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When Cancer Screenings Aren't Worth the Risk

When Cancer Screenings Aren't Worth the Risk

Nick Douglas, Gawker Media

Mammograms: Good, mostly. Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Cancer is the worst . And, maybe thanks to Movember and pink consumer goods , we're all extremely aware. Too aware. Because we've gotten it drilled into our heads to always get tested, patients are ignoring the risks of unnecessary cancer screenings , says the New York Times . Low-risk patients often get false positives, leading to dangerous and wasteful misapplications of radiation and chemotherapy .

Whose fault is it? Everyone's. Doctors are afraid to get sued for missing a cancer diagnosis. The public are aware of cancer risks but not treatment risks . And, says the Times , insurance usually pays for the test, giving little personal incentive to skip it.

Screenings are obviously important, and low-risk patients do get cancer. But before you get tested, slow down and talk to your doctor about the risks and trade-offs.


With Cancer Screening, Better Safe Than Sorry? | NYT

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