Source: NEJM. HT: Kevin Outterson.
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“Would it help if we renamed aspirin “Tamoxalox” and charged $500 a year?”
For the longest time I believed that screenings helped detect and treat breast cancer. It is quite interesting to find out the real effect screenings have on breast cancer patients. It is sources like this http://womensnaturalhealthcenter.com/breast-cancer-early-detection/?gclid=CI-O4piu7bMCFaGPPAod9Q0Akg that can be very misleading when informing people how to go about dealing with this condition.
It’s important to note that breast cancer is a unique case. The cause of “breast cancer awareness” is really not a cause any more — you’d be hard-pressed to find a woman who wasn’t aware of breast cancer.
This definitely has implications for overuse of preventative care. We need to hold “awareness” charities accountable and be rigorous about publicizing the possible negatives of preventative care in terms of cost, anxiety, false positives, etc.
I agree — breast cancer awareness is becoming a profitable charitable sector whereas other illnesses where preventative care is less costly (and potentially more effective) don’t get much airtime.
Cindy, you’re absolutely right. Susan G Komen has been in trouble recently because of their cutthroat branding and financial stewardship campaigns. They’ve also been accused of overselling and misrepresenting preventative measures.
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