Sunday, August 07, 2016

Why most health checkups are a scam meant to convert healthy people into patients

The message that prevention is better than cure has been drilled into us ever since we were children. This is one of the reasons that executive health checkups have become so popular. The promise is that they will help your doctor pickup medical problems early, so that these can be treated more effectively.

Unfortunately, even though the logic is very appealing, the sad truth is that health checkups are good only for doctors, testing centers and hospitals, but not for patients !

I know this is a provocative title, and doctors may rise in arms against this, but most medical screening tests have been proven to cause more harm then good when applied indiscriminately to everyone. 

While we all remember the memorable story of a friend whose breast cancer was picked up during a routine mammogram done during a checkup, and how this saved her life, the truth is far more complex ! For one, we never think about all the harm and needless anxiety caused by the innumerable false positives which these tests cause.

Even worse, the truth is that this "early diagnosis" does not really save lives in women with breast cancer ! Read more about this contentious issue in  the WSJ article, Some Cancer Experts See 'Overdiagnosis,' Question Emphasis on Early Detection; at https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/the-uncertainty-surrounding-mammography-continues/.

Now you know why most doctors never go for " routine health checkup"   themselves !

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