All over the country in May, hospitals are offering “Free Throat Cancer Screening.” A Google search turned up dozens of results for that specific term or the related “oral, head and neck cancer screening.”
Here’s one example, promoting “Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week, May 8-14.”
This promotion uses ominous warnings:
Can you live without your voice?
What about your jaw?
Would you miss it if you couldn’t swallow food?
Throat cancer can take all of those things away, along with your ability to eat, talk and breathe normally. These debilitating problems can be prevented, but you have to catch cancer early.
Some promotions – such as this one – use celebrity pitches such as “If it happened to Michael Douglas, it can happen to you.”
Here’s one that states, “A 10-minute, painless screening could save your life.”
But where’s the evidence for that? Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Gary Schwitzer's HealthNewsReview Blog*
As a class of human beings, cardiologists do not enjoy subtlety or nuance. Indeed, the reason most of them chose to specialize in cardiology, as opposed to specializing in some other organ system, is that the heart is the most unsubtle organ in the body. Unlike, say, the liver or the kidneys or even the brain (which, after all, just sit there), the heart does something quite obvious, and furthermore it does it 50 – 100 times per minute (so that even a physician with a very short attention span is likely to notice).
So perhaps it is not surprising that cardiologists seem to have entirely failed to mark certain emerging – and quite subtle – currents in the “preventive health” movement, and accordingly, continue to unabashedly seek more and more “preventive tools,” whatever the cost, with all the sensitivity and social awareness of the cousin who obliviously shows up at the funeral of the family priest wearing a pro-choice lapel pin. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at The Covert Rationing Blog*