Cancer

IdeaFeed

Cancer Experts Want to Eliminate the Word "Cancer" from Diagnoses

What's the Latest Development?

A working group of cancer experts formed by the National Cancer Institute has recommended that the word "cancer" be used more sparingly, even eliminating it from some common diagnoses as part of sweeping changes in the nation’s approach to cancer detection and treatment. "The group, which includes some of the top scientists in cancer research, also suggested that many lesions detected during breast, prostate, thyroid, lung and other cancer screenings should not be called cancer at all but should instead be reclassified as IDLE conditions, which stands for 'indolent lesions of epithelial origin.'"

What's the Big Idea?

New highly sensitive screening techniques are able to detect the presence of tumors whose growth may be so slow as to never cause physical harm, yet the terminology used in diagnoses, i.e. the world "cancer", automatically instills the fear of death and loss in patients. "The impetus behind the call for change is a growing concern among doctors, scientists and patient advocates that hundreds of thousands of men and women are undergoing needless and sometimes disfiguring and harmful treatments for premalignant and cancerous lesions that are so slow growing they are unlikely to ever cause harm."

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at the New York Times

comments powered by Disqus
×