The recents news reports """Women 'not told of screening risks'
""" talks about the the psychological and emotional impact of the scans. The report suggested that women should also be told that the chances of cancer being picked up are low and that it may increase their chances of having unnecessary surgery.
It also highlighted figures which suggest that one in five of the cancers detected as a result of screening are ductal carcinomas in situ - cells inside the milk ducts which are beginning to turn cancerous. Most of these will turn out to be harmless. Only 40% of cases will require removal of a breast. However, women are faced with a difficult choice - whether to have surgery or to wait to see how the cancer develops.
In mouth cancers, most potentially precancerous lesions (Leukoplakias) are watched. I refer you to the post on Early Cancer
. If it looks suspicious, a lesion should be biopsied. A confirmed cancer should be treated.
Even if it is localised and does not spread, a primary lesion can cause problems as it grows. The problems caused would relate to the site and rate of growth. So a lesion on the tongue could swell and ulcerate with pain causing difficulty with speech, eating swallowing, toothbrushing, etc. You could ask a friend what they would do! I would not watch a confirmed cancer :bomb: .
The situation is more difficult with the cancer that is more extensive and has spread as the treatment is more drastic and the quality of life after treatment is important. The MultiDisciplinary Team that decides (with the patient) on the treatment takes this into account. Remember 50% survive over 5 years because of the treatment . The other 50% who don't make it, die mostly from the recurrence and not the treatment.