THE DOCTOR'S CRYSTAL BALL

SUPERSENSITIVE TESTS CAN TELL US WHAT DISEASES LIE IN OUR FUTURE. DO WE REALLY WANT TO KNOW?

PAUL JERNBERG, A 71-YEAR-OLD mortgage banker from Chicago, walked into his doctor's office a healthy, happy man. A short while later, he left with a sense of dread. Although Jernberg felt fine, a sophisticated protein test indicated that he might have prostate cancer. A subsequent biopsy was inconclusive, but a second one disclosed that he indeed had the beginnings of a tumor. "Of course, we'll operate next week," the physician told him. Not so fast, Jernberg thought. He feared the possible side effects of prostate surgery, including incontinence and even impotence. After consulting another doctor, who explained that many prostate cancers...

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