Cancer screenings such as mammograms and PSA are beneficial for early detection and control of cancer. But physicians and medical organizations counsel that people should stop or reduce the frequency of taking these tests at some age. However, many people past the risk age continuously go for these visits. The question remains, should we take the experts seriously or just stick to “the better safe than sorry mentality”?
Instinct versus Expertise
Naturally, we are conditioned to believe that we are safer checking on our health than doing nothing. The fear of cancer cells growing beyond control without us noticing heightens the belief. Consequently, it is almost normal to neglect the advice of doctors. Additionally, when contemplating the issue, many simply consider the benefits of the tests instead of the risks.
However, studies have shown that taking cancer screening test beyond a certain age increase the chance of false detection. For example, older people have fragile intestinal walls and colonoscopy can result into its perforation and eventual cancer. Again, for every ten mammograms, there is a risk of fault detection. These false detection results into inexplicable emotional agony, invasive procedures and expose a person to greater risks.
Many people continue to put their life at risk by avoiding professional guidance hoping to be safe than sorry. Unfortunately, such mentality does not consider the potential hazards. Another reason is the availability of insurance coverage. Medicare covers all the cancer tests hence encouraging many to take advantage of it. Private insurance too is required by the law of some states to settle the bills for these tests.
However, even if the test were offered free of charge, the risks overwhelm the benefits. It is necessary that all who have passed the risk age start taking the doctors counsel seriously.