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Seeking Sickness

Medical Screening and the Misguided Hunt for Disease

Regular price $18.95 CAD
  • ISBN: 9781771000321
  • Tags: Alan Cassels, H. Gilbert Welch, Health & Wellness,
  • Dimensions: 5.75 x 8.75
  • Published On: 4/27/2012
  • 192 Pages
  • ISBN: 9781771000338
  • Tags: Alan Cassels, H. Gilbert Welch, Health & Wellness,
  • Published On: 27/04/2012
  • 176 Pages

Why wouldn't you want to be screened to see if you're at risk for cancer, heart disease, or another potentially lethal condition? After all, better safe than sorry. Right?

Not so fast, says Alan Cassels. His Seeking Sickness takes us inside the world of medical screening, where well-meaning practitioners and a profit-motivated industry offer to save our lives by exploiting our fears. He writes that promoters of screening overpromise on its benefits and downplay its harms, which can range from the merely annoying to the life threatening. If you're facing a screening test for breast or prostate cancer, high cholesterol, or low testosterone, someone is about to turn you into a patient. You need to ask yourself one simple question: Am I ready for all the things that could go wrong?

Alan Cassels is a drug policy researcher at the University of Victoria, in British Columbia, and is the co-author (with Ray Moynihan) of the international bestseller Selling Sickness: How the World's Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies Are Turning Us All into Patients.

Dr. H. Gilbert Welch is a general internist whose research focuses on the problems created by medicine's efforts to detect disease early. Most of his work has focused on overdiagnosis in cancer screening. He is the author of Should I be Tested for Cancer? and Overdiagnosed.


" . . . With engaging clarity backed by academic rigour, Cassels discusses a variety of popular investigational procedures . . . Seeking Sickness is an excellent way to start the important process of self-education." -Patrick Conlon, Quill & Quire

"Seeking Sickness provides an antidote for the endless hype about the value of everything from cancer to cholesterol screening. Smartly written and very readable." -Brian Goldman

"Alan Cassels strips layers of expectation, hype, jargon, false-starts, and conflicts of interest off the medical screening mantra. A clear understanding of the demanding nature of medical screening emerges that can inform both the health of a person and the health of the public." -Nortin M. Hadler

"A welcome and accessible expose of profit-driven pharmaceutical companies and their extensive influence in selling sickness to the 'healthy well.'" -Canadian Journal of Communications