health screening

Do you go, or would you rather not know

21 to 33 of 33 messages
25/06/2012 at 21:47

The link isn't working - no idea why not, but google NSC screening.

25/06/2012 at 21:56
25/06/2012 at 21:57

Linking on here is crap now.  Best to just to highlight the text and paste the link in


25/06/2012 at 22:00

And so is flipping quoting.

"just been for my annual scolding at the GP; yes I'm over weight; yes I know it; yes I'm sure at my age it has implications; yadda yadda yadda. 

Then we got onto health screenings. I was offered several, but I don't take them up on the offer. Despite what a lot of the medical profession seems to think, death is inevitable, and I am going to die of something; why not let it be a surprise? They can't sure everything, and having watched someone die of an incurrable disease, I'm not sure I'd want to know what fate had in store for me in that regard. 

Possibly a bit off an eccentric view, I know, and possibly not well transferred to text. Do you knpw what i mean, or am I off at the deep end?"


Quite surprised at your thoughts on this Helen 

Yes I would have whatever screening is recommended. It's not going to do any harm is it? To me it's a bit like getting my car serviced every year. It may seem okay at the time but a small problem quickly fixed could have a massive impact down the line.  You go to the dentist regular-ish for checkups too?

Edited: 25/06/2012 at 22:02
25/06/2012 at 22:14

Downside is that sometimes conditions are detected that will not actually kill you but once known about must be treated.  Breast screening is controversial for this reason as certain forms of breast cancer will outlive you - if you get my drift.  However, once they are found they must be considered as potentially fatal.  You then go down the path of chemo/radio therapy and possible mastectomy on a 'just in case' basis.  Also goal posts have been substantially altered for bp/glucose and cholesterol readings over the past few years -  I am particularly concerned with the latter as statins seem to hailed as the modern wonder drug that we older people should take irrespective of the reported side effects.

26/06/2012 at 10:12

But that is making the assumption that the screening would pick up a condition that would be "better" if you ignored it. What if the screening picks up a condition that could be treated or at least controlled with lifestyle changes now, rather than drugs or surgery in 15 years time? Would you rather wait until symptoms presented to find out that you had no hope of getting better, or have a head start on how you would deal with it? 

I've got a family history of a blood clotting disorder, with three people on my dad's side having deep vein thrombosis. My sister and I both asked our GP to send us for a whole raft of tests to check that we didn't have the same condition. A couple of weeks of stress and the discomfort of the blood tests, which thankfully came back negative, but you know what - I'd rather know if I had the same condition and be on lifelong blood thinning medication, than only find out when a clot stopped my heart or reached my brain.

26/06/2012 at 10:38
Someone said it doesn't do any harm. Well, it can do. Take prostate cancer screening. For every case found, 48 men will be treated unnecessarily, ie false positives can be high in relation to true positives if the base rate of the disease in the population is low, even if the screening test is fairly "accurate". Unnecessary treatment could result in incontinence, loss of sexual function, or simply reduced inlination to take part in other more useful tests in the future. So the costs for the masses should be taken into account when considering the introduction of screening.
seren nos    pirate
26/06/2012 at 10:49

which screening is that steve c........i know that ,most gp's have stoped the one type............

I had abnormal cells removed 25 years ago by laser............detected for a smear test....whilst it was acknowledged taht there was no certainty that these cells would ever develop cancerous..........i am glad that i had a smear test at 19/20 and went through the unpleasant procedure of having them removed...........i was on my own a few hundred miles away from for many they can develop and its rather something i could do without.......


26/06/2012 at 10:56

My point was the large number of other people who are false positives in any mass screening and what are the side-effects for them. There is more to it than to say simply it doesn't do any harm because both action and inaction do harm to someone. One needs to tally up all the costs and benefits.


26/06/2012 at 11:44

Cochrane Library has a section on cancer screening, including this on prostate cancer screening.



26/06/2012 at 12:22

Interesting you should say that, Seren, as some advice is now that a pap test is inappropriate for women under the age of 25 due to the high number of false positives, presumably. 

Another risk of screening is that a false negative may cause that person later to delay in reporting to a doctor.

26/06/2012 at 13:34

My mum has stopped telling me to go and get tested for bowel cancer which she did to my sister and me for years.
I know that I should do it, and also be more aware of my health from that point of view, as both my mum's parents had cancer, my dad had bowel cancer and my son had leukaemia. Dad is still going strong 30 years later, having been given a prognosis of 10 years. Son is starting GCSEs after 8 long years of treatment and eventually a bone marrow transplant.
The strange thing is that even though I've seen my Dad and son get through treatment I'm not sure that I'd be able to face going through what they went through.
Even worse with regards to my Dad was that my partner's dad was diagnosed with cancer and we went to see him in hospital the day after his first operation to remove the cancer. He was in ICU, completely sedated and unaware of anything. It was really scary as when Dad had the same thing done, Mum wouldn't let us see him so it brought it home to me just how he would have been.

26/06/2012 at 17:41

Steve C - the point you are making is why there is no organised screening programme for prostate cancer.  However people can make an informed choice about being tested.  That is different to screening.



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