癌症筛查辩

波士顿— 当今最具争议的医学议题集中于癌症筛查,而癌症筛查好处似乎是毫无争议的。事实上,许多人认为,从逻辑上讲,早期诊断必然能增加患者战胜疾病的机会。但现实证据表明并不总是如此。前列腺癌就是一例。

筛查包括对特定年龄和性别个体(不管家族史和个人健康状况)的大量试验,以识别潜在病情。为了让筛查起作用,试验或程序必须能够识别可以病症,后续的治疗也必须产生可测量的效果。换句话说,被筛查人群的境况必须较未被筛查人群更好。

对于某些健康问题——比如高胆固醇——筛查能产生积极效果:做一下简单的血液测试,测量一下血液中好胆固醇和坏胆固醇的数量就能让诊断相关心血管疾病更加容易,心血管疾病可能导致心脏病发或中风。接受筛查、诊断和治疗的人发生心血管状况的比率会降低。

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