University of Victoria health researcher Alan Cassels, author the book Selling Sickness, investigates and explains the pros and cons of various medical tests sold as ways to detect or prevent illness in people who seem healthy. "I started by looking at the marketing. Who is pushing what kind of screening?" explains Cassels. "Then I look at what does the science say? What do the experts say? And that's where the story is, the gap between the marketing and the science."
In This Series
Today begins a series on hidden risks of medical screening, and how its benefits can be oversold.
The truth about tests that claim to help keep your ticker ticking. Second in a series.
Genetic tests will more likely shake you up than settle your illness risk concerns.
The push is on to early identify youth with mental disorders. Do we really know how? Fourth in a series on medical screening.
Before you get that test, know the potential problems as well as payoffs. Fifth in a series on medical screening.
Mammographies save lives, but not as often as you might think. Know the downsides. Last in a series on medical screening.