Preemptive Surgery

A good portion of us will have to face it one day – we go to the doctor and they find a growth somewhere. And what to do. Of course they will want a better image of it, so that means x-rays, CTs, and possible MRIs. After they get a chance to examine it, its time for a biopsy.

Regardless the outcome of the biopsy, most doctors will still want to operate to remove the growth, even if its benign and not hardly growing. Of course that choice is up to you, but why do so many people do it even when its not a threat. What is more puzzling to me is the choice to have preemptive surgeries.

Preemptive surgeries are generally surgeries for when nothing is found, but you might have the chance of something going awry. A good example of this is Angelina Jolie. She has now had a double mastectomy, and has had both of her ovaries removed. And all of this because genetic testing has shown she has a chance, granted a higher chance than average, of getting cancer in these particular parts of her body.

Everyone should understand their odds, but keep them in perspective. A 55% chance of getting cancer certainly sounds ominous, doesn’t it? However, that also means there is a 45% chance you will not get cancer. That doesn’t sound near as bad does it? You should always been mindful of the dangers of surgery, including the risk that even if you have the surgery, you could still be susceptible to that cancer.

I have seen many people in my family and others suffer from cancer. I have also seen them suffer from the surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation. I do not wish that fate upon anyone. I am not saying that the preemptive surgery is a bad decision, I am just saying think it through. This country as a whole seems obsessed with surgery (and perfection). Where does a person draw the line?


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