To screen or not to screen

To screen or not to screen

Breast screening has been in the news again. There is mounting evidence that it doesn’t save lives but does result in a lot of unnecessary trauma and treatment.

As technology continues to advance it’s likely that doctors will be able to screen for more and more conditions earlier and earlier. And we can already decide to send off our DNA for testing without any discussion or counselling.

As well as over-treatment, positive results can be deeply unsettling, as I discovered when I was told I have the BRCA2 gene fault. But at least I received the results from a geneticist, not in the mail. And, as this article points out, genetic testing isn’t an exact science.

This post from Harvard Medical School lists a few of the tests that aren’t recommended for people who appear to be in good health but I think this is just the tip of the iceberg.