Alan Cassels: Seeking Sickness

Alan Cassels wrote Seeking Sickness: Medical Screening and the Misguided Hunt for Disease, which is all:

Why wouldn’t you want to be screened to see if you’re at risk for cancer, heart disease, or another potentially lethal condition? After all, better safe than sorry. Right?

Not so fast, says Alan Cassels. His Seeking Sickness takes us inside the world of medical screening, where well-meaning practitioners and a profit-motivated industry offer to save our lives by exploiting our fears. He writes that promoters of screening overpromise on its benefits and downplay its harms, which can range from the merely annoying to the life threatening. If you’re facing a screening test for breast or prostate cancer, high cholesterol, or low testosterone, someone is about to turn you into a patient. You need to ask yourself one simple question: Am I ready for all the things that could go wrong?

Desiree Schell will interview Alan Cassels before a live internet audience on Skeptically Speaking this Sunday night. Details here.

Comments

  1. #1 gwen
    July 14, 2012

    Yes, I have issues with harms that may be caused by the screenings. First of all, the radiation is not benign, Secondly, it may be a false positive leading to unnecessary surgery, which has a very real risk of complications–up to AND including death. I WILL be listening. I’m sure he has more to add.