Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor:
Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA;
David H. Morse, MS, University of Southern California, Norris Medical Library,
Journal Review Editor.
In this engaging, clearly written book, H. Gilbert Welch, MD, MPH, attempts
to make the case that, when it comes to screening for cancer, an ounce of
prevention may, in fact, not be worth a pound of
Written primarily for a lay audience, the book is divided into two parts.
In the first, “Problems You Should Know About,” the author outlines
the various potential downsides of cancer screening, including adverse effects
of the invasive testing that often follows positive screening results; the
detection of pseudodisease or early disease that may lead to unnecessary treatment;
and the anxiety engendered by false-positive results, repeated cycles of testing,
or the detection of disease for which the benefits of treatment are not known.
Bloomfield HE. Cancer Screening. JAMA. 2004;292(22):2781-2786. doi:10.1001/jama.292.22.2784-a