J Morris Hicks

J Morris Hicks

Posted March 5, 2012

Published in Health

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Cancer screening? Saving Lives or Making Money?

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 A little of the first---a whole lot of the second

Finally, a thoughtful member of the medical community speaks out---in a recent Op-Ed in the New York Times and in a  recent video; both of which are featured in this blog. I am talking about Dr. H. Gilbert Welch, a professor of medicine at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, and the author of Over-diagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health. From his 2-27-12 Op-Ed in the Times:

Screening the apparently healthy potentially saves a few lives (although the National Cancer Institute couldn’t find any evidence for this in its recent large studies of prostate and ovarian cancer screening). But it definitely drags many others into the system needlessly — into needless appointments, needless tests, needless drugs and needless operations (not to mention all the accompanying needless insurance forms).

This process doesn’t promote health; it promotes disease. People suffer from more anxiety about their health, from drug side effects, from complications of surgery. A few die. And remember: these people felt fine when they entered the health care system. (See link to complete article below)

Since I began this blog in February of 2011, I have blogged about the huge screening $$ business several times. For example, we have a $50 billion colonoscopy screening business for a disease that carries a 7% likelihood of death. The primary problem is that our medical industry fails to explain how we can lower that risk.

They place all the emphasis on early detection---which is followed by all the testing and procedures that Dr. Welch mentions in his article. Click here to continue reading this article, complete with a video made possible by Dr. John McDougall. 

—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at


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