I just hate it when physicians attempt to reason. Few of them are innately capable, and their training discourages it. Here’s further proof:
In a controversial finding that will affect at least 44 million American men, a government task force published its final recommendations against regular prostate cancer screening, concluding that the harms of the simple blood test far outweigh any potential benefit.
Most important, the task force found that, at best, one man in every 1,000 given the P.S.A. test may avoid death as a result of the screening, while another man for every 3,000 tested will die prematurely as a result of complications from prostate cancer treatment and dozens more will be seriously harmed.
Dr. Michael L. LeFevre, the co-vice chairman of the task force and professor of family and community medicine at the University of Missouri, said the recommendations, published online Monday in Annals of Internal Medicine, were based on the best scientific evidence available.
“Change is hard,” Dr. LeFevre said. “It’s hard for all of us, both within and outside the medical profession, to accept that not all cancers need to be detected or treated, and that there are harms associated with screening and not just benefits.” — NYTimes
Uh-huh-huh. He said, “hard.”
That’s right, Doc. Just thin the herd, right? We’re all programmed to die anyway. So what the hell — let a few million more middle-aged men just pis hot lead for a few years while their cancer spreads into their bones and organs, and they die in writhing agony.
I speak from experience here. The prostate glands in my family incubate cancer like the Everglades breed mosquitoes. Every male on my mother’s side was diagnosed, including my older brother, and then me a year later. We were all treated for it, and so far, none of us has died from it. I’ll let you know how my brother and I turn out (we’re the only ones left — the other passed away from other causes).
In my case, I did exactly what this study advises NOT to do. I had annual PSA exams, and when the numbers indicated an increasing trend, I had a biopsy. The biopsy revealed a moderately aggressive presence of cancer. I had radiation therapy. My dick still works and I don’t wet my pants. Ditto my brother.
Keep in mind, too, I was completely asymptomatic. And if you do the research as I did, you’ll find that my diet, weight, and overall lifestyle are paradigmatically inhibitive of this kind of cancer. In a world that respects nurture over nature, this would never have happened. But biology is destiny. This was as programmed to happen as my brown eyes, vanishing hairline, and weakness for redheaded women.
Do the researchers take this sort of scenario into account? Evidently not. They shoot their scenes with a wide-angle lens, and little details like my particular life simply get passed over. They’d be just as happy if I skipped the testing, avoided the treatment, let my cancer bloom, and perish. It’s only data, right?
Gentlemen: ignore this report. Especially if there is a history of cancer in your family, have yourself tested, and, if cancer is indicated, have a long talk with an experienced oncologist to determine whether or not treatment is worthwhile, and at what cost to your health and lifestyle. You may opt for “watchful waiting,” or may elect treatment of one kind or another. But knowledge is power — and life or death — despite the reservations of these quacks and bean-counting bureaucrats.
Nobody gets out of here alive, but while we’re here, we need to choose wisely.