Cancer Screening Guidelines Warrant Restructuring

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Cancer of all types is one of the most common diseases which affect the general population across the globe. Many individuals are already suffering from certain types of cancer, and many individuals also have died from it. The government and medical health care professionals are still continuing to conduct series of researches and studies in order to improve the survivability rate of cancer. This is through early diagnosis and prompt medical intervention which can be given to individuals detected to have malignant tumors in their body.

However, revised guidelines appeared about certain diagnostic procedures such as Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test, and mammography. Government panels claim that these diagnostic tests should not be done routinely, but are still available for patients who would like to be tested.

According to Michael Edward Stefanek, Ph.D., the associate vice president of collaborative research in the office of the vice president at Indiana University, he commented that the first guidelines on mammography screening for breast cancer made by National Cancer Institute (NCI) and other professional groups for about 30 years ago are focused more on the target population of the screening. The guidelines should be more focused on extensive widespread awareness to the general public about the risks and benefits of being screened for certain types of cancer. In this manner, the general public will be informed about the health benefits of being screened earlier, and thus submit themselves for the screening.

Also, certain controversies hit the new recommendations released by the United States Preventive Task Force (USPTS) regarding the routine screening for using mammography for breast cancer and PSA test for prostate cancer. These recommendations were questioned by many established researches and studies which delved on the mortality rate of the general public if they will be screened or not.

According to one study which tackled about the routine mammography screening, it was found out that differences between the mortality rate of those women who are routinely screened by breast cancer and those women who were not screened are very small. In addition, other researches were released and seemed to be contradictory with the guidelines released by USPTS regarding the routine screening test such as mammography and PSA test.

Stefanek concluded that despite the availability of all the screening tests for cancer, still there is a vague and unclear definition of who must be screened or who must undergo the screenings.




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