August 30, 2023


Not Everything We Call Cancer Should Be Called Cancer (New York Times / August 30, 2023)

"You have cancer."

Ask anyone who has been told this: It's terrifying.

That's one reason we need to rethink what we call cancer. Despite amazing advances in our understanding of the disease, we have neglected to update how we define what has been called "the emperor of all maladies."

Some cancers have extraordinarily low risks of altering the quality or length of life but get lumped in with those that do. And that often leads to unnecessary treatment, disfigurement, side effects and a constellation of other psychologic, relationship and financial issues.

We are oncologists with expertise in prostate and breast cancers. We believe the medical community must reconsider what we call cancer in its earliest manifestations. So do a growing number of cancer experts around the world.

Our understandable, but hysterical, reactions to anything even hinting at cancer lead us to myriad poor, or even fatal, reactions and unsupported beliefs. 

PODCAST: Vinay Prasad on Cancer Screening (EconTalk, Aug 28 2023)

Posted by at August 30, 2023 12:00 AM