Do Biopsies Potentially Spread Cancer?

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10/18/2013
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Interviewer: We've been to this convention before, the Cancer Control convention. We've talked about, to a lot of doctors about biopsies and the danger of making a potentially bad situation worse. Is that the same with prostate cancer? Is there a lot of risk with those?

Dr. Phranq Tamburri: Yes and no, but not quite the way I think people look at it. You know, the conventional side, they don't have a problem with biopsies at all. They don't see the issue, and I can explain in a moment why. The alternative world, they think biopsies are going to spread cancer throughout the body and that they're going to die. That's blatantly not true. There is no evidence to show that prostate biopsies spread cancer throughout the body. No evidence. And as a matter of fact, the very evidence that many alternative providers, including some people that might include me, that show how biopsies are showing all these increase in cancers is the same evidence to show that it doesn't spread cancer. In other words, since the PSA was introduced, we biopsy everybody. And since we biopsy everybody we've seen an explosion in prostate cancer incidence. So we know this cancer has been here all this time, and alternative people say, yes, yes, that's true. See? We always have it all the time. But think about it. How did we find out they have all this cancer? Because we've biopsied all these people. So if we've biopsied all these men and found cancer in all these men we didn't before, you'd expect the death rate to increase, that the metastasis of all these biopsies finding cancer, people would be dying. And the reality is that the death rate, the mortality rate of cancer has gone down since the PSA and you know, knee jerk biopsies have been introduced. So the evidence is right there. It does not spread it throughout the body. However, to be clear, it does not mean that you could not possibly spread the cancer throughout the prostate itself. That's different. And that's where I think the alternative people sometimes, they don't see the difference there. When I ask my Mayo surgeon friends about, aren't you afraid when you do a biopsy that you could seed or track, that's what you're referring to, some of the cancer cells out? Aren't you concerned about that? And I asked one of my mentors, and he said no. He's a good, very compassionate doctor, and I realized he was right from his point of view, and here's why. If I do a biopsy and I don't find any cancer, I didn't spread anything. If I do a biopsy and I do find cancer, who cares if I spread it throughout the prostate, because I'm going to yank it out next week. So from that logic, you have nothing to lose. It makes sense. The problem is when you have sometimes my type of patients, the patient population that I see, where sometimes they agree to the biopsy, and they say sorry doc, I agreed to the biopsy and now you've found cancer. But wait, wait, wait, hold the corn there. I didn't agree to any surgery next week! I want to try such and such acts of surveillance and you know, different natural treatments. Now you might have a problem because you may have taken one cancer and spread it into two or three locus, and it's harder to treat that much more cancer. Does that make sense?

Interviewer: Yep. Absolutely.

Dr. Phranq Tamburri: So, that's the quandary.

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There is a thought that some biopsies could spread cancer througout an organ or througout the body. Dr. Phranq Tamburri says that's true, and it's not. Here he explains the tricky situations patients and doctors face when considering biopsies.

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