3 – More is not necessarily better
In this Chapter:
- Introduction (this page)
- Intensive treatments for breast cancer
- Dare to think about doing less
- References (Section 3)
- More intensive treatment is not necessarily beneficial, and can sometimes do more harm than good.
In more detail
Diuretics (water tablets) are a good example: in low doses they lower blood pressure and have few adverse effects. A higher dose does not lower blood pressure any further but does lead to unwanted effects, such as excess urination, impotence and increased blood sugar.
Similarly, aspirin in low doses – between a quarter and a half of a standard tablet per day – helps to prevent strokes, and with very few adverse effects. However, while several aspirin tablets per day might relieve a headache, they will not prevent any more strokes and will increase the risk of stomach ulcers.
This principle of the ‘right dose’ extends beyond drug therapy to many other treatments, including surgery.