Should I Be Tested for Cancer?: Maybe Not and Here's Why
Getting tested to detect cancer early is one of the best ways to stay healthy--or is it? In this lively, carefully researched book, a nationally recognized expert on early cancer detection challenges one of medicine's most widely accepted beliefs: that the best defense against cancer is to always try to catch it early. Read this book and you will think twice about common cancer screening tests such as total body scans, mammograms, and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests. Combining patient stories and solid data on common cancers, Dr. H. Gilbert Welch makes the case that testing healthy people for cancer is really a double-edged sword: while these tests may help, they often have surprisingly little effect and are sometimes even harmful. Bringing together a body of little-known medical research in an engaging and accessible style, he discusses in detail the pitfalls of screening tests, showing how they can miss some cancers, how they can lead to invasive, unnecessary treatments, and how they can distract doctors from other important issues. Welch's conclusions are powerful, counterintuitive, and disturbing: the early detection of cancer does not always save lives, it can be hard to know who really has early cancer, and there are some cancers better left undiscovered. Should I Be Tested for Cancer? is the only book to clearly and simply lay out the pros and cons of cancer testing for the general public. It is indispensable reading for the millions of Americans who repeatedly face screening tests and who want to make better-informed decisions about their own health care.
Cancer Screening is Not Always a Good idea
By Robert M. Kaplan - March 6, 2004
For decades, the American Cancer Society and others have relentlessly campaigned for early cancer detection. And the campaign has been successful - the Journal of the American Medical Association recently reported that only 2% of Americans felt that there are too many cancer-screening tests. Despite this enthusiasm, expert panels of physicians and scientists, after careful reviews of the evidence, do not always endorse screening. Facing these conflicts can be distressing, particularly when confronting issues as serious as cancer. This book offers insights that clarify the issues for patients and physicians alike. As the subtitle suggests, Welch is skeptical about screening, and his text challenges the establishment. However, Welch is not a medical outsider. He is a practicing physician, a Professor at the Dartmouth Medical School, the former editor of a medical journal, and a researcher who has helped reshape professional thinking in articles in the New England Journal of... read more
Clear Expose of The Cancer Industry
By Joel M. Kauffman - May 24, 2004
H. Gilbert Welch, MD, MPH, has written an unusually understandable revelation of the folly of testing for cancer in people with no symptoms. He explains how only a few people will benefit from common tests such as PSA, fecal blood, mammograms and others. He is enough of an insider to be able to explain the flaws in clinical trials being used by "authorities" to recommend extensive testing, and the lack of trials in some cases. The unneccessary biopsies, surgeries, radiations, chemotherapies for slow-growing cancers or even non-malignant ones are presented bravely. The uncertainty of testing is exposed where a positive for cancer may be wrong 1/3 of the time. And it is up to the patient to get second opinions. The financial and legal pressures on MDs to test excessively are brought out. There is advice on talking or writing to your MD to indicate your unwillingness to undergo too many tests, and not to hold your MD liable if a cancer was "missed" - that is the big thing... read more
Extremely Valuable Book
By Gary L - April 20, 2005
Should I be Treated for Concer? Maybe Not and Here's Why, by H. Gilbert Welch
It is hard to put into words the importance of the book, Should I be Tested for Cancer? by Gilbert Welch, M.D., Professor of Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School. It is equally as hard to put into words the courage that it must have taken to write this book. The medical establishment does not look kindly on those who stray too far from the constraints of conventional wisdom. Those of us who seek only about the truth as it pertains to healthcare issues are greatly indebted to Dr. Welch for daring to do so.
I have been involved with health care issues for over 28 years. This book is a God-sent and is easily the most important book on this subject I've read in the last decade. Quite frankly, I couldn't put it down. It was given to me by one of my patients who, over the years, has known of my "healthy skepticism" towards many aspects of conventional medical practice, especially as it... read more
The 18th century was a wealth of knowledge, exploration and rapidly growing technology and expanding record-keeping made possible by advances in the printing press. In its determination to preserve ...