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Are the risks of surgery always worth it?

When someone goes to the doctor in Binghamton and is told he or she has cancer, his or her first thought is likely about how to treat it. While treating cancer seems like the obvious choice, there are some within the medical field who believe that treatment, or at least aggressive treatment may not always be the best choice, especially if the treatment requires surgery. There are always going to be risks associated with surgery, so it may be best, in some situations to opt for monitoring of cancer instead of a surgical fix.

One of the best cases for this option is thyroid cancer. There are a number of different kinds of thyroid cancers, some of which involve tumors that are so slow moving that they will never be deadly. Instead of having the thyroid gland removed and having to take hormone pills for life, some doctors recommend monitoring the condition and taking action if the need arises. After all, if the cancer is slow moving, it may be better not to risk a surgical error for a cancer that may never have a negative impact on a person's life.

At the same time, if someone chooses not to treat a cancer, his or her doctors must then constantly monitor the patient's condition. It may not take long for a cancer to progress. Failing to monitor the patient's condition could also be a form of medical malpractice.

Ultimately, how a patient chooses to treat cancer is up to to him or her.

Source: The Associated Press, "Thyroid cancer cases have soared," Lindey Tanner, Feb. 20, 2014

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