Friday, August 9, 2013

Preventive Medicine or Too Much of a Good Thing

When do we draw the line for preventive medicine? The latest ASCO guidelines for high risk, post menopausal women to prevent breast cancer recommend proactively taking Evista, Aromasin, or Tamoxifen to reduce risk. I had already heard about Tamoxifen but not Evista or Aromasin.

When I first read this the first thing that jumped into my tiny chemo-fogged/fibro-fogged brain is this a big ploy by the pharmaceutical companies to generate millions of new patients? That would be a huge conspiracy theory that I immediately pushed away.

The next thing that leaped into my tiny chemo-fogged/fibro-fogged brain is that its getting to be that we need to stop enjoying ourselves and live preventatively with no fun? The guidelines end with:

"If you have a higher-than-average risk of breast cancer, it makes sense to do everything you can to keep your risk as low as it can be. There are lifestyle choices you can make, including:
  • maintaining a healthy weight
  • exercising regularly at the highest intensity possible
  • limiting or avoiding alcohol
  • limiting processed foods and foods high in sugar
  • eating healthy, nutrient-dense food
  • not smoking"
I felt this is getting to the point of  ridiculousness. I mean 'healthy, nutrient-dense food' - can you please define that? I am sure it does not include chocolate or ice cream. If I went to the grocery store and asked for 'healthy, nutrient-dense food', I think they would look at me like I was crazy.

And exercising regularly at the highest intensity possible? This is getting to be too much in my book. Just tell me to live healthy and I can handle that.

I am not dissing ASCO here. They are a wonderful organization but I think that this is overkill.

Yes preventive medicine is a good thing but this is too much. I'm sorry.

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