Alan Cassels

Seeking Sickness

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“Alan Cassels strips layers of expectation, hype, jargon, false-starts, and conflicts of interest off the medical screening mantra.” —Nortin M. Hadler, author of Worried Sick
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?
“With engaging clarity backed by academic rigor, Cassels discusses a variety of popular investigational procedures . . . an excellent way to start the important process of self-education.” —Quill & Quire
“Smartly written and very readable.” —Brian Goldman, MD, author of The Secret Language of Doctors
“Cassels tackles this touchy topic, looking at it test by test. His overarching message is that modern medicine has ‘overpromised’ with claims that screening will save our lives. He contends that with the lack of hard evidence on benefits, the evidence of harm from by such screening, as well as the multi-billion dollar interests at stake, we should approach this kind of screening with great precaution.” —Canadian Women’s Health Network
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228 printed pages
Original publication



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