Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The NY Times and Prostate Cancer

The Times has a propensity of having women write on prostate cancer and result in telling men they should just forget it.

The latest writer, who it appears spent a short time at MIT sans degree, is pushing the "watchful waiting" approach, or why spend money on a lot of old useless men argument.

She states:

Without the word “cancer,” Dr. Epstein said, men may not take seriously the need for regular biopsies and other tests. He and his colleagues at Johns Hopkins proposed a grading system to make it clear that Gleason 6 cells are less frightening than higher-grade tumors, but not necessarily benign. In the Gleason system, which involves a pathologist’s assessment of how ominous the prostate cells look, 6 is actually pretty much the lowest score for cells that are cancer, despite the Gleason scale officially starting at 2. The highest is a 10. But many men, hearing that their cancer is a 6, assume the worst.

The problem with prostate cancer it is real sneaky. Some are indolent, some are real killers. How does one tell the difference. No good answer. There are tests now that use the biopsied material to give better prognostic values but this write up totally ignores this. One wonders why? Ignorance or deliberate. 

One also wonders why almost every other day we have another female reporter, no males yet, telling men not to worry! Perhaps they have run out of Trump stories.