Many researchers say the word 'cancer' is out of date and too imprecise, says The New York Times' Gina Kolata. As researchers and clinicians have learned over the years, the word cancer is used to designate a number of different diseases with different causes, symptoms, treatments, and likely outcomes. "It is like saying a person has 'mental illness' when he or she might have schizophrenia or mild depression or an eating disorder," Kolata says. So some experts are now recommending that the medical establishment stop using the word cancer. Especially now that screening is widespread and researchers are getting more adept at early detection of some cancers, it may not even be correct to call these conditions 'cancer' anymore, she adds.
Let's Be More Precise
Dec 10, 2011