Medicine: Early Detection

Better tests for prostate cancer

Almost 60,000 American men will develop cancer of the prostate this year, and more than 20.000 will die of the disease. At least half of those deaths might have been avoided had the cancer been diagnosed sooner. In its earliest stages, it can usually be arrested by prompt and aggressive surgery or radiation, or both. The catch is that early detection has so far proved difficult, not only because men too often avoid rectal examination by the physician's gloved finger, but because available blood tests turn up evidence of malignancy in only more advanced cases.

One important early...

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