing and what this book is about1
Part IProblems You Should Know about
1.It is unlikely that you will benefit17
2.You may have a "cancer scare" and face an endless cycle of testing33
3.You may receive unnecessary treatment51
4.You may find a cancer you would rather not know about66
5.Your pathologist may say it's cancer, while others say it's not90
6.Your doctor may get distracted from other issues that are more important to you106
Part IIBecoming a Better-Educated Consumer
7.Understand the culture of medicine (and why we are pushed to test)115
8.Understand the statistics of cancer (and why five-year survival is the world's most misleading number)129
9.Understand the limits to research--even genetic research (and why it is hard to be sure there really are benefits to screening)152
10.Develop a strategy that works for you177
AppendixSummary of cancers discussed in this book191
Glossary193
Notes199
Index219

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