Thursday, October 08, 2015

the myth of early detection

This is a link to an excellent article in Psychology today. It addresses the myth of early detection. I know it is comforting to believe that if you catch cancer early you can prevent it but that's not how it works. It's such a fraught notion that it can be hard to explain. This article does it well. 

The greatest myth serving the early detection belief system is that breast cancer is a single, homogeneous disease that always behaves in the same way, progressing from early to late to lethal (stage 0, 1, 2, 3, 4). From this linear perspective, catching breast cancer "early" suggests that the cancer can be nipped in the bud, stopped in its tracks, prevented from progressing to a lethal stage. A cancer stage, however, is not a point in a definite progression.

1 comment:

Caroline said...

Interesting. I enjoyed the article as well. I need to think about this for a bit and will probably blog on it myself.