AIF Blog

Cancer: Are We Beating It?

Oct 11, 2011

In what has proven to be a controversial move, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issued a recommendation last week stating that healthy men shouldn't get PSA blood tests for detecting prostate cancer.

This recommendation has lit up the traditional media and blogosphere. CBS reports that prostrate cancer experts bash the panel’s recommendation, and The New York Times outlines the shortfalls of early cancer detection.

At Aspen Ideas, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and physician Siddhartha Mukherjee (The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer) sat down with renowned cancer specialist David Agus (The End of Illness, due out in December) to discuss the Future of Cancer. In this quick clip, they talk about where we are at in the fight today and how screenings like the PSA test impact statistics.

In other health-related news this week, vitamin supplements are under fire. Two new studies indicate that taking extra doses of vitamins might do more harm than good, and even increase death rates among older women. Agus addressed this briefly during the question and answer portion of this session. Here's what he had to say:

"Stay away from vitamins. No question about it. Every study in the history of mankind, with more than 500 individuals, of vitamins, had a trend toward more cancers—some of them statistical, some of them not statistical."

Watch the full video here.