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I’m very skeptical of the common practice in Chinese “health check” centers to do multiple screening tests for cancers. Many of these tests are neither specific nor sensitive enough for cost-effective screening, and most patients end up spending a lot of money on follow-up tests which prove benign. I’m not saying the concept is bad, I’m saying that many blood biomarkers are not ready for prime time. It’s really a shame, as many cancers including liver cancer are usually diagnosed too late to help the patient survive for a long time. Perhaps there’s now some hope with liver cancer, as a Chinese team has designed a blood test which may be more accurate than the common AFP test. This hopefully will turn out to be truly effective, especially for China, as liver cancer from hepatitis B is extremely common. I discuss this issue in my weekly radio broadcast on Beijing Hour; you can listen to the podcast with the above links.
Paul James and I also discuss recent news stories about the questionable nutritional value of many popular milk beverages, including Wahaha’s Nutri-Express line of milk+juice combinations. I’ve never tried them so cannot comment on the taste (milk with juice?), but in general the vast majority of this class of drinks are never as nutritious as the real deal. In other words, pure milk is usually a lot better than the super-sweetened mixes, and juices in boxes are almost always super-sweetened and also have less of the original nutrients. Your grandma was right: an apple a day keeps the doctor away.
More Podcast Information
You can always listen live to my radio interview each Wednesday around 7:35am Beijing time, on the Beijing Hour program on EZFM 91.5, which is broadcast from 7-8am every weekday by host Paul James. EZFM is the popular bilingual radio station on the China Radio International network, broadcasting here in Beijing and on multiple stations all over the world, as well as live online here.
You can listen to all my previous podcasts at the podcast archive.
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