By a show of hands…when you go shopping for a car, how many of you listen to and inherently trust everything the sales associate tells you about said car?  No one?  Bueller…Bueller…

Chances are you do your own research too.  Purchasing a car is an important decision and you want to be informed, so you turn to a source like Consumer Reports for an unbiased analysis of which car is the best for you and your needs.  Well, now Consumer Reports is bringing the same scrutiny to the healthcare procedures many of us assume are important…

recent report from Consumer Reports assesses the most common routine cancer screenings, and the results aren’t good for the screening industry.

After analyzing 11 common screening procedures, Consumer Reports concludes:

  • Only 3 screening procedures were recommended, and only for certain age groups
  • The most positive recommendations were for cervical cancer screenings in womenage 21-65 and colon cancer in people age 50-75
  • Less enthusiastic thumbs-up given to breast cancer screenings in women age 50-74
  • The other 8 (bladder, lung, skin, oral, prostate, ovarian, pancreatic, and testicular)did not receive a recommendation

Recommendations were made based on evidence-based reviews from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of medicine experts, as well as medical journals and organizations.

The Consumer Reports review of common screening procedures highlights a few key points that chiropractors have been saying for years…

  • Screenings are “early detection,” not “prevention” – There is nothing about cancer screenings, or any health screening, that is “preventive.”  The whole point of a screening is to find something early.  Once they’ve found something, you’re past the point of prevention.
  • More testing may cause more problems – New screening procedures certainly detect disease earlier than ever before, which can lead to improved treatment.  Unfortunately, these procedures can also detect things in your body that aren’t actually problems, yet you will still be sent for further tests and potentially even dangerous interventions.
  • Lifestyle = Prevention – Prevent disease and illness by living a healthy lifestyle.  Eat nutritious foods, exercise regularly, have a positive mental attitude, and keep your nervous system working well with regular chiropractic care.

Moral of the story –  It’s best to live with healthy habits and not just rely on screenings as a safety net.