Health Provided

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Breast Cancer Screenings Could Save Lives But Are The Screenings Always Necessary?


Long Marton, UK -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/18/2013 -- Breast cancer is the most common cancer found in women around the world, with estimates at 1.6 million new cases of breast cancer occurring each year worldwide. Cases of breast cancer among women under 50 years of age have increased dramatically over the last 15 years according to Ruby Howells of HealthProvided website, a health news forum where news articles are posted keeping the public informed of key issues pertinent to both men and women of all ages.

Says Howells, "Even if you feel healthy, it's imperative you have a health screening on a regular basis. All adults should visit their physicians even if they feel healthy otherwise to screen for diseases, gauge your potential for medical issues in the future, encourage a healthy lifestyle, keep your vaccinations up to date, and maintain your relationship with your doctor in case of a future illness."

Howell also quotes Dr Margaret McCartney in one of her articles with regards to screenings for breast cancer. However, the doctor takes an opposite stand on the issue. Says Howell, "Dr. McCartney has been very vocal with her concerns over the issue of over-diagnosis. She worries about the issue of women having tumors identified early on and radical surgery done immediately to remove the tumor or having radiotherapy done to eradicate it. She believes it's not always necessary in all cases. Dr. McCartney makes a valid point that when women do go through the cancer diagnosis process, there is the need to better distinguish between progressive and non-progressive breast cancers."

In some cases, Dr. McCartney contends, a tumor could remain undetected for the rest of a woman’s life, without causing any signs of illness, if it had not initially been detected by the screening process. This, is a controversial standpoint, however, says Howells. "The British Medical Journal offers a different viewpoint. A panel was set up to investigate the effectiveness of current breast screening procedures. This panel concluded that the current process is beneficial for identifying cancers and therefore a vital component in reducing the risk of death from cancer."

Howells concludes, "Whilst it is clear that better dialogue and information about the available options could benefit the patient, it is also clear that leaving your health to chance by resisting the call to go for a screening, is certainly just that, leaving it to chance."