Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Many With Terminal Cancer Still Getting Routine Screens

(HealthDay News) -- Many patients with incurable cancer are still being screened for common cancers, although these tests are unlikely to provide any benefit, researchers from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City have found.

Specifically, many patients diagnosed with advanced lung, colorectal, pancreatic, gastroesophageal or breast cancer are still undergoing the ordeal of routine breast, prostate and colon cancer screening, said the researchers. Not only might these patients suffer from invasive procedures like colonoscopies near the end of life, the researchers said, but they face the unnecessary risk of additional tests, biopsies and psychological distress resulting from the detection of new malignancies.

"For patients living with advanced cancer, cancer screening should not be a routine procedure," said lead researcher Dr. Camelia S. Sima, an assistant attending biostatistician.

"Patients living with advanced malignancies and their doctors should engage in a realistic conversation about the risks and benefits associated with cancer screening in [the] face of a severely limited life expectancy," she added. Read more...

Cancer prostate, prostate, bladder cancer, symptoms of prostate cancer

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