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Cancer Screening Tests Could Do More Harm Than Good: Reader's Digest April Cover Story
Date:3/17/2009

Article Explores Overtreatment in America, Growing Group of Scientists Believe Time to Rethink Our Approach to Cancer Screening

April Issue Hits Newsstands March 17th

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y., March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The April issue of Reader's Digest, which hits newsstands March 17th, delves into the controversial topic of whether or not patients should choose to be screened for cancer, putting forward the bold notion that popular cancer screening tests may cause more harm than good.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090317/NY84803 )

"Screening for cancer means that tens of thousands of patients who never would have become sick are diagnosed with this disease," says H. Gilbert Welch, MD, co-director of the Outcomes Group at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in White River Junction, Vermont, and a leading expert in cancer screening. "Once they're diagnosed, almost everybody gets treated - and we know that treatment can cause harm."

The article goes on to say that this view "stands in stark contrast to the message being put out by groups like the American Cancer Society and even the federal government, which say that finding and treating tumors as early as possible is the surest way to avoid a cancer death. But a growing group of scientific heretics -- published in highly respected medical journals working at some of the most august institutions -- strongly believe that it's time to rethink our whole approach to cancer screening."

"What's Wrong with Cancer Tests," the Reader's Digest cover story written by Shannon Brownlee, author of Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer, examines the screening tests associated with colon, breast, and prostate cancer. Brownlee looks at whether there is too much unnecessary
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SOURCE Reader's Digest
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