Sunday, March 16, 2014

A cancer diagnosed at a late stage

A recent post[1] in "名校 Secrets" surrounds a case of Stage III nasopharyngeal cancer occurring in a middle-aged lady. Following an admittedly flamebait reply, there was a lot of discussion regarding to the role of doctor in the diagnosis of early cancers.

When faced with a diagnosis of "late stage cancer", people would always look back, and try to find a circumstance when he or she mentioned her first symptom to a doctor, and try to blame them for not doing their job -- what they don't realize is that, signs and symptoms of early-stage cancers, with few exceptions, are non-specific, non-sensitive, mimics a thousand other diseases, and in general, not showing up as a "red flag" in most's eyes. And for the matter, most early-stage cancers are NOT symptomatic.

If cancers were so easy to diagnose at a early stage, we wouldn't have a problem of cancer, we won't need thousands of researchers worldwide to combat cancer, and we most certainly do not need a billion-dollar pharmaceutical industry.


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