Seeking Sickness: Medical Screening and the Misguided Hunt for Disease by Alan CasselsSeeking Sickness: Medical Screening and the Misguided Hunt for Disease by Alan Cassels

Seeking Sickness: Medical Screening and the Misguided Hunt for Disease

byAlan CasselsForeword byH. Gilbert Welch

Paperback | April 27, 2012

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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?

Alan Cassels is a drug policy researcher at the University of Victoria, in British Columbia, and has lectured widely on medical media in Canada, the U.S. and Australia. He is the co-author (with Ray Moynihan) of Selling Sickness, which was an international bestseller and was published in fourteen languages.
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Title:Seeking Sickness: Medical Screening and the Misguided Hunt for DiseaseFormat:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 8.75 × 5.75 × 0.5 inPublished:April 27, 2012Publisher:Greystone Books Ltd.Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1771000325

ISBN - 13:9781771000321

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beware the Hazards of Medical Screening This is one of several books on the risks of medical screening that have been written in recent years. Here, in eleven chapters, the author discusses the screening of various body parts to search for abnormalities: from whole body CT scans to eyeball pressure – there are even chapters on mental health screening and self-screening. In each case, he discusses how the supposed need for the screening of healthy individuals came about, the promoters, the techniques used, their effectiveness (or lack thereof), the dangers involved of the techniques themselves and the possible post-screening consequences. Along the way, he presents various case studies of healthy individuals who were somehow injured through unnecessary medical screening. Throughout, the author makes what I think are common-sense recommendations that should be seriously considered by everyone. I found the author’s writing style to be clear, friendly, lively and quite captivating. I believe that this book, and others like it, should be read by everyone, if only to make healthy people aware of the possible dangers of medical screening and guide them towards making well-informed decisions.
Date published: 2014-03-14

Table of Contents

The Whole-Body Scan: Good, preventive medicine? Or profit-driven and strongly reliant on patient ignorance?Blood Screening: Is concern over "numbers" actually leading to better health? Does blood screening sometimes lead to misdiagnosis and unnecessary medication?Cancer Screening: What are the real facts concerning these highly promoted forms of screening? Are more people being hurt by them than helped?Head Screening: What's the role of the insurance industry in the push to screen for diseases of the eyes and teeth? And what's the risk potential of the tests themselves?Mental-Health Screening: Is widespread screening for conditions such as bipolar disorder creating a large new consumer base for antipsychotic drugs? Does school-based mental-health screening really help prevent teen suicide?Screening for Sexual Desire: Is a common aspect of ageing being marketed as an abnormality? Does testing for "low testosterone" lead to medicating people who are not sick?Lung Screening: What's the result of screening for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer? What's the profit potential?Bone Screening: Is screening for osteoporosis backfiring? Are the drugs prescribed as a result of the test actually harmful to bone health?Gene Screening: What are the ethics of screening for genetic abnormalities? Does the marketing of these tests, in fact, precede the science behind them?

Editorial Reviews

"...With engaging clarity backed by academic rigour, Cassels discusses a variety of popular investigational procedures… 'Seeking Sickness' is an excellent way to start the important process of self-education." -- Quill & Quire